Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2
– So Novak Djokovic has defended his remaining grand slam title, next up for that challenge is the returning Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. With Djokovic and Murray in great form and Roger Federer ever present, it promises to be another great year in tennis. The first grand slam of the year has certainly started it off superbly once again.
– Djokovic lifts the trophy to cheers and chanting from his fans. He congratulates Andy Murray and then says of his win is ‘a joy’ and this is his best and favourite slam – to huge cheers. He finishes by thanking his team and echoing Murray by saying ‘see you next year’ to the fans.
– He congratulates Novak and the Serb’s team before thanking his own team and the crowd. No tears today, Murray is clearly disappointed but not devastated. He signs off saying he will be back next year.
– Andy Murray gets a warm round of applause and cheers as he goes up to pocket his runner-up trophy and cheque.
– Andre Agassi is up on the podium to presumably hand over the trophy once the suits have finished talking.
– A respectful handshake at the net is followed by delighted celebrations from Djokovic and his supporters, including some dancing from the man himself. The final is concluded, a match high in quality and drama if not shot making. Over the three hours and forty minutes, Djokovic was the better and more assertive player with his regular net approaches working well. Murray did more than his share of the running as the match went on but was right there for the first two sets.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2 Murray
Time is called and the number one seed comes out to serve for his third consecutive Australian Open and his fourth overall. The Rod Laver Arena watches as Murray puts Djokovic under pressure but a netcord from a snatched smash at 0-30 rescues Novak. Its back to routine of running Murray back and forth across the baseline on the next point and soon enough it is championship point. Murray nets and it is over.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 5-2 Murray
Djokovic has the luxury of swinging for the fences now knowing that he will have two chance to serve for the match anywhere. Murray plays solidly, Djokovic hits two winners and makes errors: Murray holds serve.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 5-1 Murray
Some belated crowd support is coming Murray’s way now and he’s puting everything into an all-out assault on the Djokovic serve. The Scot get ahead 0-30 but Djokovic hauls in him with an immaculate forehand and then a service winner moves the Serb ahead. A fourth point in a row means he is one game from the title.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 4-1 Murray
Never mind breaking, can Murray hold? He goes down 0-30 but holds nerve in a tough rally, huge points coming up. Murray levels at 30-30 after Djokovic goes long and then moves ahead with a serve out wide that just clipped the line. The game heads to deuce and you can see that Novak smells blood now and is looking to kill off his opponent. Great fight from Murray but Djokovic plays remarkable defense and moves to break point. A double fault hands the double break to the reigning champion.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 3-1 Murray
Murray needs the break back fast, can he expect more support from the crowd who will presumably want a fifth set? At 30-30 Murray can’t get a regulation forehand over the net and then hits long on the next point, he’s got to do better because Novak can see the finish line now.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 2-1 Murray
Djokovic is 28 from 32 net approaches, a facet of the match that is very much in his favour. Murray double faults for 15-30 and Djokovic is on the hunt once more. Superb forehands are too much for Murray and it is two break points. Big service winner on the first but Murray nets after a grueling rally. Djokovic is moving away.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 1-1 Murray
Sloppy from Djokovic and it’s 0-30 to Murray. Could this be a first break for Andy? Novak fights back to 30-30, holding his own in a slice battle along the way. Murray takes the next though and Djokovic saves the break point with a solid serve. Next the Serb gets in behind his serve for an easy put-away volley and a third first serve in a row sees him safely through.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 0-1 Murray
Novak looks to make the most of his purple patch and moves to 0-30. Murray responds by upping the aggression, the Scot will either comeback here or leave everything on the court trying, and he scrapes through with some good play. Big hold.
Third set to Djokovic!
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 6-3 Murray
It took almost three hours and having finally gotten a break of serve Djokovic is determined to hold onto it. Superb play moves him to 40-0 and Murray puts the next one wide.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 5-3 Murray
Of the 200 points played so far both players have won 100. It is close match to say the least!. Djokovic comes out swinging and not missing this gets to 0-40. Is this a break of serve finally? Novak thinks so and its three break points. An exceptional returns puts Murray under pressure but Djokovic lets him off with an error. Its the same story on the next point… hot and cold from the Serb but on the third point Murray drops into the net and we have a break! It is the world number one ahead now and he will serve for the set.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 4-3 Murray
Looking at the stats from the second set, the clear difference was in the performance of their respective service deliveries. Murray was impregnable on his first serve but weak on his second while Djokovic was slightly less strong than his opponent on his first but made up for it with 60 per cent success on his second. Meanwhile Djokovic holds for the sixteenth time in a row.
