Djokovic defeats Murray to complete Australian Open hat-trick

2013-01-27 23:47:35 GMT2013-01-28 07:47:35(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after winning the men's singles final against Andy Murray of Britain at the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 27, 2013. Novak Djokovic won 3-1 to claim the champion. (Xinhua/Chen Xiaowei)Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after winning the men's singles final against Andy Murray of Britain at the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 27, 2013. Novak Djokovic won 3-1 to claim the champion. (Xinhua/Chen Xiaowei)

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated U.S. Open champion Andy Murray in four sets to win his fourth Australian Open title here on Sunday.

With the victory Djokovic also became the first man in the Open era to win three straight Australian titles.

The 25-year-old Serb used three hours and 40 minutes to win 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3 and 6-2, and denied Murray's hope of a back-to-back second Grand Slam win.

"I knew that it's going to be physically demanding, a lot of long rallies, so I needed to hang in there," said Djokovic.

"It's hard. When you play one of your biggest rivals and somebody that is in the top form in finals of a Grand Slam, there is a lot to play for."

After losing an opening set he probably should have won, with five break points to none for Murray, Djokovic turned the tables in the second set by grabbing the tiebreak.

Murray then required a medical treatment for blisters at the changeover and failed to capitalise on 0-40 at the start of the third set. He then began to grimace between points, clearly struggling to move freely.

It was Djokovic who took the first break of serve after two hours and 52 minutes' absorbing but rarely thrilling tennis.

A thumping forehand into the corner set him on the way at 4-3, and despite saving two break points from 0-40, Murray could not resist any longer and netted a forehand.

Djokovic went on a run of eight out of nine games as he moved two sets to one up and the Scot's serve unravelled, the double-fault count rising to five after just two in his other six matches in Melbourne.

Unhappy with the umpire for not clamping down on shouts from the crowd, and with his movement hindered, Murray cut a dispirited figure as Djokovic powered towards another major win.

"I think in the first two sets I have more chances on his serve. I think I had 40-0 in the beginning of the second set," said Murray. "Then obviously in the the third and fourth set, he broke at 4-3, got up 0-40, I saved a couple of them, and then he managed to break."

"That was obviously one of the differences," Murray added.

With six Grand Slam victories, Djokovic matches the likes of Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Don Budge and Jack Crawford in the all-time list, while his rival lost in his all three appearances in the final of the Australian Open.

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