• British No 1 Andy Murray is playing in his fifth Australian Open final
  • He is yet to win this Grand Slam; he faces reigning champion Novak
  • Djokovic is world No 1 and has beaten the Scot in the final three times
  • The Serb is looking for an 11th Grand Slam title, and sixth in Australia
  • The first two sets went to 28-year-old star, Djokovic: 6-1, 7-5

John Downes For Mailonline

  • Elliott Bretland

    Host commentator

  • John Downes

    Host commentator

It’s Djokovic’s turn to get some rip on a flat backhand as he forces Murray out wide before planting one to the other side of the court to make it 30-30. But the Scot gets the hold with a solid, overhead volley to keep himself in contention in this third set, at least.

Monstrous from the back of the court from Novak Djokovic. All you can do is admire the shot placement from the Serb. But somehow it’s 30-30, then 30-40 with Murray still in the game. But on break point Murray got sucked into a forehand, and the Serb then served well to go an advantage up. Murray hit long as the Djoker, predictably, survived the earlier break point scare.

Murray’s forehand has broken down a lot today and he’ll be disappointed. It let him down once more as Djok took it to 15-15, and then 15-30. But Murray is a fighter and won the next two points to make it 40-30. Djokovic then hit long, as Murray got a gutsy hold to hang in there in the match.

Djokovic has no problem on his service game, so confident, not losing a point. Murray looks a dead man walking.

The sting has been taken out of Murray, here. He missed a smash which made it 15-40 on his serve, before Novak got the early break with a backhand pass down the line, which clipped the white paint.

After an awful first set, Murray was picked up on the courtside microphones saying ‘this is the worst match I’ve ever played’.

That definitely cannot be said of the second set, which was more like the bruising battles we have become accustomed to with these two. 

But Murray will look back at missed opportunities when he failed to close out games: 15-30 on the Djokovic serve at 5-4, 40-0 when he was serving at 5-5 and the break point for 6-6.

With Djokovic 171-1 from two sets up in the best-of-five-set format, it looks a near impossible task from here for Murray.

Djokovic, at 30-15, has a momentary lapse in concentration and double faults… two in a row, gifting the Scot a break point. But Murray then loses as it goes to deuce, and he’s not happy, thinking Djok has hit his serve long. His frustration spills over into the next point as he hits long, and he smiles ironically. Murray then nets as the Serb takes the second set.

Murray seemed to be cruising through his service game with few problems. At 40-0-up, he then marginally hit one wide, which he challenged. Djok then crashed a forehand past him with some lovely footwork. The Serb then won a long, long rally as Murray hit a backhand wide, before Djok went up an advantage. The world No 1 then got the break after Murray hit long following two ropey shots in a row which hit the net cord.

Murray is ‘red-lining’ this here, his rev-ometer must be at about 6000 trying to survive against Djokovic and that could take its toll later. If only he had could have taken those chances at 3-2.

Djokovic put it into the net to go 15-30 behind but Murray then topspin forehanded into the net, before snatching at a backhand and Djok pumps his fist as he holds serve.


Murray doesn’t do things the easy way but Djokovic is messing with his mind here with some terrific returns of serve. At 30-40 down, after his racket survives from being smashed into the deck by about an inch, Murray then responds with a big serve to take it to deuce. He then takes advantage but loses the subsequent long rally, before serving a ‘slider’ ace out wide. He has 10 aces to Djok’s 4. The Serb just won’t go away though and it’s 40-40 once more. Murray gets too much on his forehand as it goes long, and Novak gets his own advantage and a break point. Murray does damage on the backhand side, flat, once again and it’s deuce. He then constructs another brilliant point and wins it with a topspin backhand winner. Scintillating stuff. Djokovic then nets as Murray gets the job done. Pivotal game in this absorbing contest.

Murray responds well to that setback to go 30-15 up but he hits his 30th unforced error and it’s 30-30. But he carves out another break point opportunity as Djok hits one of Murray’s drop shots into the net… and Murray then wins it as it hits the line! He’s got his reward and he’s back on level terms – Djok is broken for the first time in the match. Terrific strength of character from Murray. The Serb challenged Murray’s last winner but it clipped the line.

Murray doesn’t regroup after the emotionally draining game of the one before and hits his third double fault of the match (Djok has none) on the first serve of his service game. He recovers to go 30-15 up, constructing his points very well. He then roars in more frustration as he’s up in the point but then produces an unforced error into the net, and does so again to go 30-40 down, and then goes long… Could that be the decisive break in this second set?