Aces: Djokovic 2 Murray 5; Double faults: Djokovic 1 Murray 3; 1st serve points won: Djokovic 79% Murray 96%; 2nd serve points won: Djokovic 60% Murray 38%; Winners: Djokovic 12 Murray 13; Errors: Djokovic 15 Murray 11; Total points won: Djokovic 41 Murray 39.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 3-3 Murray
The word from the stats people is that in the five previous matches between these two that have seen the first two sets split, Djokovic has gone on to win all of them. A good streak for Murray to aim to snap tonight, not that he needs any extra motivation. In the blink of an eye it is 40-0, the players seem to be biding their time somewhat and conserving energy for the struggle to come perhaps. Djokovic manages to win the next two points and there is the merest hint of trouble for Murray but he takes the next point to hold.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 3-2 Murray
Murray gets to 15-15 with some powerful hitting that has Novak looking at his shows in askance. The Serb jams Murray up with his next delivery though and strolls through for yet another hold.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 2-2 Murray
Murray holds to love, Djokovic donating the final point with a incompetent drop shot into the net.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 2-1 Murray
Big first serve followed by a big forehand gets Djokovic ahead in this game and he then wins a long rally and finally spins a unreturnable serve out wide to hold.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 1-1 Murray
The Murray serve remains impervious, mixing it up with a body serve to hold.
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 1-0 Murray
Amazingly there have been no breaks of serve in this match between the best two returners in the game yet. Murray received some treatment for what looked like blisters on his feet at the end of the second set, no question of that stopping him though as the two combatants head back into the court. A routine hold to start off the third set from Djokovic.
Second set to Djokovic!
– Djokovic 6-7 7-6 Murray
Novak levels the match with a tough tiebreak. Murray had the better of that set and will need to pick himself back up quickly.
7-3 Murray dumps the ball into the net.
6-3 Djokovic grinds Murray out and it is three set points.
5-3 Djokovic goes long.
5-2 Novak swings a serve out wide for a service winner.
4-2 Long rally ends with Murray pushing the ball into the tramlines.
3-2 Murray donates a double fault at a frankly terrible time.
2-2 Djokovic goes long on the backhand wing.
2-1 Crosscourt forehand into the net by Murray.
1-1 Djokovic bangs a serve up the T.
0-1 Murray holds his service point.
– Djokovic 6-7 6-6 Murray
First blood to Murray as he follows a biting slice backhand to the net. Djokovic whales an inside-out forehand to force the error on the next point. Just when he seems to have some control another double fault takes us to 30-30. The tension is palpable but that is when Djokovic usually delivers and he serves out for the tiebreak.
– Djokovic 6-7 5-6 Murray
Murray is still to be broken in this final and his serving stats for the match show why: 61 per cent of first serves are landing in and he’s winning 90 per cent when they do. He holds to 30 and Djokovic yells in frustration but the best the Serb can do now is a tiebreak in this second set.
– Djokovic 6-7 5-5 Murray
Superb from Murray to snatch the first point but Djokovic shows his class to make no mistake on a couple of speculative lobs from Murray. A top class point follows with Djokovic’s signature down the line backhand eventually ending it. An error and its another hold. The balls head to Murray’s end of the court and we are approaching the two hour mark.
– Djokovic 6-7 4-5 Murray
Murray plays some teak-tough tennis for a 30-0 lead and there’s no catching him from there. The world number three is determination personified at the moment. Novak has to serve to avoid a two set deficit.
– Djokovic 6-7 4-4 Murray
Murray goes hunting on the return here and gets an early advantage only to miss a forehand into a semi-open court on the next point. Small margins as the end of the set approaches. Novak gets away with a poor overhead and edges ahead before finding his first serve to hold. Murray is being pretty tough on himself but he needs to stay positive.
– Djokovic 6-7 3-4 Murray
Andy elevates his own game to move to 40-0 before throwing in his first double fault of the match. Djokovic goes long on the next point though and Murray is back ahead in the second set.
– Djokovic 6-7 3-3 Murray
A fairly easy hold for Djokovic, he seems to be playing slightly better than Murray once more. But can he break and press home his advantage this time?
– Djokovic 6-7 2-3 Murray
Murray show some frustration early in this game. You can see how much he is concentrating, aware that if he can take this second set he has a great chance to win his second grand slam. The Scots holds with an ace.
– Djokovic 6-7 2-2 Murray
The game goes to deuce on the Djokovic serve but he holds on. No let up in the intensity, both men know any lull will be punished by their opponent.
– Djokovic 6-7 1-2 Murray
The game goes to 30-30 but Murray strangles his opponent to hold once more.
– Djokovic 6-7 1-1 Murray
Novak has been the more aggressive player so far in the match but may need to reassess his approach as he slide to 0-40 due to a run of errors. Murray makes a couple of errors on the first two break points and Novak gets in the net to save the third. Djokovic goes on to hold and a big chance for Murray to stamp his authority on the second set goes begging. The Scot is still a set up of course but that is a boost for Novak.
