x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray to win Australian Open

The No 3 seed wins his second grand slam title of his career beating the Briton 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic raises his arms in celebration after clinching his second grand slam title.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic raises his arms in celebration after clinching his second grand slam title.

The wait for a British men's grand slam champion continues as Novak Djokovic, the Serbian world No 3, beats an out-of-form Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Here is how the match unfolded.

Third set Djokovic wins 6-3 and wins the Australian Open 6-4, 6-2, 6-3

Andy Murray desperately needed a good start to the third set if he was salvage anything from what was starting to become a chastening experience.

And he got precisely that as, after Novak Djokovic missed a makeable drive volley on game-point, he set up a break-point and took it with a fantastic forehand down the line.

But the hangdog expression was quick to return as he promptly threw away his advantage when, from 30-30, Murray looped a terrible forehand wide and then hammered a smash out of court.

A swift hold from Djokovic was followed by a break as the Serb, on the seventh opportunity, cracked a magnificent backhand pass down the line to move 3-1 up.

Perhaps sensing he was running out of time, Murray started going for a little more and he broke back to get the set back on serve when Djokovic dumped a drop-shot into the net.

He had to serve a break point to level for 3-3 and he found himself taken to deuce once more in his next service game.

And this time Murray was unable to escape the danger as he hit a running forehand into the middle of the net.

Serving for the championship, Djokovic displayed a few nerves but managed to get over the line when Murray netted another forehand.

Second set Djokovic wins 6-2, He leads 2-0

It is not looking good for Andy Murray and British tennis as Novak Djokovic powers into a two-set lead with a

Stats do not back the Scot either. According to Infostrada, the last competitor to win from 2-0 down at the Australian Open was Roy Emerson in 1965.

The last player to win any grand slam from two sets down was Gaston Gauido, the Argentine player, at the French Open in 2004 when he came back from the brink to beat Guillermo Coria.

Murray's shortcomings aside, Djokovic was starting to cut loose in the second and, after holding serve easily, two booming groundstrokes, one off each side, handed him a break point and the chance to further strengthen his grip on the match.

Murray saved it with a big first serve but a netted backhand presented Djokovic with a second opportunity which, having used Hawk-Eye to prove an ace was out, he took by easily chasing down a poor drop-shot before ripping a cross-court winner.

Another comfortable hold from Djokovic quickly saw the 2008 champion establish a 3-0 lead and extend his run of consecutive games won to five.

Murray was starting to implode and the Scot handed Djokovic a double break and a 4-0 advantage with an awful game which contained three unforced errors, two off the forehand side.

Djokovic was in no mood to let up and he made it 5-0 before Murray finally got on the board courtesy of a big ace out wide.

Belatedly, Murray was starting to hit through the ball and he got his first break of the match to pull it back to 5-2.

He appeared to be struggling with an eye problem, however, and Djokovic took full advantage, an incredible forehand on the run presenting him with a set point which he took for 6-2 when Murray netted a forehand.

First set Djokovic wins 6-4

Andy Murray’s bid to be the first Briton to win a men’s tennis major in 75 years is in trouble already as Novak Djokovic takes the first set at the Australian Open final.
A nervy opener remained on serve until the third seed made the breakthrough to claim it 6-4.

Djokovic made a composed start, holding to love in the first game whereas Murray looked decidedly edgy.

The Scot finally registered his first point at the seventh attempt and a fine running forehand got him back to 30-30. Djokovic was controlling the centre of the court, though, and a winning forehand took game two to deuce.

The Serb brought up the match’s first break point but then hit a long forehand as Murray escaped.

It finally took Murray five deuces to hold, two big serves enabling the fifth seed to level it up at 1-1.

It was Murray’s turn to threaten in the next game but, having got ahead 15-30, he played an awful smash to let Djokovic off the hook.

The game still went to deuce but an incorrect challenge and a poor forehand from Murray meant the match stayed on serve.

A stunning backhand pass helped Murray level at 2-2 but he could make little impression in Djokovic’s next service game.

Two routine holds followed with Murray continuing to complain about the string tension in his rackets.

And while it may have been affecting his fluency off the ground, the serve was still looking good and he held, albeit largely due to two Djokovic errors, for 4-4.

The world No 3 stepped it up in the next game and, with Murray seemingly happy to be dictated to, hit winners off both sides to restore his one-game lead.

The alarm bells were ringing at 4-5, 15-30 on the Murray serve and the situation became even more dangerous when a fantastic 39-shot rally, which saw both players take and lose the initiative, went the way of Djokovic as he brought up two set points.

And Murray was unable to come through, a long forehand proving to be out after a challenge and the set was Djokovic’s in 59 minutes.

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Earlier Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Canada's Daniel Nestor defeated Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan and Australia's Paul Hanley in the mixed doubles.