Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Australian Open to become the first player in the Open Era to hoist that trophy three years in a row.
With extensive baseline rallies, a well contested opening set left Djokovic with a sour taste after he failed to capitalize on four break points in the sixth game and another in the eighth. Ultimately, the set was settled by a tiebreaker.
As a result of a double fault, Djokovic spotted his opponent a 1-0 advantage. From there, Murray took full advantage and ran away with the tiebreaker 7-2.
Subsequent to a love hold, Murray had triple break point courtesy of a litany of miscues by Djokovic, By reverting to his defensive style, Murray wasted those opportunities which allowed Djokovic to guard serve for 1 all.
As the second set progressed, each player dug in and protected serve quite comfortably. Again, a tiebreaker was needed to decide the set’s winner.
This time around, Murray made the misstep with a double fault to gift Djokovic a 3-2 lead. As the former dumped a backhand crosscourt into the net, Djokovic arrived at triple set point. The world number one converted when Murray ended another point by slicing a backhand into the net.
With both competitors at one set a piece and cruising on serve, the third appeared to be heading to a tiebreaker. But, in the eighth game, Djokovic turned on the heat.
By striking a forehand down the line winner, Djokovic secured triple break point. When Murray flubbed a forehand, Djokovic banked the first break of the night and a 5-3 edge. Soon, with an uneventful service game, Djokovic closed out the set.
In the initial game of the following set, Djokovic fended off a break point opportunity in Murray’s favor. Later on, the Serb forced a backhand mistake form Murray to pocket a break for 2-1.
Soon, Djokovic built a cushion by obtaining a second break for 4-1. Djokovic never looked back. He went on to pocket his fourth title Down Under, tying him with Roger Federer and Andre Agassi as the most decorated contestants in the Open Era at the Australian Open.
On his way to the final, Djokovic survived a five hour and two minute marathon, the fourth longest match at the Australian Open. In the round of 16, Djokovic edged Stanislas Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set.
Murray, the reigning U.S. Open champion, became the initial individual in the open era to reach the next major’s final immediately after claiming his first. However, in making Murray a bridesmaid in Melbourne for the third time, Djokovic denied Murray the honor of being the first in the open era to follow his maiden with a second major trophy.