Australian Open 2015: 5-fer for Djokovic in Melbourne Park

World No.1 Novak Djokovic beats his rival Andy Murray in four sets to lift the silverware.

Epic exchanges, incredible rallies and breathtaking points. It was the story of the intriguing championship match in Melbourne. Djokovic defeated his childhood friend Murray in four sets.

Match was started by a honorary celebration of 50th anniversary of Roy Emerson’s 4th Australian Open.

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) def. [6] Andy Murray (GBR) 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0

First Set

Four time champion Djokovic won the coin toss and elected to serve first to begin the championship match. He was threatened by Murray with fearsome ground strokes but managed to hang on in the first game. Murray had three break points on Djokovic’s serve in the third game but failed on all of them, one of those points won by a spectacular backhand volley from the Serb.

In the very next game, Murray found himself staring at break points which Djokovic claimed to lead 3-1. He continued to hold and served for the first set at 5-3 but Murray didn’t give up and broke back to level. Eventually, the set headed to a tiebreak after one hour of gruel exchanges.

In the very next game, Murray found himself staring at break points which Djokovic claimed to lead 3-1. He continued to hold and served for the first set at 5-3 but Murray didn’t give up and broke back to level. Eventually, the set headed to a tiebreak after one hour of gruel exchanges.

Murray had the mini break and led by 4-2 at the changeover in tiebreak. He had an easy forehand volley to put away and gain a set point at 5-5. But he landed it outside the baseline to hand Djokovic the first set point, eventually the set 7-6 (5).

Second Set

 Murray was very frustrated to lose the first set tiebreak and started the second in a great fashion to inch ahead 2-0 with a service break. However, Djokovic responded strongly to reel off four straight games to move ahead 4-2. There was a bizarre scene on Rod Laver Arena when a couple of protesters jumped on to the court with players sitting on chairs after Murray held serve to 3-4. Match was halted for 12 minutes before the security tightened up. Murray made most of the distraction and broke Djokovic immediately to get back in the set at 4-4 and followed up with a hold to 15 only to bring the crowd to it’s feet on Rod Laver Arena. He had a couple of set points in the next game when Djokovic wilted from a 40-0 lead but couldn’t convert them. Similar to the first, the second set also led to a tiebreak with lengthy service holds from both the players.

Djokovic double faulted to begin the tiebreak handing mini break to Murray. Just like the first set tiebreak, Murray led 4-2 at the changeover and didn’t squander the lead this time like he did it in the first. He held four set points at 6-2 and went onto clinch it 7-4 to make the match one set a piece after 2 hours 32 minutes.

Third Set

Following the pattern of the second set, Murray broke Djokovic’s serve and capitalized on the momentum to lead 2-0. Djokovic was looking drained and tired in the third set as he cramped while playing the points and hardly moved like he usually does. The top seed worked his way to an unconventional hold to trail 1-2 in the set. Murray’s concentration seemed affected by Djokovic’s fitness issues as he allowed the top seed to come back in the set and missed break opportunities at 3-3. However, Djokovic broke Murray in the next game and pumped up to a service hold to close out the set 6-3. The lead was two sets to one in Djokovic’s favor.

Fourth Set

The momentum was firmly with Djokovic and he started playing better in the fourth. Top seed was hurting tired Murray with his typical backhand cross courts and down the lines in the fourth set. The match was going away from Murray as the set progressed, with Djokovic breaking on each service game and storming to a 5-0 lead. It was perfectly set up for a bagel finish and Djokovic did it on his second championship point.

Key For Victory

Djokovic’s winners to unforced errors ratio of 53-40

Serve That Failed

Murray’s avg. second serve speed 134 KPH, lower than Sharapova in women’s final

Quotes From The Day

It was a great occasion for both the players on Rod Laver Arena. Here’s what they said in presentation ceremony.

I’d like to congratulate Novak on his fifth. It’s an incredible record, thoroughly deserved – Murray

Thanks to all of the ex-players that have come to watch. It’s amazing to play in front of you, including Boris & Amelie – Murray

I want to congratulate Andy for a great tournament. And wish him and Kim a happy wedding and many kids – Djokovic

Milestones Achieved

  1. Djokovic’s 5 Australian Opens puts him ahead of Federer (4) and Agassi (4) in Open Era
  2. 100 hard court grand slam wins and 50 wins at Australian Open for Djokovic
  3. Djokovic becomes the first father to win in Melbourne since Federer (2010) Coincindentally, Murray was the runner up then

-Harish Narahari [Harish Narahari is a Sports Analyst for the Tennis Galaxy at Sportz Cosmos He tweets here]

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