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How The Australian Open Final Was Won

Melbourne, Australia

Djokovic© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic celebrates winning the 2013 Australian Open title.

Top seed Novak Djokovic became just the third man in tennis history to win three straight Australian Open titles on Sunday with a 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 victory over third seed Andy Murray.

Djokovic also joined Andre Agassi (1995, 2000-01, 2003) and Roger Federer (2004, 2006-07, 2010) as a four-time winner in the Open Era. Murray, who is seven days older than Djokovic, also lost in the final in 2010 (l. to Federer) and 2011 (l. to Djokovic).

Djokovic now leads Murray 11-7 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Report: Djokovic Clinches Sixth Major Title

Reaction: Murray Upbeat Despite Loss

The Rivalry: Novak & Andy 

Read's analysis of how the final was won.

Murray did not drop a point in his first two service games; while Djokovic's aggressive game meant his unforced error count steadily increased. In the sixth game, Murray failed to hit first serves into court on four occasions and slipped to 15/40. The Scot recovered and saved a further two break points – including mini mental victories in 24 and 32-stroke rallies – before levelling at 3-3. Murray found himself under pressure at 3-4, when he saved a break point at 30/40 with a forehand approach, drive volley winning combination. After 59 minutes of play, the set was decided on a tie-break. Djokovic lost his composure early on, committing three groundstroke errors as Murray took a 4-0 lead. Murray went onto lead 6-1 and clinched his second set point opportunity when Djokovic hit his 25th unforced error to end the 68-minute opener.

Murray opened the set by holding to love as Djokovic showed signs of frustration. Struggling to hit winners with Murray’s defence the stronger, the Serbian fell to 0/40 in the second game. He eventually held, but kept looking up to his coach Marian Vajda for morale support. Murray, by contrast, was rarely tested in his service games. The pressure continued to build on Djokovic, as he served second in the set, but he battled to a tie-break. At 2-2, having hit a first serve long, Murray was interrupted by a small feather floating down onto the court. He subsequently double faulted and lost his concentration, with Djokovic winning three straight points for a 5-2 lead. Djokovic converted the first of his three set point chances, when Murray sliced a backhand into the net. Djokovic won 10 of his 12 points at the net in the 65-minute set. Murray received treatment for blisters on his feet.

The standard of the tennis levelled out in the third set. Neither player challenged on serve until the start of the eighth game, when Djokovic won a 36-stroke rally that highlighted the top seed's growing confidence. Djokovic, playing on the baseline, started firing forehand winners and Murray found himself at 0/40. Murray saved two break points, but he then hit a powerful crosscourt forehand into the top of the net tape. Serving at 5-3, Djokovic won four straight points to seize control of the final. Djokovic hit two aces and 10 winners in the 41-minute set, leaving Murray in a dangerous position.

Djokovic began his march to a sixth Grand Slam championship crown in the third game of the third set, when he had Murray serving at 15/40. Murray saved the first break point with a big first serve, but he then got jammed up and mis-timed a backhand to give Djokovic a 2-1 lead. Djokovic broke for a second time to open up a 4-1 advantage, when Murray hit a double fault at 30/40. Djokovic got off to a nervous start when he served for the championship at 5-2, with Murray playing two winning strokes to give himself a glimmer of hope. But Djokovic bounced back to create his own piece of history and deny Great Britain its first male champion at the Australian Open since 1934. The final lasted three hours and 40 minutes.

Video courtesy Tennis Australia. Visit the official tournament website

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