Djokovic Captures Second Grand Slam Title; Murray Beaten At Third Attempt
by Kate Flory|
ATP World Tour No. 3 Novak Djokovic captured his second Grand Slam championship trophy on Sunday evening in Melbourne as he produced a devastating display to beat Great Britain’s Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in the Australian Open final.
"[Winning a] Davis Cup title and another Grand Slam title. I'm living the dream of a tennis player, definitely," declared Djokovic. "I have been more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before. To be able to win in straight sets against a player like Andy Murray in the finals of Grand Slam, it makes my success even bigger."
The 23-year-old Serbian won his first major title three years ago when he defeated Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Melbourne. He is the 13th man in the Open Era to win multiple Australian Open titles.
Djokovic improved to a 2-2 record in Grand Slam finals. Prior to both his Australian Open triumphs he had finished runner-up at the US Open, losing out to Roger Federer in his first major final in 2007 and falling to Rafael Nadal last year.
Defeat for Murray marked his third defeat in three Grand Slam finals. The 23-year-old Scot was beaten by Federer in the 2008 US Open final and fell again to the Swiss in the championship match at Melbourne Park last year. The Dunblane native was bidding to become the first British male to win a Grand Slam championship since Fred Perry at the 1936 US Open.
"It's better than it was last year," said Murray on his feelings after the match. "It was obviously tough, disappointing. I thought Novak played unbelievably well. It's tough, but got to deal with it. Anyone who played in three finals would have loved to have won one. But I haven't. I just need to keep working hard and try and do it."
Speaking about Murray, whom he has known since they were teenagers, Djokovic commented, "I really have big respect for him and his game, because I think he has everything what it takes to become a Grand Slam champion. I'm sure that very soon he will be."
After reaching the US Open final in September, and saving two match points to beat Federer in the semi-finals in New York, Djokovic went on to have a strong finish to the 2010 ATP World Tour season, highlighted by leading Serbia to victory in the Davis Cup final.
Riding that wave of confidence, the Belgrade native has torn through the Australian Open draw over the past fortnight, dropping only one set en route to the title, including a straight-sets dismissal of Federer in the semi-finals. Djokovic has now won 19 tour-level titles, with 15 of those trophies coming on hard court – the fourth most hard-court titles among active players.
"This was a great match. From the start to the last point, I did what I intended of doing tactically, what I talked with my coach, what I prepared for," said Djokovic "It's the best way that I could ask for to start a season. Both of those guys [Federer and Murray] play their best tennis on the hard courts, as well as I do. But to be able to win against those players in straight sets is incredible.
"During this tournament I was feeling great on the court," added the Serb. "The Davis Cup win may have a big role in my great performance here in this tournament. After we won Davis Cup title I was feeling great on the court, just eager to compete."
Murray had impressed on his route through the draw, not dropping a set until the quarter-finals and battling past World No. 7 David Ferrer in the semi-finals. However, the Scot was hindered by committing 47 unforced errors in his eighth meeting with Djokovic, and, in turn, the Serb produced a blistering display as he dominated the baseline rallies and broke serve seven times from 18 opportunities to prevail in two hours and 39 minutes.
"I would have liked to have played better," confessed Murray. "But I think he would have beaten every other player on the tour if he played like that tonight. He served well. He didn't make many mistakes from the back of the court. He moved really, really well. He hit the ball very clean.
"I look at the tournament as a whole, it was excellent. I don't think anyone would say that reaching a slam final is a bad achievement. It's a very, very good achievement. I'll be very happy with the way the tournament went. But I would have obviously liked to have gone one step further."