Only Emerson (12), who also won six Australian crowns in the 1960s, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal (14) and Roger Federer (17) are now ahead of the Serbian in the all-time Grand Slam singles championship list. Djokovic is level with Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg on 11 singles majors.
ATPWorldTour.com breaks down how the 2016 final at Melbourne Park was won.
Djokovic glared at his team, seated courtside, as Murray’s aggression garnered his first break point at 30/40 in the opening game, which lasted five minutes. Thereafter, it was all Djokovic as Murray won just three further points in a devastating 20-minute spell. Djokovic, who had beaten Murray in the 2011, 2013 and 2015 finals, put an element of doubt in the second seed’s mind as he took a 5-0 lead. Murray looked flat-footed and struggled for forehand consistency, but at 0-5, 30/30, he sparked into life with a stunning backhand crosscourt pass. He went on to clinch his first game, avoiding the first opening set bagel in an Australian championship final since 1953. Djokovic required three set point opportunities to take the 30-minute opener, but in the final minutes Murray’s game was revived.
The last two players to lose a first set 6-1 in the final – Djokovic’s coach, Boris Becker (1991), and Marat Safin (2005) – both came back to win. Could Murray do the same? The second chapter was more competitive, but it was not without drama. Murray began to play high-risk tennis, re-gaining control in baseline rallies, but it also led to frustration. He saved four break points in a 12-minute third game, and the tide looked to have turned. But Djokovic was resolute under increasing pressure. Although both players exchanged service breaks to 4-4, Djokovic rarely gave away free points. Murray led 40/0 in the 11th game, but Djokovic won five straight points, including a 36-stroke rally. Incredibly, Djokovic gave Murray a glimmer of hope at 6-5, 30/15, when he hit two straight double faults. But the Scot could not capitalise to work his way back into the 80-minute set. The last time Djokovic had lost a two-sets-to-love lead was against Jurgen Melzer at 2010 Roland Garros.
Djokovic looked to be running away with the pair’s 31st encounter, when he opened up a 2-0 lead and managed to snuff out a half-chance for Murray at 2-1, 30/40. Yet Murray fought back into contention, mixing up the pace of his groundstrokes to force Djokovic into a backhand error at 3-2, 30/40. In winning two straight games, Murray appeared to have gained the momentum, particularly as a number of crosscourt backhands pierced Djokovic’s defence. Murray started the tie-break with a double fault and at 1/3. It sealed his fate. Moments later Djokovic struck his sixth ace to get his hands on the trophy once again. -Agencies