Novak Djokovic continued his perfect streak in six Australian Open finals on Sunday. He beat Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (3), handing the Scottish player his fifth defeat in championship deciders at Melbourne Park.
Novak Djokovic on Sunday defended his Australian Open title, defeating the same man he beat last year, Andy Murray – only this time it was easier.
Djokovic cruised to a straight set victory including a breezy 6-1 opening set. Murray, the world’s number two player, pulled his game together thereafter and fought hard, but he still could not overcome the world’s number one player, dropping the next two sets, 7-5, 7-6 (3).
Last year, Murray won the second set, forcing Djokovic to a work a fourth set, but Djokovic was at his tenacious best on Sunday, prevailing in the baseline duels at Rod Laver Arena.
The results were all too familiar for both men. Djokovic has won five of the last six Australian Opens, and he has beaten Murray in four of them.
Tying Roy Emerson
The win was the 28-year-old Djokovic’s 11th grand slam title, tying him with Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg for No. 5 on the all-time list. In winning his sixth Australian Open title, Djokovic equaled Roy Emerson's long-standing record.
Murray, on the other hand, has now lost five Australian finals, becoming only the second man to lose five finals at one major. Ivan Lendl lost five US Open finals in the 1980s, but he also won three.
Statistically today’s match had some bright spots for the outplayed Scot. He had 12 aces and 40 winners, compared to seven and 31, respectively, for his Serbian opponent. But unforced errors erased any chances Murray might have had at an upset. He committed a whopping 65, to just 40 for Djokovic, who was a gracious winner.
"First of all I need to pay the respect to Andy and his team," Djokovic said. "Tough match, tough luck tonight. You're a great champion, great friend, very committed to this sport. I'm sure in the future you're going to have many opportunities."
The 28-year-old Murray had his share of distractions during the course of the tournament.
His pregnant wife is home in Britain - due to give birth to their first child in February. Andhis father-in-law was rushed to hospital by ambulance during the tournament.
"It's been a tough few weeks for me away from the court," Murray said, thanking his support team before turning his attention to his wife, Kim.
"You've been a legend the last two weeks. Thank you so much for all your support," Murray said, choking back tears. "I'll be on the next flight home."
bik/sms (AP, Reuters, AFP)