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Djokovic revels in history-making win

By Chris Pike
28 January 2013 03:57AM EST

NOVAK Djokovic is revelling in his third straight Australian Open title after beating Andy Murray in four sets on Sunday night as the Serb world No. 1 continued his love affair with Melbourne.

Djokovic became the first man to win three straight Australian Open titles since Australia's Roy Emerson won five straight between 1963 and 1967.

The 25-year-old received the trophy from Andre Agassi, himself a four-time winner in Melbourne but never won more than two straight, as he won his sixth Grand Slam trophy to reinforce his position at the top of the men's game.

Djokovic knew to expect a hell of a battle from Murray in the final after the pair's past classics including last year's US Open final (won by Murray), Australian Open 2012 semi-final (Djokovic) and a tight two-set battle at the London Olympics (Murray).

The Serb couldn’t hide his joy at winning his fourth Australian Open afterwards.

"The results show the kind of sensation that I have when I play in the Rod Laver Arena. I love the conditions and for some reason it's very dear to me and has been very successful to me. I love this tournament," Djokovic said.

"It was an incredible match as we could have expected. When we play each other we always push each other to the limit and I think those first two sets went for two hours and 15 minutes. Physically I was just trying to hang in there and play my game, and focus on each point.

"Even though when I was two breaks up in the fourth, I knew that he could fight back because he is a great competitor, is very talented and plays so good. I needed to be on top of my game and I was, and I'm very thrilled to be champion."

Even though Djokovic broke Murray's serve twice in the fourth set to get in a position to be serving for the match, he never doubted that the Scot would keep battling and could fight back. He tried to take advantage of his movement not being at 100 per cent though.

"I give him credit for playing some good shots when I was serving for the match. I don’t think I did anything particularly bad, I was trying to really step in, but when I was two breaks up in the fourth I knew that he was going to try and fight back even though he looked a little sluggish on the court," he said.

"He wasn’t moving that well and that's where I found my chance to move him around and not to give him two of the same balls to hit, and take him from one end of the court to the other. It worked well."

Murray looked to be in some trouble with a foot injury at the end of the first set, but Djokovic wasn’t exactly feeling great either, particularly mentally. He was glad with how he responded though.

"I was just trying to focus on myself and I went through a little physical crisis also after the first set. I was feeling a lot of tension and I guess a lot of it was coming from my head mentally," Djokovic said.

"I felt a lot of tension and it's obvious, and normal, to expect that because we are big rivals and it's the final of a Grand Slam.

"For both of us it was very important to win this match and I went through that, and I think that the game early in the second set when I saved the break points was the biggest turning points."

Djokovic certainly doesn’t feel that players outside the quartet of himself, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Murray don’t have a chance to take out Grand Slams at present as evidenced by his narrow escape against Swiss world No. 15 Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round.

"I didn’t feel like I was the better player on the court that night. Stan deserved to win even maybe more than I did, but that's the sport," he said.

"I had a lot of tricky chances in the match where I had to come from match points down, and that's where you build your confidence and you try to use that mental strength from playing on the big stage."

Djokovic will now have precious little time to savour his Australian Open win. He's already in the air heading to Belgium to prepare for Serbia's Davis Cup tie starting Friday.

"I got the permission to leave tonight actually very early in the morning, not tomorrow. The main reason for that is because I want to get to Europe as quick as possible so I can be ready for the Davis Cup tie," Djokovic said.

"It's going to be a lot of fun next weekend to see how I can adjust to clay court in indoor conditions, playing away Davis Cup, which is always tricky. But right now my thoughts are going into this trophy and enjoying it as much as I can. Hopefully I'm going to have time to recover and get ready for that tie."

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