Novak Djokovic claimed his second title at the Australian Open in dominating style on Sunday when he hammered Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
Djokovic claimed victory in 2 hours 37 minutes. The Serb dropped just one set in seven matches as he backed up the Melbourne trophy he won in 2008 when he beat Jo—Wilfried Tsonga.
Murray, seeded fifth, failed for the third time to become the first Briton to win a men’s singles title at the majors since Fred Perry at the 1936 U.S. Open. Murray lost the 2008 U.S. Open and 2010 Melbourne finals against Swiss Roger Federer, also in straight sets.
Djokovic’s victory completed a Davis Cup-Melbourne title double after he led Serbia to a first Davis title last month. The number three, who will remain on his current ranking behind Rafael Nadal and Federer, became the first man to complete that trophy feat since Jim Courier in the 1990s.
Djokovic had 26 winners and nine breaks from 17 chances. Murray was decimated by 47 unforced errors.
Djokovic takes the initiative
Djokovic began the evening with a decisive love game and then forced Murray to work hard in a second game spanning five deuces, which the Scot finally held for 1-1. The pair then settled in for a slugfest from the baseline.
With the first three games requiring 24 minutes, Djokovic finally broke the leisurely rhythm as he earned two set points on the Murray serve in the 10th game at the end of a brutal 39-stroke rally.
One chance was all it took as the Scot sent a return just over the baseline, confirmed by a Hawk-eye electronic replay which ended the 59-minute opener.
There was no stopping the charged-up Serb in the second set as Djokovic seized control to run out a 5-0 lead, with Murray’s body language and demeanour indicating a massive, growing frustration.
Djokovic knocked off a volley winner to earn a set point, but drove a forehand long in the sixth game. Murray avoided a love game by a hair as he fired an ace to get out of jail and onto the scoreboard, 1-5.
But the surprises didn’t end there, with Djokovic suddenly losing his way as he served for a two-set-to-love lead, dropping serve to love on forehand errors as Murray clawed back to 2-5. Djokokvic stopped the rot on his second set point, sending Murray deep and forcing a return error.
The third set featured breaks in four of the first five games.
Djokovic takes charge
Murray played a heroic fourth game, saving six break points before Djokovic fired a winner past the Scot for a 3-1 lead.
Murray tied again at 3-3 but Djokovic broke again for 5-3 and served out the victory a game later as Murray suffered a pair of forehand errors to end it.