Australian Open final: Djokovic, Murray bidding for firsts Down Under

  • Reuters, Melbourne
  • Updated: Feb 01, 2015 06:26 IST

For two men who have accomplished so much in their closely intertwined careers, the Australian Open final between friends Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on Sunday could achieve a number of firsts.

Should Djokovic beat Murray he will become the first man in the Open era to win five titles in Melbourne and be one away from Roy Emerson's record of six, won before the game went professional in 1968.

Victory will also allow him to reclaim his mantle as the king of Melbourne Park, having reached the final in four of the past five years.

"Getting to the finals is already a great achievement... but now this is the match for which you have worked for now two months," Djokovic said after he beat last year's champion Stan Wawrinka in the semi-final. "This is where you want to be.

"This is why you put all these hours on and off the court, trying to get yourself in a position to win grand slam trophy, because that's what matters the most."

Djokovic is bidding for his eighth grand slam title and has a superior 15-8 career record over Murray.

He has also won seven of the last eight matches, while in his run of three successive Melbourne Park titles, he beat Murray twice, in 2011 and 2013.

While the history is against Murray, the Scot is used to rewriting it. It would be his first title at Melbourne Park, from his fourth final appearance, the most required in the Open era to win the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

It would also end another long barren streak for British men's tennis, as he would be the first British man since Fred Perry in 1934 to clinch the Australian title.

Ending long losing streaks back to the days of Perry is something the 27-year-old Scot is becoming accustomed to.

He became the first British man since Perry to win a grand slam title in 76 years when he clinched the US Open in 2012 and the first to win Wimbledon in 77 years in 2013. Both times he beat Djokovic in the final.

It would also be his first under new coach Amelie Mauresmo, with the Scot coming out after his semis win over Thomas Berdych to defend their working together.

Murray's form last year was criticised, with some pundits putting it down to Mauresmo's influence, but the sixth seed said the pair had barely worked together at all before the end of 2014.

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