MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)— Napanalunan ni Novak Djokovic ang ikalimang titulo sa Australian Open ng kanyang career habang nadagdagan ang kabiguan ni Andy Murray sa Melbourne Park.

Tinalo ni Djokovic si Murray, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0, sa final noong Linggo, at ginawang runner-up ang Scotsman sa ikaapat na pagkakataon sa apat na pagtatangka nito sa Australian Open final. Dalawang beses nang unang natalo si Murray kay Djokovic, noong 2011 at 2013, at kay Roger Federer noong 2010.

“There were a lot of turning points in the match,” sabi ni Djokovic. “Regardless of the record I have here, we both knew we had equal chances to win. It was a cat-and-mouse fight, it always is with us.”

Nakuha ni Djokovic ang momentum sa dikdikang labanan sa pamamagitan ng isang service break sa eighth game ng third set at nakakuha ng 4 sunod na puntos. Nang kanyang makuha ang 4-0 bentahe sa huling set, malakas niyang hinampas ang dibdib upang magdiwang.

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Sa pagtatapos ng laban, ibinato ni Djokovic ang raketa sa crowd sa Rod Laver Arena.

Si Roy Emerson, ang isa pang natatanging lalaki na nakapanalo ng lima o higit pang Australian titles, ay bahagi ng mga manonood at kinilala ni Djokovic ang presensiya ng six-time champion.

“I’m so grateful to be standing here as a champion for the fifth time, and to be in the elite group of players,” sambit ni Djokovic.

Nalugmok si Murray sa kanyang upuan matapos ang laro habang hinihintay ang presentasyon ng tropeo, at muli niyang tinanggap ang runner-up plate sa halip na ang tropeo.

“It’s been my most consistent Grand Slam of my career. I haven’t been quite able to win, but the support I’ve received here has been amazing,” ani Murray. “I’ll try and come back next year and hopefully have a slightly different outcome in the final.”

Sinabi ni Murray na nagkaroon siya ng mga tsansa na mapanalunan ang laro.

“Obviously I had opportunities in the first three sets,” giit ni Murray. “In the fourth set, I mean, he was just ripping everything. Returns he was hitting on the baseline. Once he got up a break, he just loosened up and was just going for his shots. I couldn’t recover.”

“Novak has won five times here now, there’s no disgrace, obviously, in losing to him.”