Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic: How the match unfolded in Melbourne


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The Independent Online

In a tight first set, in which Djokovic took the first game after the opening point was won by Murray, the British player saves four break points in the sixth game. Djokovic is the aggressor, no more so than at 3-3 when he bludgeons his way to 30-0 on Murray's serve. But there are no breaks of serve. Murray plays a perfect tie-break, helped by a Djokovic double-fault, to win the set.

Serving at 0-1 in the second set, Djokovic holds serve from 0-40 down, as his comeback is aided by a Murray forehand which goes a whisker wide. Murray is the better player. Djokovic gets a little testy and the world No 1 shows his frustrations at 2-3 by kicking a ball into the stands (left). But again there are no breaks, despite Murray also falling to 40-0 down in the 10th game. In the next game Murray wows the crowd with a cross-court forehand winner for 15-0, but he is unable to break the Serb's defences as the set goes to another tie-break.

At 2-2 in the second set tie-break Murray is distracted between his first and second serves by a feather blowing in the breeze (left) and the world No 4 serves a double-fault. When Murray serves at 3-5 in the tie-break Djokovic wins a thrilling point, punching the air after Murray's backhand goes into the net. Another netted backhand gives Djokovic the tie-break 7-3.

Before the start of the third set Murray sends for a trainer and has a blister on his right foot taped after having the area slathered in iodine. His movement seems increasingly impaired. While Murray is being treated, Djokovic uses one of the barrels containing drinks to lean his leg on while he stretches his groin.

Murray begins the third set moving relatively fluidly and in the first six games the match follows the rhythm of the previous sets. After nearly three hours both players look as if they are beginning to tire. Djokovic makes the first break to go 5-3 up in the third set, which he takes in the next game when Murray hits a return long

Before the fourth set Murray remonstrates with the umpire, over his failure to keep the crowd quiet. He wins the first game, battling to deuce after Djokovic takes advantage of the Scot's rattled temperament. At 0-1 in the fourth set Djokovic holds serve from 30-40 down, saving break point with a service winner. It is Murray's last break point of the match. He hobbles with a hamstring problem

In the next game Murray saves one break point with an unreturned serve but on the next puts a backhand into the net as the match swings firmly in Djokovic's favour

When Murray serves at 1-3 in the fourth set, he misses two forehands on game point. On break point he concedes a double-fault to give Djokovic a double break

Djokovic serves for the match at 5-2 and on the second point the Serb hits a smash which catches the top of the net and the balls topples over the other side. Three points later he converts his first match point.