Novak Djokovic overcame his breathing problems and fatigue to beat friend Andy Murray 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-1, 7-5 in a nearly five hour slugfest. Facing second seed Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday, Djokovic will try to become onlyy the fifth man since in the Open Era started in 1968 to win three straight grand slams, joining Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Despite appearing tired and sore after the second set, Djokovic rallied to beat Murray in a rematch of the 2011 final at Melbourne Park to reach his third consecutive Grand Slam final.
After wasting a chance to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set letting Murray back into the contest. Djokovic cashed in his first match point when the Scottish player missed a forehand after 4 hours and 50 minutes of play. In the game before, Murray wasted 2 break points which could have earned him the chance to serve out the match, something that will haunt him for quite sometime.
Djokovic dropped onto his back, fully laid out on the court. He got up and shook hands with Murray, before jogging back out onto court like a boxer. It was already 12:30 a.m. in Australia on Saturday when he got up again and pumped his arms triumphantly. It was a bitter setback for Murray, who lost the previous two Australian finals.
Murray seems to have already improved in the few weeks since hiring 8 time major winner Ivan Lendl as coach. He looked pretty confident and positive on main points and didn’t give up before giving Djokovic some nervous moments.
Djokovic faces Nadal in the final of the Australian open, their third consecutive clash in finals of a grand slam. Djokovic defeated Nadal an unprecedented 6 times in finals last year, but Rafael Nadal seems all determined to win his 11th major and 2nd Australian Open.
Final : 1. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) vs 2. Rafael Nadal (Spain), Rod Laver Arena @ 1pm IST on Sunday