MELBOURNE: Andy Murray will bid to end a tormenting run of three losing Australian Open finals as world number one Novak Djokovic eyes a fifth triumph in Sunday’s decider in Melbourne.
The year’s first major has been a heartbreak Grand Slam for the Scot, but he has given himself another chance to finally break through and add to his Wimbledon and US Open crowns.
To do that the British sixth seed must halt Djokovic’s formidable record on the Melbourne hardcourts where he reigns supreme, is four-from-four in finals and into his fifth title decider in eight years.
Djokovic has beaten Murray in two of his three Australian losses in 2011 and 2013, but the feisty Scot has mastered the Serb in his two major triumphs at the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon.
History also beckons for Murray, who became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years two years ago. He could also become the first Briton since Fred Perry in 1934 to lift the Australian trophy.
Djokovic, chasing his eighth Grand Slam triumph, is the favourite, but Murray carries sentimental support given his travails in Melbourne. The question is whether he is a better player for those experiences.
“I know it’s going to be extremely difficult to win the match tomorrow. I know if I want to win, it will probably be very tough and challenging physically,” Murray said Saturday.
“So I need to prepare myself mentally for that. But he has a fantastic record here. He obviously loves the court and the conditions. It would be a big upset if I manage to win tomorrow.”