Murray’s getting a look at some of Djok’s second serves now. The tide is turning, Murray has definitely stepped up. But Murray misses an opportunity at 15-30, and he knows it. It goes to 40-30 and Murray seems to mouth ‘shambles’ to Amelie Mauresmo in the crowd. But he takes it to deuce and is fired up. What a chance to carve out a break point as he constructs a point brilliantly before missing a seemingly easy volley at the net. But he brings it back to 40-40, before hitting a slice down the line long and Djokovic survives the onslaught, winning the game.

We might just have a match developing here. That shaky overhead from Djokovic in the last game was a positive sign for Murray, who is finally settling in.

And even Djokovic cannot play lights out non-stop. Key has been Murray serving picking up somewhat.


But those inside the Rod Laver Arena are sensing more of a contest, here. And what a point to claim his service game after going 40-15 up. The pair exchange drop shots, before Djokovic lobs Murray, Murray loops back, Djok returns and Murray dispatches expertly. The crowd ERUPTS. Game on.

Murray needs to make inroads into Djok’s serve and does so winning the first point of the game, before losing the next four; the Serb has that knack of finding that first serve when he needs it. What a contrast to the last game.

The second set is still in the early stages but that 12-minute game felt so crucial in the context of the match.

Very still out here on court now. That breeze I mentioned earlier has disappeared.

Murray has been utilising the sliced backhand more in this game. But Djokovic has still been getting some joy, and takes this game to deuce. Murray luckily clips the top of the net and over, though, to give himself advantage but smashes into the net and is angry, talking to himself. Murray then comes into the net after a good approach shot before the Serb plays a sensational, wristy backhand at full stretch past him to give him the advantage. Murray brings back deuce with a good serve but hits out again. A rare error from the Djoker brings it back to 40-40 and Murray loses ANOTHER point to give Djokovic advantage once more. But such is the courage of the Scot that he brings back deuce with a lovely smash… before giving Djokovic advantage again by hitting into the net. But he fires down another ace! And then he wins an advantage for himself before getting the job done with another ace down the middle. My word, he had to work hard for that…

Djokovic wins his first service game of the second set. He won the first three points, before Murray got one back but ultimately it was an easy hold; he’s given so little away on serve. And it looks like he’s got a little fan back home…

The beast has certainly woken inside Andy Murray. Two huge ‘COME ON’s as he begins his service game 30-0 in the first game of the second set. But Djokovic brings it back to 30-30 before Murray takes the lead once again and that makes an important hold to set the tone.

A few slivers of hope towards the end of the set for Murray but he has simple got to serve better to get back into this.

Djokovic really at his peak and playing at the sort of level that made Federer look a novice for two sets.

Djokovic in control, although Murray did at least put up some resistance to prevent the dreaded bagel and extend the set to 30 minutes.

But this is a curious performance from Murray so far. No energy, no emotion and lingering looks at his box.

The game goes to 30-30 with Murray now trying to unsettle Djokovic. It seems as if a switch has flicked in Murray’s mind in the past couple of games. The Serb plays a brilliant drop shot which Murray gets to, just, before he dispatches to bring up his first set point. However, Murray then takes on Djokovic’s second serve with a superb backhand winner cross-court to bring up deuce. Nole then wins the set with his third set point, as Murray can only plant his opponent’s serve into the net. The Scot didn’t wake up until the sixth game of the match, which ultimately proved too late after two breaks of serve against him.





You have to feel for Murray. He went 30-15 down but then won the next three; the second of which saw him reclaim a bit of form, winning a long rally, emphatically. He has finally woken up.

Djokovic playing like a man who believes he owns this court and Murray has no answer.

His only chance in this match is for his serve to be immaculate and so far it has been anything but.

Disappointed hum maround the crowd who weren’t hoping for something as one sided as what we have seen since that break point in the first game.

Crikey. This is embarrassingly one-sided. Perfect tennis from ND. After just 19 minutes Nole is 5-0-up without breaking sweat. He had an extra day to recover after his semi-final and it looks like it is telling.

As odd as it sounds in the opening 10/15 minutes of the match, Murray looks mentally tired and a little flat – eight unforced errors and no winners. And it’s a double break for Djokovic, after Murray goes 40-15 down again. Oh dear, oh dear.

Djokovic immediately piling on the pressure with his returns, no doubt contributing to that Murray double fault.

‘Give him a chance, Novak’ shouts one of the spectators. 

The Serb is purring here and into his stride very quickly, backing up his break, winning his second service game without dropping a point.

After going down 40-15 on his first service game, Murray feels the pressure and delivers a double fault as the Djoker gets his first break of the game. Nightmare start for the 28-year-old Scot.

