MELBOURNE, Australia – Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open title and extended Andy Murray’s misery at Melbourne Park by beating the Scotsman 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0 in the final Sunday.
Murray has now been a losing finalist four times here, losing twice previously to Djokovic in 2011 and 2013 and to Roger Federer in 2010. Djokovic is a perfect 5-for-5 in Australian Open finals and has eight Grand Slam titles.
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Djokovic swung momentum in a close match with a service break in the eighth game of the third set, winning four straight points. When he took a 4-0 lead in the last set, he smacked his fist hard against his chest in celebration.
At the end of the match, Djokovic threw his racket into the crowd at Rod Laver Arena.
Roy Emerson, the only other man with five or more Australian titles, was in the crowd and Djokovic acknowledged the presence of the six-time champion.
“I’m so grateful to be standing here as a champion for the fifth time, and to be in the elite group of players – Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and all the legends of our sport,” Djokovic said.
Murray sat slumped over in his chair after the match, awaiting the presentations, and once again received the runner-up plate instead of the trophy.
“I had amazing support again here,” Murray said. “It’s been my most consistent Grand Slam of my career. I haven’t been quite able to win, but the support I’ve received here has been amazing. I’ll try and come back next year and hopefully have a slightly different outcome in the final.”
Djokovic faced three break points in the third game of the opening set but saved them all, twice coming to the net, including on game point, to hold and take a 2-1 lead. He broke Murray in the next game, but Murray got back on serve when he broke Djokovic in the seventh game.
Djokovic served for the first set after breaking Murray in the eighth game, but Murray broke back. After that game, Djokovic had a trainer attend to this right thumb.
He double-faulted to open the tiebreaker but then, after Murray took a 2-1 lead, won five of the next six points to regain control. He clinched the set when Murray netted a backhand service return.
In the second set, Djokovic saved a set point in the 10th game and Murray saved three break points in the 11th before it went to the tiebreaker. Sixth-seeded Murray dominated the breaker to lead 6-2, securing four set points before clinching it on Djokovic’s serve.
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The second set was delayed for about five minutes after the seventh game when a court invader protesting Australia’s refugee policies was removed by security after stepping on to the court. Other spectators in the stadium unfurled a political banner.
Djokovic broke Murray’s serve in the eighth game of the third set, winning four straight points, prompting the Scottish player to throw his racket and yell repeatedly into his towel. The crowd booed Murray’s display.
There was a bigger cheer for Djokovic when the introductions were made, but plenty of Scottish flags in the stands. Some Serbian fans yelled “Adje Nole” – Serbian for Come on Nole, which is Djokovic’s nickname.
Before the match began, Andy Murray’s fiancee, Kim Sears, caused a stir. She was dressed in an oversized T-shirt with a message that poked fun at the widespread attention paid to her use of colorful language during Murray’s semifinal win over Tomas Berdych.
Rather than shy away from the issue, Sears’ T-shirt for the final showed a sense of humour. It read: “Parental Advisory Explicit Content.”