AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2013
Djokovic Beats Murray For History-Making Melbourne Win
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic became the first man in the Open Era to win three successive Australian Open titles after rallying from behind to defeat No. 3 Andy Murray 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday night in Melbourne. Djokovic was presented with the trophy by Andre Agassi.
The Serbian captured his sixth Grand Slam championship. He won his first major title at the Australian Open in 2008 (d. Tsonga) and followed with titles at Melbourne Park in 2011 (d. Murray) and 2012 (d. Nadal) and at Wimbledon (d. Nadal) and the US Open (d. Nadal) in 2011. He is the third man in the Open Era to win four Australian Open titles, joining Agassi and Roger Federer.
"Winning it three [times] in a row, it's incredible," said Djokovic. "It's very thrilling. I'm full of joy right now. It's going to give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, that's for sure."
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Djokovic improved to an 11-7 record over Murray in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, avenging the five-set defeat he suffered to the Scot in last year’s US Open final. As well as defeating Murray in the 2011 Australian Open final, he also denied the Dunblane native in a pulsating five-set semi-final clash in Melbourne last year.
In the three-hour, 40-minute final, Djokovic came close to a two-set deficit, but fought back strongly to beat Murray. After surviving a 0/40 deficit in the second game of the second set, the Serb clinched the second-set tie-break and began to distance himself from Murray. Djokovic did not lose serve throughout.
Read: How The Final Was Won
"When you play one of your biggest rivals and somebody that is in top form in the finals of a Grand Slam, there is a lot to play for," said Djokovic. "I think it went two hours, 20 minutes, the first two sets. I think that says enough about the intensity of the match.
"There were a few turning points in the match. Maybe one of them was the second game in the second set when I was 0/40 against the breeze. He missed a few shots. I managed to have that crucial hold. After that I felt just mentally a little bit lighter and more confident on the court than I had done in the first hour or so."
Both Murray and Djokovic came through testing matches to reach the final in Melbourne. The top-seeded Djokovic survived a five-set battle with Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round, edging the Swiss 12-10 after five hours of play, while Murray defeated second seed Roger Federer in five sets in the semi-finals.
Murray was attempting to become the first player to back up his first Grand Slam title with victory at the following major championship. The 25-year-old Scot ended Great Britain’s 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam champion when he triumphed at the US Open in September. He was contesting his third consecutive Grand Slam final, having finished runner-up to Roger Federer at Wimbledon last year.
"At this level it can come down to just a few points here or there," said Murray. "Probably my biggest chance was at the beginning of the second set; didn't quite get it. When Novak had his chance at the end of the third, he got his. When you go two sets to one down, 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."
Murray lost out in the final at Melbourne Park for the third time. In addition to his defeat to Djokovic in 2011, he was beaten by Federer in 2010. The right-hander has a 1-5 record in major finals, having also fallen to Federer in the 2008 US Open title match.
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