Novak Djokovic is once again the Australian Open champion.
The Serb battled through illness, Andy Murray and a mid-match court invasion to take his fifth Australian Open title 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-0. It was his eighth career major title.
It was also Murray’s fourth Australian Open final defeat. The Scotsman has lost six of eight Grand Slam finals.
The final was stopped during the second set when protestors made it onto centre court at Rod Laver Arena calling for the Manus Island detention centre to be closed. Two were arrested and six others were interviewed by police and evicted from Melbourne Park.
Djokovic, meanwhile, struggled with a mystery affliction that caused his legs to wobble. At several stages, his knees buckled, and he seemed to be fighting for breath between points.
Down two sets to nil, Murray rallied early in the third and was serving for 3-0, but Djokovic broke back and took the set 6-3.
The final set was a straight rout.
“Firstly I’d like to congratulate Novak on his fifth Australian Open title,” Murray said. “It’s an incredible record, thoroughly deserved.
“I’ll try and come back next year and have a slightly different outcome in the final.”
Djokovic thanked his entourage, including coach Boris Becker.
“They sacrifice their lives in order for me to be out here,” he said. “Without their support, this wouldn’t be possible.”
He collected $3.1 million for the win and remains in the lead of the tour rankings. Murray earned $1.55 million.
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