The better player didn’t have the best of starts, but eventually, he won. Novak Djokovic continued his reign in Melbourne by becoming the first player in the Open era to win the Australian Open three consecutive times, beating Andy Murray in four sets despite dropping the first one.

It was a match that would go to the man who broke first, and it took more than two sets for that to happen. Earlier in the third, Murray had three break points he squandered and against Djokovic, injured or not (and you never know with Novak, always adding a bit more pain in his face than actually necessary), you can’t throw away opportunities to bring him down.

Murray started out looking the stronger man, taking risks and even going up to the net. His dominant tiebreak game made it look like Djokovic is fading away as the match progresses. The second set reached the same kind of climax, this time going to Djokovic, enjoying a tad more luck in the way his shots dropped throughout the match.

Eventually, it came down to who had an easier time with his server. Djokovic was slightly better when it came to first serves (63%-60%), but also was the one who took more risks, that paid off eventually, hitting much more winners and unforced errors. Andy Murray, also carrying some sort of injury in his foot, struggled to keep it close after getting broken for the first time in the third set.

Eventually, Djokovic, the better player and the favorite, came back from another deficit early in a Grand Slam match, to win 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2. Another match in which he grew stronger as the game went on, while his opponent, the second best player in the world, couldn’t keep up with the power and intensity shown through the match, aiding Djokovic in winning his sixth Grand Slam title.

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