Novak Djokovic v Rafeal Nadal
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men's singles final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 29, 2012. Reuters

In perhaps the greatest Grand Slam singles final in history, top seed Novak Djokovic outlasted No. 2 Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 after 5 hours, 53 minutes to win his third Australian Open title.

Djokovic, 24, became the fifth man since the Open Era began in 1968 to win three straight Grand Slam finals. It was the longest final ever, and was nearly an hour longer than the previous longest final when Mats Wilander defeated Ivan Lendl at the 1988 US Open.

Both Djokovic and Nadal looked exhausted by the time the trophies were presented.

We made history tonight and unfortunately there couldn't be two winners, Djokovic said.

Some of the statistics of the match proved how even the match was. Djokovic committed 69 unforced errors, while Nadal committed 71. Nadal had 10 aces while Djokovic had nine.

That's gotta be the toughest defeat of [Nadal's] career, said legend John McEnroe, and current ESPN analyst.

McEnroe said Djokovic should have won in four sets, but that it was Nadal's sheer will that got him back in it. Nadal had a chance to put Djokovic away in the fifth set, but couldn't manage to hold on.

Here are the highlights from the classic marathon between Djokovic and Nadal:

Open d'Australie : Djokovic remporte la finale... by BFMTV