Novak Djokovic outlasted Andy Murray in Melbourne to claim his fifth Australian Open title in just over three-and-a-half hours of incredible tennis.
Just 15 months after back surgery, the Scot was able to go toe-to-toe with the World number one during two quite unbelievable sets of tennis. He couldn't last the distance however, and eventually fell to a 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0 loss.
The eventual manner of defeat was cruel on the number six seed, who for two-and-a-half hours exchanged a set in a match that was shaping up to be the best at this year's tournament by some distance.
But, as Murray began to grow frustrated with some of his play, Djokovic capitalised with consistent deep hitting that kept his opponent on the back foot. As fatigue set in, the British number one's second serve became an increasingly easy target for the Serb.
Djokovic was unrelenting in the fourth set, conceding just 11 points as he forced a bagel on his opponent and claimed a title that now means he matches the great Roy Emerson.
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It's the eighth Grand Slam in the career of the 27-year-old, who will head to Paris for the next major in May knowing that's the one trophy missing from his collection.
For Murray, it's a fourth defeat in a final in Australian, losing three of those to Djokovic and one to Roger Federer. His record in major finals now reads won two, lost six; victories at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows the two positives on his record.
Positives for Murray
He must take some positives from his overall performance down under though, producing some of his most consistent tennis under Amelie Mauresmo to reach the final. He returns to the world's top four with his run in the tournament.
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