"I'm aware that making history in the sport I truly love is something special", Djokovic said.
He was the first man to do so since Rod Laver in 1969.
Despite lacking match practice after ending his season at the US Open because of injury, second seed Nadal had appeared in devastating form in Melbourne, trouncing everyone he played in straight sets - until he came up against Djokovic. Djokovic has won three Melbourne Park semis over Federer; they are yet to contest a final. Nadal, 32, lost just six games against Stefanos Tsitsipas while Djokovic allowed his outclassed French opponent Lucas Pouille only four, taking just 83 minutes on Friday to win 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.
There's something about the Australian Open for Djokovic.
Djokovic's latest triumph was as swift and merciless as it was stunning. It took him the longest to capture a win on the clay court, and he has just one championship at Roland-Garros.
Djokovic's demolition of lifelong rival Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final earned the 31-year-old Serb his 15th Grand Slam title, putting him ahead of Pete Sampras and just two behind Nadal, five short of all-time male leader Roger Federer.
Kevin Anderson had that day off before the final yet he was extended to 6 1/2 hours in the semifinals by his pal and fellow giant, John Isner. Now 37, it is only natural the 20-time major champion is starting to show his age.
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The Serbian had a more or less flawless Australian Open campaign as he marched onto the final with minimum fuss. I practiced well, very well I think, but because of the things that happened to me in terms of surgery, then what happened in Abu Dhabi, I was not able to work that much the defensive game. "It's quite pleasantly surprising to myself, as well, even though I always believe I can play this way, visualize myself playing this way".
"I am already playing better".
"The ultimate challenge there is to win against Nadal". It will be different on the red dirt this year too, with the likely presence of Roger Federer. "But then you have (Dominic) Thiem and (Alexander) Zverev, and Roger (Federer) is probably going to play, and you have a lot of great players on clay who can challenge me or anybody else". "This time previous year, we were not even really discussing much about him other than, 'Can he get back to full health?' Now, he's won the last three majors in a row, so he's shown us anything's possible". No man in history has won more than Federer's 20.
Losing to Cecchinato fired him up while overcoming Nadal restored belief after a slump and elbow surgery took its toll.
"At this level, as I said, under the circumstances, it was truly a ideal match".
"That's really the only thing that I hope, is to have the chance to keep practicing well and to have the chance to keep playing with healthy conditions".
And while those within the game knew all about Naomi Osaka, she made sure her talent is more obvious to more people.
"I'm just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months", said an emotional Djokovic, pausing for breath to compose himself and not become tearful.