Djokovic captures fifth Aussie Open title

Melbourne, Australia ( – Novak Djokovic captured a men’s
Open Era-record fifth Australian Open title on Sunday by defeating Andy
Murray in the final in Melbourne.

The world No. 1 great secured his fourth Aussie title in five years by
handling the sixth-seeded Murray 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-0 in 3 hours, 39
minutes at Rod Laver Arena. This was the first time that a men’s Aussie final
ended with a love set.

It marked Djokovic’s eighth career Grand Slam title in 15 major finals. He’s
also the reigning Wimbledon champ.

Djokovic joined Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi as an eight-
time major champ in the Open Era.

The great Djokovic also joined Stefan Edberg and Roger Federer as the only men
in the Open Era to play in five finals at the Aussie Open. He has won all five
of his finals here, including three now against Murray, who also gave way to
the Serb in the 2011 and 2013 finals, as well as a semifinal here in 2012.

Djokovic and the now four-time runner-up Murray are the only pair in the Open
Era to contest three Aussie Open title tilts.

Djokovic snuck out the ultra-tight 72-minute opening set via tiebreak before
Murray returned the favor in a grueling 80-minute second. Both stanzas
featured fierce ball striking, lengthy and physical rallies, and gut-busting
court coverage.

But the match would take a turn for Djokovic in the third.

After trailing 0-2, he broke an agitated Murray to even the set at 2-all,
consolidated the break with a hold and then would simply manage to cruise from

The Serbian stalwart won 12 of the final 13 games, including nine in a row to
seal the deal in Melbourne. The match came to a close when a weary Murray
netted one final backhand.

Djokovic broke Murray a whopping nine times, while the British star settled
for five breaks in a losing effort. Murray only managed to win 14 of his 41
second-serve points for a paltry 34 percent.

The mighty Djokovic is now 12-0 versus Murray after winning the first set of
their encounters.

“I want to congratulate Andy for a great tournament. Bad luck tonight,”
Djokovic said. “But most importantly I want to congratulate you and Kim
[Sears] on your engagement. I wish you a wonderful wedding and lots of kids.

Djokovic also thanked his coach, Boris Becker, and his entourage: “They
sacrifice their lives in order for me to be out here. Without their support,
this wouldn’t be possible.”

A protester was stopped on court by security during the second set, causing
a brief delay in play.

Tournament organizers said two people were arrested by police.

“Security responded immediately. Both were quickly removed with minimal
disruption to play,” tournament organizers said.

Security guards caught one court invader, who was wearing a white shirt with
the message “Australia Open for Refugees,” near the baseline during a
changeover after the seventh game of the second set. The players were
surrounded by security staff while stadium officials rushed into action.

A group of other people who had unfurled a large banner with the same message
was escorted out of Laver Arena.

Djokovic improved to 16-8 lifetime against his fellow 27-year-old Murray,
including 5-2 at Grand Slam events, and the Serb is now 3-2 in their career
Grand Slam finals.

Djokovic is also now 5-2 versus Murray in best-of-five-set matches.

Murray had been 5-4 against Djokovic in their overall career finals matchups
prior to Sunday.

“It’s been probably the most consistent Grand Slam of my career — I just
haven’t been able to win it,” said Murray after his first major final
appearance since back surgery in late 2013.

“We put in a lot of hard work to get back into this position,” he added,
paying tribute to Amelie Mauresmo and his team. “I’m a little bit closer than
I was a few months ago, and I’ll continue to work hard to get there.

“I’ll try and come back next year and have a different outcome in the final.”

Djokovic improved to 49-22 in his overall career finals, while Murray dropped
to 31-15, including 2-6 at the majors.

Djokovic now owns 50 career match wins at the Aussie, where only Federer
(75-12) and Edberg (56-10) have secured more victories at this hardcourt major
in the Open Era.

The amazing Djokovic has won his last 10 matches against fellow Top-10

Djokovic claimed a first-place check worth just over $2.4 million, while
Murray settled for $1.2 million as the bridesmaid.