"Apparently the doctor said I wasn't hydrated enough".
"Verbally we did have some exchanges, but no insults because if I did insult him, I would get a warning".
It was a key shot against both Nadal and Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals but here Thiem, who had spent almost six hours longer on court than Djokovic on the way to the final, could not quite keep it under control. When Djokovic won the first set, the Austrian's chances seemed to dim and later he said, "I've rarely felt physically that tired".
"Grand slams are one of the main reasons why I am still competing and still playing full season, trying to obviously get the historic No.1".
Djokovic saved to go ahead for the first time since the first set - and he still looked like losing the match.
Long ago, another Austrian named Franz Klammer, won Olympic downhill skiing gold by performing on the very edge that separates brilliance from madness. "They are the ones I prioritise", he said. It's roughly this place where Thiem arrived, embracing risk and ripping shots that peeled away paint from the lines.
The second violation for failing to begin his service motion before the 25-second serve clock had elapsed dramatically caused Djokovic to surrender his first serve when he was serving down two break points. Be with our families, stay close to the people that love you, care about you.
"It wasn't meant to be - tough luck", Djokovic said.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning the final.
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"I would like to start by saying congratulations to Dominic for an awesome tournament", Djokovic, 32, said during the on-court ceremony at the Rod Laver Arena.
But after two French Open final defeats to Rafael Nadal, another slam setback will feel more painful by the day, particularly as he was in the ascent this time.
He returned to his chair fuming and paused to sarcastically pat chair umpire Damien Dumusois's sneaker, telling the Frenchman: "Great job man, you made yourself famous in this match, especially for the second one".
Thiem won the next point to carve out two break-point opportunities. Djokovic eclipsed that total in the first set alone Sunday and finished with 57.
He went on to drop six straight games after the code violations were handed down, only waking up at 4-0 down in the third set.
Thiem was solving the Djokovic puzzle, but only temporarily it turned out.
That may be an admittedly crude measure of doggedness, but it does show that if it's going to go the distance, Djokovic will far more often than not be the victor.
Perhaps that is why he lost his way, an errant forehand allowing Djokovic back into the contest.
Given a time violation warning by Dumusois - Djokovic has always been one who takes his time ahead of serves like Nadal - the Frenchman issued him another warning in the same game when he exceeded the 25-second limit.
Thiem, who had his own anxious moments searching for depth on his ground strokes, served out the set, and cruised through the third. He appeared a man who had transcended the game. It has nevertheless been a strong tournament for the Scot, who also won the doubles title with Alfie Hewett.