It is becoming a one-man show in men’s tennis as Novak Djokovic espoused his dominance once again with the utter demolition of Andy Murray in the final of the 2016 Australian Open.
Murray lost for a fifth time in the final in Australia – and his conqueror on three of the five times has been Djokovic – in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The first set took 30 minutes. Murray was caught in the headlights of Djokovic’s pressure as Murray wilted 6-1. Djokovic won 81 per cent of points on his first serve compared to a dismal 45 per cent for Murray plus 11 unforced errors. Djokovic produced 10 winners as against five for Murray.
The second set was more of a game and the crowd got encouraged as both players held service for the first six games before they exchanged breaks. Djokovic then broke again in the 11th game even after Murray had gone 40-0 up. The 12th game was a see-saw battle but Djokovic finally took the set 7-5 in one hour and 20 minutes. Murray capitulated mainly because of 34 unforced errors even though he blasted nine aces and had 21 winners compared to eight from the Serb.
Djokovic broke Murray in the first game in the third set as it seemed the Briton’s spirit had been broken and Djokovic won the second game to love in eight minutes. From then on, it was a battle of wits as Murray took the set into a tie-break which Djokovic prevailed 7-3 to take the set 7-6 in 59 minutes.
With 16,790 points, Djokovic leads Murray, seeded second with 7,815 [almost double] points, and he does not seem to be relenting. After this conquest, the question that other players will be asking would be – for how much longer will the Serb play at this unbelievable level and give other players a chance at any tournament he enters. He is now on 11 Grand Slam titles and has Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s haul of 14 and 17 Grand Slam titles respectively in view.