By Laura Moulden
Andy Murray took heart from playing “the best tennis of his life” after Novak Djokovic lifted the trophy in Melbourne for a third consecutive year.
The Serb secured a fourth Australian Open title and sixth Grand Slam title overall, after a gruelling three hours and 40 minutes of action on Sunday (January 27th).
But despite defeat, Britain’s number one remained in good spirits following the match, reflecting:
“I have to try and look at the positives of the last few months, and I think I’m going the right direction. This is the first time I’ve beaten Roger [Federer] in a Slam over five sets. I think I dealt with the situations and the ebbs and flows in that match well.
“I felt much more comfortable on the court today than even I did at the US Open, so that has to be a positive.”
Murray won the first set and made a strong start to the second, but appeared to struggle with the physicality of the contest, receiving treatment for blisters during the changeover.
And a feather played an unlikely role in the tie-break, as it drifted into the Scot’s eye-line as he was about to serve during the second set. After stropping to retrieve the object before it hit the court, Murray instantly double-faulted to give Djokovic a 4-2 lead.
Taking control of the match, Djokovic went on to win the second, third and fourth sets to power to victory and become the first man since 1967 to win three Australian titles in succession.
Speaking after the match, the champion said:
“It’s an incredible feeling winning this trophy again. It’s definitely my favourite Grand Slam, my most successful Grand Slam. I love this court.”