Australian Open 2013: Andy Murray Will Outlast Novak Djokovic in Final

Michael DulkaContributor IJanuary 26, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25:  Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts after a point in his semifinal match against Roger Federer of Switzerland during day twelve of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The last two years, Novak Djokovic has stood in the way of Andy Murray winning the Australian Open. This year, Murray will get past Djokovic and earn Grand Slam glory. 

In 2011, Murray got to the final, but couldn't hang. Djokovic won the match easily 6–4, 6–2, 6–3 for his second Australian Open win. In 2012, Murray and Djokovic were matched up in the semifinals. Murray battled Djokovic tightly, but eventually fell. Djokovic won the match 6–3, 3–6, 6–7(4–7), 6–1, 7–5 in nearly a five-hour battle. 

The different paths they took to this year's final could also play a significant role in determining the outcome. Murray battled through an intense five-set match against Roger Federer, while Djokovic cruised through a three-set sweep up David Ferrer.

If Murray can come back refreshed from his marathon against Federer, the high-level play from the semifinals could help him out. Against Ferrer, and previously in the tournament, Djokovic was in control in the entire match. He needs to come out answering Murray and avoid a sluggish start. 

Djokovic is coming off back-to-back losses in Grand Slam finals for the first time in his career. Murray on the other hand, enters having won his first Grand Slam final in his last appearance. He defeated Djokovic in the U.S. Open. 

Murray is primed and ready to take down Djokovic. Murray's confidence is high after controlling much of the match against Roger Federer. Murray is still riding the wave of confidence from his magnificent 2012 season. He went to the Wimbledon final, won the U.S. Open and won Olympic gold on home soil. 

This match will likely come down to which player is more sound and executes their plan. Murray's focus level has to be very high after a challenging match. Whereas once Murray's composure was questioned, he's done brilliantly to turn that around of late.

Expect the match to be very close and a long fight for the win. Murray will use his strength and speed to outlast Djokovic in what should be a very long match.