The Australian Open ended in complete disaster for Andy Murray as Novak Djokovic was in resilient and dominant form to win his second Australian Open title in four years. The Serbian won in straight sets to defeat Murray in a match which lasted hardly three hours.
This is Djokovic’s second Grand Slam title and the 23 year old Serbian was in imperious mode, no question he deserved this victory. Throughout the match the Serbian controlled major points, showed an unfaltering energy, pulling off some audacious forehand winners from some of the most acute areas of the court. Murray could barely respond and as each set progressed you could see the frustration building and the fatigue beginning to set.
Not taking anything away from Djokovic’s ruthless performance Murray was responsible for a large share of his downfall. For a start his serve was atrociously under par, only achieving 50% of his first serves. Djokovic pounced on these frailties by making Murray play long points on his service game and in effect tiring him out.
By the time we got to the third set, Murray was so exhausted Djokovic took his time to finish him off. In the final set Djokovic lost a few of his service games but he would break back immediately after as Murray just couldn’t hold his serve. Practically each of Murray’s service games in the third set were filled with long rallies, lasting eight to nine minutes. As he got slower and weaker, Djokovic would exhibit his masterful display of power and precision to finally capture the Norman Brookes Challenge cup, defeating the Scotsman 6-3 in the third set.
This is the third Grand Slam final for Murray and in all three finals he hasn’t won a set. I put it down soley to nerves. He plays brilliantly throughout a major tournament but when he arrives at the important games he falls to pieces. The first set, both men were nervous playing a steady game not really attacking just psyching each other out. The difference though, Djokovic saw the opportunity to attack Murray at the pivotal moment. When the Serbian concentrated on the final service game of Murray’s, Murray crumbled and Djokovic excelled to take a first set lead.
Then in the second set Murray started with astonishing catastrophe. He lost his first service game and from then on it was a white wash, with Djokovich producing a devastating turn, executing some brilliant winners from some inconceivable positions. At one stage in the set Murray was 5-0 down. He tried his best to fight back, holding one of his service games and breaking back once. However this little light in a set of complete darkness was not enough, and after taking the second set 6-2, the Championship was only Djokovic’s to lose.
The victory was only a matter of time and in the third set Djokovic broke Murray at 4-3 after failing to capitalize on 16 other break points in the set. He waited for Murray to make his mistakes, obliterating the Scot with some deadly forehands and finally clinched the title, winning 6-3 in this final set. Djokovic capped the victory with a wonderful acceptance speech, where he remembered the victims of the flood in Australia. Furthermore he dedicated the win to his family and the people of his home country of Serbia.
For the young Serbian this is an unbelievable streak to be a part of. Winning the Australian Open by beating Roger Federer and Andy Murray follows on from helping Serbia to win their first Davis Cup at the end of last year. Also this win sends out a clear message to tennis favourites Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that Novak Djokovic has finally arrived and they better watch out. For Andy Murray we hope he will come back from this and have his day. When that day will be – who knows.