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Djokovic’s Australian reign continues

Novak Djokovic has overcome a weary Andy Murray 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2 to win his fourth Australian Open title and become the only man in the open era, and first since Roy Emerson, to win three consecutive Australian Open titles

20130128-090725.jpgIn a rematch of the 2012 US Open Final, Murray started the stronger of the two players holding his serve easily and putting Djokovic’s serve under pressure in the early games. However, a fantastic backhand passing shot down the line from Djokovic to snatch a 3-2 lead caused the momentum to shift in Djokovic’s direction. The following two service games saw Novak have a total of five separate opportunities to break serve however Andy stayed resolute and managed to force a first set tie-break. It was in this tie-break where Murray came to the party. Andy had all the answers for a flustered Djokovic, who on his 25th unforced error, forfeited the 68 minute long set 7 points to 2 in the tie-break.

Murray continued where he left off at the start of the second set, quickly winning the first seven points to set-up 0-40 and a triple break point opportunity on Djokovic’s serve. It was at this point in the match when the world number one was most tested and as all great players do he came out of the challenge with flying colours managing to salvage a hold of serve in this service game even when it looked impossible to achieve. The set continued to follow the trend that was established in the first set; solid serving with minimal break point opportunities. In fact after the second game neither player had another break point chance for the set and Murray didn’t drop a point when he made a first serve in the second set either. The tie-break told a different story this time around though. Ironically, it was in fact a small feather that interrupted the Scot’s concentration causing him to double fault and give Djokovic an early mini break in the tie-break. Djokovic capitalised on this half-chance that was given to him, ensuring that the 65 minute set went his way 7 points to 3 in the tie-break.

At the end of the second set, Murray received treatment for severe blisters on his feet. Unfortunately it was noticeable that these blisters were causing Murray a degree of discomfort and his movement around the court was distinctly hampered. It was a 36 shot rally, that was finished off with a Djokovic backhand crosscourt winner in the 8th game of the set that set-up a 0-40 opportunity for the Joker to gain the first break of the match. Djokovic eventually made the most of this opportunity on his third attempt. Novak had little trouble closing the set out in the following game, not dropping a point and seizing control of the match with a 6-3 third set win to set up a dominant position in the match with a 2 sets to 1 lead.

Djokovic continued his ascendancy by breaking Murray in the third game of the fourth set and then again in his very next service game to establish a insurmountable double break, 4-1 lead. From here on in it was a mere formality for the best man on the planet, eventually winning the decisive set 6-2 and once again proving to the world why Novak Djokovic deserves to sit on top of the Men’s tennis tree.

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