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Image: Dita Alangkara/AP/Press Association Images

Novak Djokovic wins the Australian Open Final

The Serb beat Andy Murray in four sets to complete a memorable victory in Melbourne
Jan 27th 2013, 12:30 PM 7,779 28

NOVAK DJOKOVIC is the Australian Open champion after beating Andy Murray in four sets in Melbourne.

The Serb lost the first set, but won the match 6-7 (7/2) 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 6-2 in front of a massive crowd on the Rod Laver Arena.

The first two sets went entirely with serve, with both players swapping tie-break successes.

However, Murray began to struggle with the heat, blisters on his right foot and a hamstring problem, and Djokovic gradually began to assert his dominance.

The first break of the game finally arrived late in the third set, after which Murray gave only glimpses of the fight that saw him defeat Roger Federer in the semi-finals.

As the Scot weakened, Djokovic just got stronger.

The world’s best players broke Murray twice in the final set, and that was that. Djokovic has now become the first man in the Open era to win three successive Melbourne titles. This was his fourth Australian Open victory in total.

“Firstly congratulations to Novak,” said Murray afterwards.

“He is a very well deserved champion. Few people have managed to do what he has done. Well done to his team as well. You can’t do these things alone and I know they have been with him for a long time.

“I want to thank my team as well, they have done a great job with me. I also want to thank the crowd, there is a great atmosphere here and you are very fair.”

Djokovic also paid tribute to his opponent during his winner’s speech.

“I have to congratulate Andy and thank him for the kind words and congratulate him and his team,” said the 25-year-old. “(We’ve) played so many thrilling matches in the last three years and hopefully there are many more to come.

“What a joy, it’s an incredible feeling winning this trophy once more. It’s my favourite Grand Slam, my most successful Grand Slam.

“It was another fantastic tournament.

“I want to thank my team for always supporting me and being out there for me. You deserve this trophy as much as I do. I love you and I love the crowd out here.”

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Tony Cuddihy

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