Billionaire vaccine proponent Bill Gates watched on as Novak Djokovic cemented his place in tennis history by claiming his 22nd Grand Slam singles crown at the Australian Open.
He defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) in a competitive but ultimately anticlimactic championship decider on Sunday night.
This victory draws Djokovic level with Rafael Nadal on the men's all-time Grand Slam titles leaderboard and secures the tennis star his 10th trophy at Melbourne Park.
The 35-year-old becomes only the second man to win the same slam on at least 10 occasions, with Nadal holding 14 French Open titles.
Djokovic remains undefeated in finals at the Rod Laver Arena and has not suffered a defeat in 41 matches in Australia since 2018.
It completed a remarkable turnaround win for the Serbian ace who was sensationally deported from Australia and unable to compete in last year's tournament due to his vaccination status, in a country where many felt that politics had overtaken common sense and decency, denying him a chance at his tenth Open title and demonizing him on the world stage for his personal medical choices.
In addition to the records, spoils, and $2.975 million winner's cheque, Djokovic will return to the world No. 1 on Monday for a seventh stint atop the rankings, denying Tsitsipas an elusive maiden major and a chance to reach the summit himself for the first time.
The Serb defeated Tsitsipas in the 2021 French Open decider, but this time he dominated the match from start to finish, without having to recover from two sets down.
Despite briefly being rattled in the second set, Djokovic saved a set point with a forehand winner and went on to claim the tiebreaker, putting him in control of the match. When Tsitsipas lost an early break in the third set and then surrendered another tiebreaker, it was game, set, and match for Djokovic after two hours and 55 minutes.
This historic win solidifies Djokovic's place as one of the greatest tennis players of all time and a man who refused to let the politics of the day alter his principles in the face of enormous opposition.