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Djokovic uses injury dupe to crush Murray

01/02/2015 00:00:00
by Agencies
Fell for the old dupe ... Andy Murray

NOVAK Djokovic crushed Andy Murray in the final stages to claim the Australian Open men's singles title 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-0.

Murray had seemed on the front foot as he won the second set to level the match, then broke early in the third set to lead 2-0.

But Djokovic then won 12 of the next 13 games to enjoy an extraordinary victory - and consign Murray to a fourth defeat in the final in Melbourne.

The Serbian superstar, by contrast, has a perfect five-out-of-five record in Australian Open finals - and fully justified his world number one status as he roared away with the match.

The Serb also spared a thought for his opponent at the end of the match.

"I want to congratulate Andy for a great tournament.... Tough luck tonight. You are a great competitor.

"You fight a lot, and I want to congratulate your team and wish you all the best in the rest of the season."

To the surprise and delight of the crowd he then turned things personal: "I will also congratulate you and Kim on your engagement, and I wish you a wonderful wedding.... I wish you many kids!"

Murray kept calm in his speech, thanking the fans and his team behind the scenes: "Unfortunately we couldn't get it but I'm a little bit closer than I was a few months ago.

"I will try to come back next year, and hopefully have a slightly different outcome in the final."

Murray also congratulated his opponent, praising his "incredible record, and thoroughly deserved."

Up to his old tricks? ... Doctors attend to Djokovic

Djokovic got tongues wagging at the key moment of the match as he appeared injured at the start of the third set, hobbling slightly between points.

But as so often in the past Djokovic's mystery injury disappeared as quickly as it had appeared - prompting Murray to shout out "he ALWAYS does it" - and as he produced a string of brilliant winners, Murray's touch deserted him completely.

The cursory handshake between the two men at the end between two players who used to be firm friends said it all - Murray was clearly unimpressed at how the world number one's antics had unsettled him at a critical moment.


But the Scot can have few complaints: he allowed his opponent to get under his skin, and after playing an exemplary tournament finally lost his head when it mattered most.

In this most gladiatorial of sports, Murray was ultimately beaten by a player who proved himself both physically and mentally superior.

Murray himself was furious at himself for getting duped in his post-match press conference.

"It was clear that he was cramping. I let that distract me a little bit," he said, gallantly refusing to speculate on the veracity or otherwise of Djokovic's injury.

"That’s what I’m most disappointed about. I’m frustrated at myself to let that bother me.

"To me the reason why I lost that match was not a physical reason because I feel fine now."

Djokovic was adamant he was struggling.

"When the third set started, I didn't feel too good on the court," said Djokovic. 

"Honestly, I felt weak in my legs. But in the back of my mind, I knew that we had a very similar match a few years ago.

“Knowing that I got the better of him physically back then kept me going. It gave me confidence."

Murray's fiancee Kim Sears briefly stole the limelight with her 'Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics' t-shirt - referring to her well-publicised, X-rated rant in the stands during the semi-final - but as the tennis began the match swung back and forth from the start.

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