Top seed Novak Djokovic overcame Andy Murray to claim his fifth Australian Open title, and become just the second man since legendary Roy Emerson to achieve that feat.
Djokovic, 27, defeated Murray in four sets for the third time in final at Melbourne Park 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-4) 6-3 6-0 to improve to 5-0 against the British No. 1 since losing the 2013 Wimbledon.
The Serb has now won eight career Grand Slam titles and has completed his 50th match win at the Australian Open on Sunday as well. He also defeated the No. 6 seed in the 2011 and 2013 title matches.
“I’m privileged to be on the elite group of athletes who’ve won 8 Grand Slams,” Djokovic said in his interview.
It was not an ideal finish to a great tournament for Murray, who arrived for the Australian summer with an unbeaten singles runs at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi and the Hopman Cup in Perth and appeared to have regained his confidence through each round en route to the re-enactment of one of tennis’ most friendly rivalry.
“To me the reason why I lost that match was not a physical reason because I feel fine now,” said two-time Grand Slam winner, Murray, 27. “I couldn’t have done anything more. I couldn’t have prepared better. So I can’t be disappointed.
“My job now is to try and maintain my consistency for the rest of the season.”
The Dunblane native, who also lost the same title to Roger Federer in 2010, has now finished as runner-up four times. He would have become the first player in the Open Era to lose three finals before winning the title had the things gone his way at Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic’s first Australian Open success came in 2008 (defeating Joe-Wilfried Tsonga) and followed that with three successive triumphs between 2011 and 13.
Australia’s Emerson won his first Australian Open title in 1961 and followed with five successive wins from 1963-1967. He also won two French Open, Wimbledon and US Open apiece.