World number one Novak Djokovic has beaten British hopeful Andy Murray in a tense four-set final to take his third successive Australian Open title.
The Serb, who lost the first set to third-seeded Murray, eventually overcame his rival to win 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2.
The final – a repeat of last year’s US Open title decider, which Murray won in a gripping five-set thriller – began with two evenly-matched sets and was packed with long rallies as both players dug deep to claim the first Grand Slam of the year.
To reach this year’s Australian Open final, the British number one had overcome Roger Federer in a five-set semi-final, while Novak Djokovic was imperious as he brushed aside his opponent David Ferrer in straight sets.
Today’s result marks Djokovic’s sixth Grand Slam as the world number one continues to edge ahead of his closest rivals, Federer and Murray.
Murray suffered from blisters during the match, and at one point took the umpire to task for not controlling crowd noise, but he was magnanimous in defeat, saying: “I would like to congratulate Novak. His record here is incredible. Very few people have managed to do what he has done here.”
Djokovic said: “What a joy. It is an incredible feeling to win here again. It is definitely my favourite GS – I love this court.
“Congratulations to Andy on reaching the final. We have played so many terrific matches in the last few years and hopefully there will be many more to come.”