Djokovic Demolishes Murray to Win Third Straight Major Title at the Australian Open
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Novak Djokovic won his 11th Grand Slam, his 6th Australian Open, and captured his third straight Grand Slam in a row with a straight set drubbing of world #2 Andy Murray 6-1 7-5 7-6(3) in the final. The world #1 has now doubled his ranking points compared to his two closest rivals Murray, and Roger Federer, who he defeated in the semifinals in 4 sets 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3.
Djokovic was masterclass in all of his matches, though he stared down a five setter against Gilles Simon in the fourth round. The Serbian has been far and above his rivals since last Summer, and his 12-0 record in 2016, shows no signs of incurring a loss anytime soon. He’s the player to beat in 2016.
Both Murray and Federer are great talents who consistently performed well all tournament, but they were unable to crack the code of Djokovic’s physicality, counter punching, and court coverage. It takes a super human effort to defeat him, something Simon put up, but wasn’t able to maintain over five sets, though the Frenchman for a time was getting to every ball put into play.
Djokovic also comfortably dealt with Hyeon Chung, Quentin Halys, and Andreas Seppi, without dropping a set, but needing a couple of tiebreaks, in the early rounds. In the quarterfinals he crushed Kei Nishikori, another top player who simply had no footing against the world #1. The tennis we are seeing from Djokovic is out of this world right now.
Murray rolled past Alexander Zverev, and Sam Groth, then needed four sets against Joao Sousa to reach the second week. Home Australian Bernard Tomic also failed to grab a set, and David Ferrer took him to four sets in the quarterfinals. Murray’s triumph to reach the final came against Milos Raonic, who was bidding for his first Grand Slam final. The Canadian #1 has shown major improvements this season by playing more aggressively, and coming to net. Raonic had a two set to one lead, but failed to close out the match, as the great returner Murray ended up winning in five sets 4-6 7-5 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2. Murray has had great success in Melbourne, but once more he failed to come home with the Champion’s trophy. The British #1 is rushing home now to be present for the birth of his first child.
Raonic beat Stan Wawrinka by clinching the fifth set and staving off a great comeback from 2 sets to love up, and in the semifinals after that, he dealt with Gael Monfils, who played well, but could only manage to capture a set. Raonic’s great serving took his game to the next level, as he looks capable of challenging for a top five ranking, if he can continue good results on fast surfaces.
Federer scored notable wins in the second week over Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin, and Tomas Berdych, as his path was somewhat easier compared to the other semifinalists. Still at his age he continues to perform as an elite player, and remains a threat to win the big tournaments. His game is still working like it has for years.
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, a new pairing, won the men’s doubles title in three sets over Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek, a pair of grizzled veterans. Jamie Murray won his first major, as his brother Andy cheered him on. It was a great tournament for British tennis.