Djokovic wins Australian Open again
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic maintained his perfect streak in six Australian Open finals with a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (3) victory Sunday that consigned Andy Murray to a fifth defeat in championship deciders at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic equaled Roy Emerson’s long-standing record of six Australian Open titles and increased his career haul to 11 Grand Slam titles, including four of the last five, to join Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg at No. 5 on the all-time list.
“First of all I need to pay the respect to Andy and his team. Tough match, tough luck tonight,” Djokovic said. “You’re a great champion, great friend, very committed to this sport. I’m sure in the future you’re going to have many opportunities.”
Murray became only the second man to lose five finals at one major — Ivan Lendl lost five and won three U.S. Open finals in the 1980s.
The 28-year-old Murray had his share of distractions, leaving his pregnant wife in Britain — their first child is due in February — and his father-in-law being rushed to hospital by ambulance during the tournament.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for me away from the court,” Murray said, thanking his support team before turning his attention to his wife, Kim.
“You’ve been a legend the last two weeks. Thank you so much for all your support,” Murray said, choking back tears. “I’ll be on the next flight home.”
Djokovic had won 10 of his previous 11 matches against Murray and was 21-9 in their career meetings — including four finals at the Australian Open.
Against the odds, Angelique Kerber won the women’s final in three sets on Saturday, preventing Serena Williams from matching the Open era-leading 22 Grand Slam singles titles won by Steffi Graf (Margaret Court is the all-time leader with 24).
Williams hadn’t dropped a set until the final but was surprisingly beaten for the second consecutive major. Her loss to Roberta Vinci in the semifinals of the U.S. Open prevented her from completing a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2015.
“Everyone expects me to win every single match, every single day of my life,” Williams said. “As much as I would like to be a robot, I’m not.”