– Djokovic 6-7 0-1 Murray
Murray holds to love, the Scot will sense Djokovic is disheartened and look to get ahead early here.
First set to Murray.
– Djokovic 6-7 Murray
Having had the better of the first set, Djokovic falls softly in the tiebreak. Murray hung in well and played a solid breaker, although Djokovic rather collapsed.
2-7 Murray plays a close to ideal tiebreak and takes the first set.
2-6 Djokovic slams a backhand down the line.
1-6 Nice serve-forehand combination by Murray. Five set points.
1-5 Back to the impatient Novak now and he goes long again.
1-4 A long rally ensues and Djokovic methodically gets ahead and finishes the point with a smash.
0-4 Great skills from Murray to force the error.
0-3 Djokovic goes long and he’s well behind now.
0-2 Murray slams a forehand down the line.
0-1 Djokovic starts with a double fault.
– Djokovic 6-6 Murray
Djokovic gets his nose in front and is two points from taking the first set, but his backhand breaks down and Murray comes through to hold. Crucial tiebreak now.
– Djokovic 6-5 Murray
Novak hits some nice combinations and, despite throwing in a double fault, holds easily. Can Murray take it to a tiebreak?
– Djokovic 5-5 Murray
So Murray serves to stay in the set and Djokovic can’t find the consistency to challenge him. All square after 10 games.
– Djokovic 5-4 Murray
Careless play from both men sees this game meander somewhat but Djokovic holds to 30 with an ace.
– Djokovic 4-4 Murray
– Both players are stretching and looking a bit tired at this early stage, needless to say they will still be going strong in four hours time if necessary. Another break point against Murray but he plays well to save it and hold, he’s hanging in despite having the worst of it so far. Novak is not happy with his footwear.
– Djokovic 4-3 Murray
Djokovic slips (not for the first time) and falls but somehow recovers to win the point regardless. A comfortable hold, Djokovic does well to play solidly after missing out on the break in the previous game.
– Djokovic 3-3 Murray
The previous game seems to have stirred Novak and he moves to 0-30 on the Murray serve. The Scot needs his first delivery here. From 15-40 two break points are saved despite some iffy play from Murray on the second one. Djokovic plants himself in the middle of the court and has Murray sprinting from side to side at deuce. Murray saves another break point with a forehand well placed behind the Serb. Another error from the Murray racquet though, can Novak break at the fourth opportunity? No, he can’t and its back to deuce. A couple of big serves ultimately see Murray through and that will be a boost.
– Djokovic 3-2 Murray
At 30-0 up Djokovic seems to lose patience with rallying and goes for the line only to miss. An error follows and it is 30-30. Another error on an ambitious swing volley sees us move to deuce. Its the first glimmer of a break here but Djokovic closes out courtesy of an epic rally that showcases the best of both players. The crowd are on their feet already!
– Djokovic 2-2 Murray
Djokovic is still yet to win a point against the Murray serve. The Scot also finishes the game with an ace. Serve dominating early on.
– Djokovic 2-1 Murray
Djokovic is showing a willingness to approach the net in order to finish off points when he has the Scot running wide. Murray steps up the aggression to get a couple of points in this game but its another effective service game sealed by an ace.
– Djokovic 1-1 Murray
Murray holds to love as the fabled Djokovic return makes little headway.
– Djokovic 1-0 Murray
Awesome first point from Murray as he pounds successive forehands but after that it is all Djokovic with some solid first serves to take the game.
– Murray has chosen to receive. Djokovic to serve.
– In terms of playing styles Murray and Djokovic are so similar they could be forgiven for thinking they are playing a mirror image of themselves at times. Expect long punishing rallies with both men exceptional at defensive work.
– The players are now warming up.
– Last year the big four in men’s tennis each won one grand slam each. That means in 2013 they are taking it in turns to defend their respective titles. Djokovic will still be number one at the end of this tournament but if he loses today he will not hold any of the major championships. Murray on the other hand is looking to win his second straight grand slam, an achievement that would likely see him hit the top spot in the months to come.
– Murray gets a good cheer as he enters the arena but the three time champion Djokovic inspires the bigger roar.
– Andy Murray leads the way as the two men make their way through the Rod Laver Arena to the court.
– The players are expected on court in about 15 minutes.
Live Commentary of the Men’s Australian Open 2013 final between Djokovic and Murray will commence here as soon as the players start warming up on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. The match is scheduled for Sunday evening Melbourne time.
Djokovic leads the head to head against Murray with 10-7, having last beaten him at the 2012 ATP World Tour finals in London. But all of their recent encounters have been very closely contested and this final match will also be highly anticipated amongst all tennis fans and tennis experts throughout the world.