Djokovic downs Murray, captures fourth Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic makes it three in a row Down Under as he beats Andy Murray in four sets on Sunday night. Djokovic comes back from a set down to capture his sixth Grand Slam title, fourth in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic stormed past Andy Murray 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Australian Open on Sunday night. Djokovic needed three hours and 40 minutes to capture his fourth title in Melbourne and triumph at a Grand Slam for the sixth time in his career.

Murray was ultimately rewarded for playing a much cleaner first set than his opponent (nine winners and 12 unforced errors to Djokovic’s 14 winners and 25 mistakes). But it was Djokovic who had chances to prevent a tiebreaker. Melbourne’s two-time defending champion earned four break points in the sixth game and one more in the eighth game, but he could not convert. Four ensuing holds without any drama set up the ‘breaker, which Murray dominated from start to finish.

Djokovic wins a point from the ground during the first set:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq34MtWJvbE]

Roles were reversed in the second set, with Djokovic fighting hard to stay alive before rolling through another tiebreaker. The world No. 1 dug out of a 0-40 hole in his opening service game, saving two break points with aggressive play and benefiting from one errant Murray backhand. He snagged an initial mini-break at 3-2 in the decider thanks to a Murray double-fault and never looked back.

After 31 service games, the first break of the match finally came with Murray toeing the line at 3-4 in the third. Djokovic took control right away by winning a 36-ball rally and he eventually capitalized on his third break chance of the game when Murray netted a forehand. The top-seeded Serb closed things out immediately thereafter with a love hold.

Djokovic had momentum squarely in his corner ever since the hold from 0-40 down in the second–and especially after the first break in the third. He never came close to relinquishing his stranglehold throughout the fourth. Murray, struggling physically, dropped serve at 1-1 and again at 1-3 with a double-fault on break point. Djokovic continued to hold from there and a final climb out of 0-30 at 5-2 clinched the championship.

Match point and Djokovic’s victory dance:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L_8A8BZGSE]

“What a joy. It’s an incredible feeling,” said the champion, who now owns six major titles. “It’s definitely my favorite Grand Slam; my most successful Grand Slam. I love this court.

“When you play one of your biggest rivals and somebody that is in the top form in finals of a Grand Slam, there is a lot to play for. I think it went two hours 20 minutes, the first two sets. I think that says enough about the intensity of the match. There was a few turning points in the match. Maybe one of them was the second game in the second set when I was love-40 against the breeze. He missed a few shots. I managed have that crucial hold. After that I felt just mentally a little bit lighter and more confident on the court than I’ve done in the first hour or so.”

“Obviously when you go two sets to one down, you know you really need to get off to a good start the beginning of the fourth set because most of the guys at the top of the game, when they get a lead and momentum, it’s tough to stop them,” explained Murray, who won the 2012 U.S. Open but is 1-5 lifetime in slam finals. “I couldn’t quite capitalize on my chances on his serve. That was a disappointing part.

Djokovic finished the final with 47 winners and 61 unforced errors. Murray, who is 1-5 lifetime in slam title matches, recorded 29 winners and 46 errors.

Novak Djokovic transcript

Andy Murray transcript

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