28 Jan 2013

Djokovic wins third successive Australian Open

8:54 am on 28 January 2013

Novak Djokovic became the first man to win three successive Australian Open titles in the professional era when he beat third seed Andy Murray 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2 at Melbourne Park.

The Serbian world No. 1 managed to win the important points as the Briton suffered from blisters on his right foot and problems at the top of his left hamstring.

Djokovic was the first to achieve a break in the eighth game of the third set, propelling him to the brink of the title after the pair had shared tiebreaks in the first two sets, Reuters reports.

Djokovic then capitalised on a flagging Murray, breaking early in the fourth set and holding on to clinch the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup on Sunday for the fourth time.

His three successive titles were a first since Roy Emerson won his fifth straight in 1967, while a quartet of crowns matches Roger Federer and Andre Agassi, the latter being on hand to present him with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

"What a joy, it's an incredible feeling to win this trophy again. This is definitely my favourite grand slam. I love this tournament. I love this court," said Djokovic.

US Open champion Murray had been hoping to become the first Briton to win the title since Fred Perry in 1934 and the first man to win his second grand slam immediately after winning his first.

For Murray, hampered by a badly blistered toe, distracted at a key moment by a white feather and physically compromised by his four-hour semi-final against Federer, it was a third final defeat in four years in Australia.

The Scot took some solace from the fact that this match was a much tighter affair than his defeats by Federer in 2010 and Djokovic in 2011.

"There's going to be some obvious reasons for me feeling a little bit better," he said.

"The last few months have been the best tennis of my life. I made the Wimbledon final, won the Olympics, won the US Open. I was close here as well. It was close."