Novak Djokovic won his sixth Australian Open title and his 11th Grand Slam title on Sunday morning, defeating Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (3).
The victory tied him with Roy Emerson for the most Australian Open titles in men's history, according to SportsCenter on Twitter, and it put him among a select group of players who had dominated individual tournaments, as Bleacher Report UK listed:
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
Best in the Open era #AusOpen: #Djokovic (6 wins) @rolandgarros: #Nadal (9) @Wimbledon: #Federer/#Sampras (7) @usopen: Fed/Samp/Connors (5)1/31/2016, 12:00:53 PM
It also capped off what has been an absolute dominant run at the Grand Slams in recent memory, where he's now won 34 of his last 35 matches, per Christopher Clarey of the New York Times.
Murray certainly didn't go down without a fight, as he held the advantage in aces (12-7), winners (40-31) and net points (22-11). But Djokovic's excellent defense, resiliency and ability to punish Murray's second serve—he won 26 of Murray's 40 second-serve points—ultimately won him another Grand Slam title.
There was little for Murray to do after the match but pay his respects.
“I feel like I’ve been here before,” Murray said after the match, managing a small laugh, per Jacob Steinberg of the Guardian. “I’d like to congratulate Novak for six Australian Opens, it’s an incredible feat."
Phil McNulty of BBC Sport put the loss in perspective:
Phil McNulty @philmcnulty
Disappointment for Andy Murray again at Aussie Open - but all should remember he is playing a genuine great of the game in Novak Djokovic.1/31/2016, 11:39:15 AM
Kevin Palmer of the Sunday World added that Murray still has a long climb ahead of him to reach the heights of Djokovic:
Kevin Palmer @RealKevinPalmer
Novak Djokovic is as close as there is to sporting perfection right now...Andy Murray still a long way from finding a way past him #AusOpen1/31/2016, 11:36:50 AM
Djokovic, meanwhile, was deferential and classy as ever in victory, per Steinberg:
I need to pay the respect to Andy and his team for another tournament. You are a great champion and a great friend. I’m sure in the future you are going to have more opportunities to fight for this trophy. I would also like to wish you and Kim a healthy delivery of your baby and I hope you will experience a feeling like no other before, because that’s what happened to me and my wife.
He added, "Thank you to my team. A Grand Slam is unique, we all breathe as one. We live each hour with a purpose," per the Australian Open on Twitter.
He also took time to pay his respects to Emerson, per the Australian Open on Twitter:
Australian Open @AustralianOpen
Djokovic: "To Mr Roy Emerson who isn’t here tonight, it's a privilege to match your record of six #AusOpen titles" https://t.co/jltjyQ9hn51/31/2016, 12:03:09 PM
Perhaps even Djokovic had to take a step back to acknowledge his own dominance, per Howard Bryant of ESPN The Magazine:
Full Dissident @hbryant42
Done, finito...phenomenal effort by Djokovic. Even he was muted in victory.1/31/2016, 11:47:30 AM
John Cross of the Mirror summed up that dominance:
John Cross @johncrossmirror
Straight sets looks brutal. Djokovic is just incredible. What a champion.1/31/2016, 11:42:42 AM
For Djokovic, a unique legacy is forming. Finally winning at Roland Garros this season and capping a career Grand Slam will likely be the main goal of the season, but he's also now chasing Roger Federer's record of 17 career Grand Slam titles as he looks to continue building his resume as one of the game's all-time greats.
If his dominant showing at the Australian Open was any indication, keeping Djokovic from accomplishing those goals will be a beyond-difficult task for the rest of the men's field.
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