MELBOURNE (Reuters) - With the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup sitting a few centimetres away from his left hand, Novak Djokovic was a contented man at his post-match media conference.
He should have been.
The world number one had just beaten Andy Murray in the Australian Open final to claim his fourth title at Melbourne Park, his third in succession and the sixth grand slam title in his career.
“It’s amazing. I’m just trying to embrace this moment and enjoy it as much as I can and see where tomorrow brings me,” he told reporters after the four-set victory. “I mean, 25 years old and I won six grand slams and have a lot of trophies.
“I’m fortunate to have this opportunity and to succeed.”
Djokovic’s success on Rod Laver Arena is unprecedented in the professional era, something the Serb was well aware of given the tough nature of professional sport.
“There are so many athletes, professional tennis players around the world and it’s such a global sport, they want to be the best in what they do,” he added.
“They want to succeed. Many of them, they don’t succeed in the end.
“Generally I’m aware of the fact that it’s an incredible trip for me, you know, being a professional tennis player.”
Long considered the ‘Djoker’ on Tour, his natural frivolity was reined in he tried to fulfil his promise.
The hilarious on-court impersonations disappeared, but since he broke the Roger Federer-Rafa Nadal duopoly in 2011 by winning three grand slam titles, his exuberant character had reappeared.
At this year’s Australian Open, he was caught on closed circuit television ‘Gangnam Style’ dancing with security staff and teaching young players some break dance moves.
Just minutes after his semi-final victory over David Ferrer he also appeared on court with a doctor’s lab coat and stethoscope during a legends doubles match to provide ‘medical attention’ to Henri Leconte.
“I’m just trying to play this game with 100 percent of devotion, love, passion, and fun also,” he added.
“I mean, what else can you do but to be happy and try to bring that joy to the other people around, especially in the tournaments?”
Djokovic, who posed for several photos with exuberant fans after the final as he made his way to media commitments with the trophy, also provided a surprise for the assembled reporters.
“Don’t you take those chocolates,” he smilingly admonished a tennis official in the media conference room.
“There is a little tradition that we try to initiate in World Tour Finals in London, the end of the year, the last press conference, (and) give chocolate to all the people who were in the press.
“I want to start the year with the same thing, if you allow me. Let’s keep it sweet.”
Like his life right now.
Editing by John Mehaffey