Novak Djokovic owned the most recent meeting with Andy Murray as he captured his third-straight Australian Open title by beating Murray 6–7(2-7), 7-6(7-3), 6–3, 6–2. But the two 25-year-olds figure to meet many more times in future Grand Slam finals.
This rivalry could very well shape the face of men's tennis for the next five years.
It is great to see two of the world's best players playing at their peak at the same age. The two men have also known each other since they were teenagers, so their history will always add a compelling backstory to their matches.
Live Tennis quotes Djokovic on the subject:
Here's what Djokovic on rivalry with Murray: we've known each other since we were 11/12, that adds something very special to our rivalry...— Live Tennis (@livetennis) January 27, 2013
Of course, there are other players in the world that can make their mark during Murray and Djokovic's reign, but no one is in a better position to shine than these two.
If you look at recent history, the trend has already begun.
The 2013 Australian Open marked the seventh-straight Grand Slam final in which either Murray or Djokovic appeared. It was the second time the two men met in a Grand Slam final.
Djokovic also defeated Murray in the Australian Open final in 2011. That win began his run of three-consecutive titles in Melbourne.
He does own an 11-7 edge over Murray in their career series, but there is no doubt his development was quicker than Murray's. Nole has enjoyed a head start, but it doesn't mean that at some point, the Englishman won't catch up.
Murray has shaken the moniker of choke artist by winning the 2012 U.S. Open and by capturing a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics. The next challenge to overcome will be besting Djokovic in a Grand Slam final.
From the looks of things, he'll have plenty of opportunities over the next couple of years.