Novak Djokovic reasserted his rule over the hard-courts of Melbourne Park, grinding down Andy Murray 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 to win his fifth Australian Open title.
The pair waged a fierce baseline duel for the opening two sets, but Djokovic won 12 of the last 13 games to close out an emphatic win and become the first man in the professional era to secure five titles at Melbourne Park.
|Djokovic’s GS record|
|Australian Open – 5
French Open – 0
Wimbledon – 2
US Open – 1
Top-seed Djokovic sealed the victory on the second match-point, rushing to the net with a searing approach shot that Murray could only dump into the net.
The steely-eyed Serb roared in triumph and approached his player’s box to share the win with his team before tearing off his shirt and throwing it into the crowd.
The loss was Murray’s fourth in a final at Melbourne Park and third to Djokovic after the 2011 and 2013 finals.
In the end, it was easy for the Djokovic who coasted to his eighth grand slam title with an imperious service game and soaked up the cheers of a packed Rod Laver Arena.
Hingis rolls back the years
Earlier, five-time grand slam singles winner Martina Hingis won her second Australian Open mixed doubles title as she teamed with India’s Leander Paes to beat last year’s winners France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Canada’s Daniel Nestor 6-4,6-3.
Hingis, a three-time winner of the women’s singles at Melbourne Park, also won four women’s doubles titles and the mixed doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2006.
The 34-year-old Swiss returned to top class tennis as a doubles specialist two years ago in her second comeback after injury and then a ban for a positive test for cocaine, which she denied taking, forced her into retirement.