Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open title and his eighth career Grand Slam while extending Andy Murray’s misery at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic beat Murray 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0 in Sunday’s final, relegating the Scotsman to runner-up status for the fourth time in four tries in the Australian Open final. Murray had lost twice previously to Djokovic — in 2011 and 2013 — and to Roger Federer in 2010.
The No. 1-ranked Djokovic, meanwhile, is a perfect 5-for-5 in Australian Open finals.
“There were a lot of turning points in the match,” Djokovic said. “Regardless of the record I have here, we both knew we had equal chances to win. It was a cat-and-mouse fight, it always is with us.”
Djokovic swung momentum in a close match with a service break in the eighth game of the third set, winning four straight points. When he took a 4-0 lead in the last set, he smacked his fist hard against his chest in celebration.
At the end of the match, Djokovic threw his racket into the crowd at Rod Laver Arena.
Roy Emerson, the only other man with five or more Australian titles, was in the crowd and Djokovic acknowledged the presence of the six-time champion.
“I’m so grateful to be standing here as a champion for the fifth time, and to be in the elite group of players,” Djokovic said.
Murray sat slumped over in his chair after the match, awaiting the presentations, and once again received the runner-up plate instead of the trophy.
“It’s been my most consistent Grand Slam of my career. I haven’t been quite able to win, but the support I’ve received here has been amazing,” Murray said. “I’ll try and come back next year and hopefully have a slightly different outcome in the final.”
Murray said he had chances to win the match.
“Obviously I had opportunities in the first three sets,” Murray said. “In the fourth set, I mean, he was just ripping everything. Returns he was hitting on the baseline. Once he got up a break, he just loosened up and was just going for his shots. I couldn’t recover.
“Novak has won five times here now, there’s no disgrace, obviously, in losing to him.”