Novak Djokovic fought off a mysterious injury and an out of sorts Andy Murray to claim a record-breaking 5th Australian Open title on Sunday night. It means the Serbian Number 1 now has the most championship wins of any man in the open era.
Murray didn’t make it easy for his opponent early on. The pair played out two long, intense sets that both ended in a tiebreak. The Scotsman managed to claim the 2nd to level things up, but from there Djokovic was able to produce his best tennis when he needed it most.
In the early stages of the 2nd and 3rd sets Djokovic seemed to be battling an ankle injury that affected his movement and balance. It distracted Murray, who yelled at himself to ‘wake up’ and focus on his own game. In the end, Djokovic recovered to notch up 53 winners and steamroll Murray 6-0 in the fourth set.
Andy Murray has now lost four finals at Melbourne park in the past six years. But this year’s result is impressive considering he underwent back surgery 18 months ago. The former Wimbeldon, US Open and Olympic champion paid tribute to coach Amelie Mauresmo and the rest of his team for getting him back in such a good position.
Djokovic too, recognised the huge role his entourage played in his victory. No doubt both men have a few more grand slam finals left in them, but this time it was Djokovic who lifted the trophy.
The women’s champion for 2015 is no stranger to winning on Rod Laver Arena either. In fact, Serena Williams now has 6 titles, one more than Djokovic. She overcame a spirited challenged from Russian Maria Sharapova to win in straight sets (6-3 7-6) and claim her first Australian Open title since 2010. Sharapova saved two match points but was eventually overwhelmed by the powerful serve and defensive skills of her American opponent.
Williams has now won an incredible 19 grand slam titles, ranking her ahead of all-time greats like Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. Like Djokovic, she too had to fight off illness during the final. She had been sick in the lead up to match and was struck by a coughing fit at one stage during the match.
She gave a heartfelt speech after her win, telling the Aussie crowd how much she loved them and how special it was to come from a humble upbringing to become a grand slam champion.
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