The number one and three seed of the Australian Open battled it out yesterday for the 2013 title. Novak Djokovic had won the tournament in 2008, 2011 and 2012. He knew that a win would equal the record for the most Australian Opens in the modern era, a win would put him on level terms with Roger Federer and Andre Agassi. As for the Serb’s opponent, British number 1 Andy Murray had never won the event but had made the final on two occasions prior to this – 2010 and 2011. Murray was aware that a win would mean that he won be the champion of two consecutive grand slams, after triumphing at the US Open last year.
The scene was set for an excellent final on Rod Laver Arena between two of world’s finest, who are fast developing one of the sport’s best and most competitive rivalries. Here’s our review of the final.
Set 1 – 1 Hour 8 Minutes
The first set began very evenly, with Djokovic serving strong but Murray’s accurate forehands more-or-less balancing it out. In the sixth game, after both had held serve for five games up until 3-2 Djokovic, we did start to worry. Djokovic had two break points but Murray was able to return the game to deuce. Still though Djokovic persisted, and gained another two break points after that; mainly from errors from Murray and some intelligently played drop-shots from the Serbian. The Briton was able to hold serve though on his first game point.
However, after this point Djokovic seemed to really come to life and, even though they served it out up to a tie-break, Djokovic seemed the stronger player, as he continuously smashed Murray’s mistakes. The Scot was very close to losing more than one break towards the end of the second set, whereas Djokovic held serve with ease. But, they held serve still, and at 6-6 we went to a tie-break. Again the swing of the match changed and Djokovic seemed to fall asleep as he repetitively hit the ball into the net and Murray won it 6-2.
Set 2 – 1 Hour 5 Minutes
The second set began in the same style as the first set’s tie-break, with Murray dominating. He quickly dispatched his first service game, and he continued up to 40-0 and Murray had won 13 of the last 15 points. But it’s never quite that simple is it. Djokovic won an easy point from a smash and the Scot looked quite annoyed. The emotion played into the Serb’s hands and he was somehow able to save three break points and hold serve.
After these mental first two games though the eternal balance between these two excellent players was restored, and they played each other from the baseline, with Djokovic occasionally winning a net point. They continued to hold serve up until the tenth game. In the eleventh game Murray started serving with immense accuracy and power. Thus, he firstly held serve to love, and was close, again, to breaking the Serb’s serve and a set point. Yet again though he failed to do so, and we went to another tie-break. This one was the exact opposite of the previous, and even though he started well holding his serve, after a feather landed on the court (which he removed) he seemed distracted and quite annoyed, so it was a straight run home for Djokovic. The previously three time Aussie Open Champion won the set 7-6 (7-3).
Set 3 – 41 Minutes
It didn’t have what you might call a pretty start, this set, as after the previous Murray had felt blisters on his foot, they looked really quite sore, and even iodine couldn’t heal them quickly. If for some reason you want to see them (as I certainly didn’t want to while eating breakfast) then click here.
After this though it looked like play was resuming normally, with both holding serve by a decent margin, even though the forehand-backhand rallies were amazing to watch. However, after seven games (Djokovic leading 4-3 since he’d just served) Murray lost his way. Djokovic got an excellent winner to start things off straight from the Scot’s serve. Followed by Murray hitting the ball down into the net, and the skilful Serbian was able to gain control of the next rally and thus smash an easy cross-court forehand to give him three break points. Twice he did what the Scot did early in set two where he left a gap and allowed his opponent to escape. However, on his third break point a crowd member shouted messing up Murray’s serve, giving Djokovic to hit an un-returnable smash. Djokovic, high on his own confidence, powered through his service game to win the set 6-3.
Set 4 – 48 Minutes
The final set was quite frankly a walkover for Djokovic, and apart from the beginning where again the both held serve, he just kept on winning games. Murray’s foot slowed him down and when he did get there he was so tired he often hit the net. Some of Novak’s serves also seemed a bit shaky, but I think confidence and the adrenaline of knowing you’re going to win your sixth Grand Slam kept him going. He won the set 6-2 quite quickly. Therefore, the overall result was 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2.