Novak Djokovic sailed past a tired Andy Murray to claim his third successive Australian Open title, the first man since Roy Emerson’s five straight between 1963-67 to secure a hat-trick at the grand slam event.
His fourth Australian Open title, and sixth grand slam championship, Djokovic joined rare company in Andre Agassi and Roger Federer as four-time winners Down Under.
Djokovic was dominant in the three hour and 40 minute encounter, doing everything necessary to defeat a sound opponent in Murray, the same man that had bested him in last year’s US Open final.
The 6-7(2) 7-6(3) 6-3 6-2 win was punctuated by long rallies and spectacular strokes between the childhood rivals and the extra day of rest the Serbian had over Murray seemed to make up the difference.
Murray crumbled towards the end of the second set. His five set marathon against Roger Federer in the second semi-final may have simply been too taxing. Djokovic quelled the unforced errors he had been bleeding in the opening set while Murray began to commit a few of his own- punctuated by an embarrassing double fault at two points apiece in the tiebreaker.
“What more motivation you need than from this trophy?” Djokovic said after receiving the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup from former great Agassi.
“Just seeing it and reading the names of the winners in last 50, 100 years, it's incredible. To be also mentioned in the history aspect, and winning three in a row, it's a huge achievement. I'm always motivated in every match that I play, but of course Grand Slam finals are always bringing something new, something special to every player, and that's where you want to perform your best.”
The loss was Murray’s third in an Australian Open final and he missed out on becoming the first man to back up a maiden grand slam victory with a follow up title in the next major.
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