MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (AP): Novak Djokovic won his second Australian Open title, breezing past Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 today to extend Britain�s near 75-year drought in men�s singles Grand Slams.
Murray has now been runner-up in three Grand Slam finals � losing to Roger Federer at both the 2008 U S Open and the 2010 Australian Open before his third disappointment today which enabled Djokovic to add to his 2008 Australian title.
The Scotsman has not won a set in a Grand Slam final. Last year, Murray had tears after his loss to Federer. They weren�t immediately visible this year, but the hurt may have been just has bad after he lost seven straight games through the end of the first set and into the second and never appeared to be in the match.
The last British man to win a Grand Slam singles title was Fred Perry at the 1936 U S Open � more than 270 majors ago.
Murray and Djokovic, who are each 23 and were born a week apart, are good friends and often practice together. At the coin flip ahead of the match, Djokovic smiled broadly for photos while Murray looked fidgety and nervous.
After the match, the two hugged, then Djokovic threw his racket, his shirt and then his shoes into the crowd.
The roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena for most of the day due to 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) temperatures, but was opened just before the match started and after the weather had cooled significantly.
Trailing 5-4, Murray double-faulted to lead off the 10th game of the first set. Then he hit a backhand into the net after a 39-hit point. Murray challenged the final point of the set when he thought his forehand stayed in on the backline, but Djokovic walked away with the set in 59 minutes.
Djokovic held serve on four straight points to open the second set, then went up 2-0 when he again broke Murray�s service, finishing off the point when Murray�s attempted drop shot was returned crosscourt for a winner. Murray had five unforced errors in the first two games.
The Serbian player went up 3-0, then continued his domination in the next game, breaking Murray in four straight points to go up 4-0 and held for 5-0, his seventh straight game win. Murray finally stopped the streak with an ace on game point to trail 5-1, then broke Djokovic in the next game to cut the margin to 5-2.
Murray appeared to be having problems with his eyes, blinking often and rubbing them on changeovers and often during points. That didn�t help in the next game when he again dropped serve and lost the second set in 40 minutes, Djokovic establishing set point with a memorable crosscourt winner off a near-impossible shot from Murray.
The third set started with Murray�s second break of Djokovic�s service in the match, but Djokovic ensure that Murray�s advantage was short-lived by breaking him in the next game. After an unforced error wide, Murray pounded his fist and yelled out in disgust.