Djokovic’s introduction from the announcer is starting to take as long as that of Roger Federer.

Slightly warmer inside the stadium than I would have expected, conditions should be relatively quick and the roof is wide open,which is not always the case.

Bit of wind about, which Murray likes. All in all pretty good conditions. Tennis regular Niall from One Direction is said to be here, think that may be him close to the Djokovic box.

If Murray is to avoid becoming only the second man in the Open Era (1968 onwards) to lose five finals at the same Grand Slam – his former coach Ivan Lendl at the US Open is the other – then the first set is key.

Murray has never beaten Djokovic after losing the first set. In the best of five set format especially, it’s so tough to come back from a set down against the Serbian.

With Djokovic serving off at the Rod Laver Arena, the Serb begins with the first two points before Murray brings it back to 30-30. Murray has been getting great depth with his returns. And the Djoker hits an unforced error into the net for a break point for the Scot in the opening game of the match. But Djokovic dispatches a wicked backhand cross-court and Murray hits long for advantage. After Murray brings it back to deuce, Novak slams down an ace, and then collects the first game with Murray hitting one into the net.


A pleasant evening here in Melbourne. The roof was closed for the pre-match ceremony but is now slowly opening. Threat of a shower later perhaps, though.

With the roof open, there is a noticeable breeze in here which should suit Murray, given he grew up playing his tennis on the wind-swept courts of Scotland.

Distance covered on their way to the 2016 Australian Open final:

Novak Djokovic: 15,492.5 metres.

Andy Murray: 15,934.1 m.

Difference: A measly 441.6 m.

It’s a fairly cool, clear evening in Melbourne with a bit of a breeze to swirl around the Rod Laver Arena, which Andy Murray will not be unhappy about.

Not many people here fancy his chances, but I would expect a competitive match and it is essential that Murray takes the first set.

There is currently a parade of Australian legends, including the likes of Rod Laver, Pat Rafter and John Newcombe being paraded before the crowd.

Ken Rosewall bringing out the trophy – hopefully not an omen as he missed out in plenty of Grand Slam finals.

STUART FRASER: So here we are once again. After a tumultuous five-set battle with big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, Andy Murray finds himself in a fifth Australian Open final and a fourth against world No 1 Novak Djokovic.

But here is a statistic that perfectly sums up the contrasting fortunes in Melbourne of the current best two players in the world.

Before this year, Djokovic had reached five finals here and won all of them. Murray, on the other hand, has contested four finals and lost on each occasion. 

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY



STUART FRASER: It was third time lucky for Jamie Murray on Saturday as the Brit finally claimed his first Grand Slam men’s doubles title at the Australian Open.

Murray and Australian partner John Peers had suffered defeats in the finals at both Wimbledon and the US Open before the pair split at the end of last season.

But Murray has found an accomplished and experienced partner in Brazilian 33-year-old Bruno Soares and the pair beat Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 to go all the way in the first Grand Slam tournament they have played together.  

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY




STUART FRASER: Andy Murray will look to end his Australian Open drought but faces an uphill task against world No 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic, with the Serbian aiming for a record-equalling sixth Melbourne title.

Djokovic goes into the match as the favourite with five final victories while Murray has lost on all four of his previous final appearances, with three of those losses to the top-ranked Serb.

With Djokovic chasing his 11th Grand Slam title, Sportsmail looks at how Murray can clinch his first Australian Open title on Sunday, with the help of three respected figures in the game. 

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

MIKE DICKSON: Andy Murray will go into Sunday’s Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic with one potential advantage — nobody is piling expectations on him to win.

Legends and experts around Melbourne Park were united in the predictable view that the Serb would add to his Grand Slam collection, while Murray will be left with the ample consolation of impending fatherhood.

The 28-year-old Scot revealed on Saturday that he has been carrying round a book called ‘Commando Dad’ to prepare him for the imminent birth of his first child.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

Keep up-to-date with all of today’s action as Andy Murray looks to beat World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the men’s Australian Open final.

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Andy Murray faces world No 1 Novak Djokovic on Sunday morning in the final of the Australian Open, looking to finally win a first title.

Murray has been involved in the final four times before, and lost on all four occasions, three times against Djokovic.

And the Serb, who was in stunning form to beat Roger Federer in the semi-final, is looking for an 11th Grand Slam title, and a sixth in Melbourne.

Can Murray make it fifth time lucky? Follow it LIVE with JOHN DOWNES, along with updates from MIKE DICKSON and STUART FRASER in Melbourne.

Andy Murray faces Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Sunday morning

Andy Murray faces Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Sunday morning

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