Novak Djokovic once again proved too strong for Andy Murray at Melbourne Park, resisting a spirited fightback from the Scot to claim his sixth Australian Open title. Djokovic’s 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) victory took his haul of majors to 11, drawing him level with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver.

Murray’s attempt to avoid a fourth Australian Open final defeat to Djokovic began promisingly when he fashioned a break point in the opening game. But the world No1 quickly snuffed out the danger, racing to a 5-0 lead before sealing the opening set in 30 minutes.

Murray fought back strongly in the second set, his serve improving markedly as he staved off an early break point with an ace. Facing another at 3-3 the Scot drove a forehand long but, with Djokovic curiously passive from the baseline, he broke back immediately with an immaculate backhand winner.

When Murray let slip a 40-0 lead at 5-5, however, it looked a potentially terminal setback. So it proved. Djokovic served out for a two-set lead and fired a wonderful backhand pass at full stretch to break Murray in the opening game of the third.

From there it seemed likely a procession would ensue, but Murray broke back for 3-3 before stubbornly battling through to a tiebreak. A double fault on the opening point did nothing to further his cause, however, and when he hit another to fall 4-1 behind, Djokovic required no further encouragement, sealing the title with an ace.

Courtesy The Guardian