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Dominant Djokovic shatters Murray’s dream

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Originally published on: 02/09/11 12:46

Novak Djokovic set the agenda for a new era at the Grand Slams after motoring past Andy Murray with Federer-esque assurance to claim his second Australian Open crown in Melbourne.

No longer a one-Slam wonder, Djokovic added to the glory of his 2008 defeat of surprise finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga while a willing – and still raw – 20-year-old with a confident and classy display in his fourth Grand Slam final.

He set about dismantling the Scot’s armoury from the outset, clocking 26 winners and forcing Murray into 47 unforced errors with grunting-groundstrokes that regularly crashed between the lines.

Djokovic matched the world No.5’s movement step for step and raised him on power, producing a performance to which last year’s finalist had no answer. A gruelling 59-minute first set laid the groundwork for a cracker, but its conclusion – when Murray made a forehand error at 4-5 – sounded an early death-knell as the fifth seed was simply outclassed in the two sets that ensued.

Despite winning his last three battles with the Belgrade native in straight sets, Murray had been the slight underdog ahead of the final, and he could only applaud the Serb’s dominance in the one that truly mattered. “He had an unbelievable tournament and deserved to win,” admitted the Scot.

Djokovic’s win may well have spelled the end of the  Federer-Nadal monopoly of the Grand Slam scene – the duo had shared 21 of the previous 24 major tournaments before Melbourne – but for the Serb, thoughts of the near future could wait.

He flung his shoes, shirt and racket into the crowd before proudly thanking his support team – and his nation. “I dedicate this title to my family, my brothers, my girl Jelena back home, my people that have been with me for so many years,” he said, with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup in hand.

“It has been a tough period for our people in Serbia. We are trying every single day to present our country in the best possible way, so this is for my country.”

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