Novak Djokovic became the first man in the Open era to win three straight Australian Open titles Sunday with a 6–7 (2), 7–6 (3), 6–3, 6–2 win over third-seeded Andy Murray.
This was the second straight major that paired these two in the title tilt with Murray having beaten Djokovic in last year’s U.S. Open. While that five-set marathon featured 17 breaks of serve, Sunday’s bout stayed on serve until midway through the third set when Djokovic finally broke Murray to go up 5–3.
By that time, Murray, who went five sets with Federer two days earlier in the semis and called for a trainer to look at his foot after the second set, was not moving so well and was visibly grimacing after rallies.
Murray was suffering from blisters which made it painful to run.
Meanwhile Djokovic, who has now won four Australian Opens and six majors altogether, took full advantage. The Serb, displaying incredible defense, had Murray on the run on the court and on the scoreboard winning eight of nine games after being tied at 3–3 in the third set to break open the match.
By the fourth frame, Murray was grabbing his hamstring as well, while Djokovic, who needed just 89 minutes in his semifinal match, seemed strong as ever, finishing out the match with his serve.
“I tried to be more aggressive, so I went for my shots, especially in the third and fourth,” Djokovic said on the Australian Open website after the match. Indeed, Djokovic was the aggressor hitting more winners, but also committing more unforced errors than his rival.
The Serb also dominated at the net winning a spectacular 35 of 41 points (85 percent).
In the end, Murray was unable to break Djokovic, who broke the Scot twice in the fourth set alone.
Djokovic has now won 21 straight matches in Melbourne at the Australian Open and has solidified his position as tennis’s top player.
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