Djokovic now on the brink of history

Updated: January 29, 2012, 7:23 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

As the fourth set melted into the fifth and the fifth hour approached an unfathomable sixth, this tennis match seemed to pass into the surreal: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, exhausted but transcendent in their Australian Open final that ended early Monday morning, flashing shots in an endless loop.

When the last ball shot dropped -- a staggering 5 hours and 53 minutes after it started -- Djokovic watched his savage forehand disappear into the shadows, fell to his back and ...

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