It's going to give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, that's for sure
Novak Djokovic says he is ‘full of joy’ after beating Andy Murray to become the first player in the Open Era to win three consecutive Australian Open titles
The world No.1 recovered from a cagey first set to beat Murray 6‑7, 7‑6, 6‑3, 6‑2 and claim the sixth Grand Slam of his career, bringing his haul of major titles equal with players such as Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker.
“Every tournament, especially the major tournaments, is very special,” said Djokovic. “So every win, of course also adding to that the history part, you know, winning it three in a row, it's incredible. It's very thrilling. I'm full of joy right now. It's going to give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, that's for sure.”
Before the match there was much talk of Murray’s ability to bounce back from his grueling five-set win over Roger Federer in the previous round with one day less to recover than his Serbian opponent, who efficiently disposed of David Ferrer in the semi-finals. But once play got under away it was Murray who looked the fresher of the two and he took full advantage of an uncharacteristic 25 unforced errors from Djokovic’s racket to take the first set 7-6.
Djokovic cut a frustrated figure at the beginning of the second set, gesticulating to his entourage between each point, but when the world No.1 eked out a hold from 0-40 in the second game he grew in confidence, and after two hours and 20 minutes of play he leveled things at one-set apiece.
“I knew that it's going to be physically very demanding, a lot of long rallies, so I needed to hang in there,” said Djokovic. “There was a few turning points in the match. Maybe one of them was the second game in the second set when I was 0‑40 against the breeze. He missed a few shots. I managed have that crucial hold. After that I felt just mentally a little bit lighter and more confident on the court than I've done in the first hour or so.”
Despite being two of tennis’ great returners the first 30 games of the match went on serve and when Djokovic made his move midway through the third set to break Murray’s serve for the first time the defending champion never looked back, taking the next two sets 6-3, 6-2.
“I was serving better against him today in the first two sets than I've done in any of the matches in the last two years,” said Djokovic. “But I knew that he's an incredible returner and has that ability to make you play always an extra shot.”
Djokovic said after the match that winning the French Open, the only major missing from his trophy cabinet, is still a major goal of his this year but that his immediate priority is to enjoy this latest victory.
“In life, you know, you don't get many of the opportunities to win Grand Slams,” he said. “As a tennis player, that's a pinnacle of the ambitions and of the success. So I try to enjoy it for few days with the people I love the most, family, friends, and team.”