Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open and eighth career Grand Slam on Sunday night, wearing down Andy Murray and defeating the Scot for the third time in a final at Melbourne Park. Djokovic prevailed 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0 in three hours and 39 minutes. The title ties Djokovic with Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall for eighth place on the all-time list for most major championships. Djokovic won his first Aussie crown in 2008 followed by three successive victories from 2011-13. The wins in 2011 and 2013 came at Murray’s expense. After two see-saw first sets, spanning two hours and 32 minutes and decided in tight tiebreakers, Murray seemed primed to wrest control of the match when he broke and held for a 2-0 lead in the third set. Djokovic looked a bit wobbly from the grueling rallies and eight service breaks which the opening sets featured. But just like that Djokovic appeared to flip a switch, shortening the points and playing with renewed energy and confidence. The Serb would capture 12 of the last 13 games and win going away. “I was just weak,” Djokovic said, denying that he was beginning to cramp at the beginning of the third set. “I went through a physical crisis in the matter of 20 minutes. And, honestly, I didn’t feel that too many times in my career. But knowing in the back of my mind that it was a similar situation two years ago in the Australian Open final [against Murray], where two sets went over two hours, it was a similar battle. Then, I felt that I had some physical edge over him in that match. That was in the back of my mind.” Rebounding from the 2-0 deficit, Djokovic broke for 2-2 and again for 5-3 to take complete control of the match. Murray was done and had no fight-back left. “Obviously I had opportunities in the first three sets,” Murray said. “In the fourth set, I mean, he was just ripping everything. Returns he was hitting on the baseline. Once he got up a break, he just loosened up and was going for his shots. I couldn’t recover.” At the end of the match, Djokovic tossed his racket into the crowd at Rod Laver Arena and afterward acknowledged Australian great and six-time title holder Roy Emerson, who was in attendance. Emerson is the only other player with five or more Australian titles. “I’m so grateful to be standing here as a champion for the fifth time, and to be in the elite group of players,” Djokovic said in post-match remarks.
Djokovic Whips Murray Once Again to Win Australian Open
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