Djokovic beats Murray in Australian Open final

Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:59 AM
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MELBOURNE, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in four sets Sunday, becoming the first man in the Open Era to win the Australian Open three consecutive years.

Djokovic broke open a tight match with a late third-set break -- the first break of the match -- en route to a 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-2 victory. It is Djokovic's sixth major tournament title, four of which have come in Melbourne.

He won his first Grand Slam championship in the 2008 Australian Open. He got his second by beating Murray in the 2011 final in Melbourne and took a five-set decision over Rafael Nadal in the 2012 Australian Open title match.

His win Sunday marked the first time since Roy Emerson, who won five times over 1963-67, that a player won the men's singles Australian Open title three consecutive years.

Murray, who beat Djokovic in five sets at the 2012 U.S. Open for his first major tournament title, has lost in the Melbourne finals three of the last four years.

Neither player managed a break until Djokovic got one for a 5-3 lead in the third set. Even then Djokovic saw a 0-40 lead dwindle to 30-40 before he put the game away. However, a quick hold the next game gave Djokovic the set.

Murray held to open the fourth set but Djokovic ran off the next five games. Murray had one more hold in him and went up 0-30 in the final game. Again Djokovic ran off a string of points, claiming the title when a Murray backhand went into the next.

The first two sets were very tight and each turned on one point. Murray took the advantage when Djokovic double faulted on the first point of the first tiebreaker and was up 4-0 at one point. Djokovic was able to even the match when Murray had a double fault that gave Djokovic a 3-2 lead in the second tiebreaker.

Djokovic ended up winning 72 percent of the points in serve and held off all four of Murray's break opportunities. Murray, who won two-thirds of the points on serve, fought off the first seven break chances by Djokovic but was just 1-of-4 in that category the rest of the way.

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