How The Australian Open Final Was Won
by James Buddell|
World No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat World No. 5 Andy Murray of Great Britain 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in the Australian Open final on Sunday. It was Djokovic's second Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park. It was their eighth meeting. Here is a breakdown of how the final was won.
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In an eagerly anticipated encounter, 2008 titlist Djokovic put Murray under pressure in a 16-minute second game. Djokovic squandered one break point opportunity by hitting a forehand long before Murray closed out his service game on his fifth game point. Afterwards, Murray immediately called for a number of his racquets to be re-strung. With similar styles, both players were cancelling one another's games out. There were plenty of unforced errors as they were hitting close to the lines in order to attempt to get one another out of position. Djokovic, who had the advantage of serving first in the set, showcased incredible defence and the pressure eventually told on Murray's game. At 4-5, serving with a freshly strung racquet, Murray started by serving his second double fault of the match. In a 38-stroke rally at 15/30, Djokovic controlled the point and forced Murray into hitting a backhand crosscourt into the net. Djokovic clinched the 59-minute opening set, when Murray hit a forehand long. Djokovic had hit eight winners, committed 15 unforced errors and won 35 of 63 total points.
Djokovic maintained his high level of play in the second set, hitting with greater power and consistency in the baseline rallies. The Serbian converted his second break point by anticipating and scrambling up to a Murray drop shot to hit a backhand crosscourt winner for a 2-0 lead. Djokovic broke again two games later, when Murray lost his serve to love. A frustrated Murray - his game beginning to unravel - could not prevent Djokovic moving into a 5-0 lead, but the Scot did capitalise on a mental lapse by Djokovic to regain two games. At 2-5, 40/30 Murray hit a forehand wide before Djokovic set up his first set point opportunity with a superb running forehand, followed by a backhand approach winner. Pinning Murray behind the baseline, Djokovic smacked a forehand down the line, which his opponent netted, to take a commanding lead. Djokovic hit three aces, eight winners and committed just six unforced errors. He also won all four of his points at the net. Murray had won a total of six points on Djokovic's serve in two sets.
In the first game, Murray immediately went on the attack forcing Djokovic into three errors. The fifth seed capitalised on a short Djokovic approach shot and hit a forehand winner down the line to break serve. Murray was unable to confirm the break, however, as Djokovic reapplied the pressure to break to 15 for 1-1. Djokovic moved into a 3-1 lead, despite Murray saving six break points with fine serving. Once again, Djokovic showcased tremendous athleticism and defence from behind the baseline to force Murray into mistake. Murray got back to 3-3, re-igniting hopes of a comeback, but Djokovic re-established his authority by regaining control of the baseline and moving the Scot out of position. Too many unforced errors from Murray gifted Djokovic a 5-3 lead and in the following game, the 23 year old secured his second Grand Slam title win when Murray netted a crosscourt forehand at 40/30 after two hours and 39 minutes of play.
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