Just enough time to say a quick thank you for every single one of your comments over the past 14 days. Another unforgettable Grand Slam in the can and although the hard-court stretch continues for a while yet, it's time to start turning our attention to the red stuff. Next (major) stop? Roland Garros. And that, good people, is where Andy Murray's search for a maiden Grand Slam title resumes. Goodbye.
Not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but I've just been informed there will be no highlights show of the men's final on the BBC tonight. Don't shoot the messenger!
Murray makes a dash for the locker room as Djokovic sets off on his lap of honour, parading his freshly-engraved silverware to all corners of Rod Laver Arena. The debate is sure to rage on for hours, days, weeks and months but Murray deserves credit for a fine fortnight. Unfortunately for the British number one and his fans, he came up against a player in the form of his life and Djokovic was fully deserving of the title.
Adam, Watford, via text on 81111:
"Sorry, but Murray didn't even threaten in this final. He simply hasn't got the mental aptitude to win the big one. It'll always be an entertaining rollercoaster ride with him but ultimately it will be disappointment."
Novak steps up to the podium and lifts the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup to a deafening ovation. He praises Team Murray and then his own squad - "you are the best, I love you guys" - before pledging his support to the Queensland flood victims. However, the world number three finishes by dedicating his victory to the whole Serbia, his parents, girlfriend and brothers. And to think he was considering an approach by the LTA to represent Great Britain's Davis Cup team just a few years ago...
The presentation is under way on Rod Laver, various dignitaries commiserating with Murray. "I'll try to keep it together this time," says Murray
. "Congratulations to Novak and his team, you had an unbelievable tournament. Thanks to my team as well, hopefully I'll come back and have another chance. I'd like to thank the umpires too, even though I give them a hard time. And finally to the fans - unbelievable support the last few weeks, thank you very well. I look forward to coming back next year and trying to win."
So Murray becomes the first man in the Open era to lose three Grand Slam finals without picking up a set. Former British flag-bearer Tim Henman on BBC One
admits a third major final defeat "is something that will hang over his head, it will be a long flight home" but adds that "he has many more chances in front of him". Boris Becker questions whether Murray's ongoing wait will become "a mental thing". Boris also suggests this win confirms Djokovic as the eventual successor to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the summit of men's tennis.
And that, my friends, is what you call an utter demolition. After breaking at 5-4 in the opening set, Djokovic was in total control. Try as he might, Murray just couldn't find a way through. Nole deservedly seals his second Grand Slam title at the scene of his first, while for Murray and Great Britain the wait goes on. Seventy five years and counting...
Murray 4-6 2-6 3-6 Djokovic
When Murray nets a forehand approach to give Djokovic 30-0, he wears the look of a 23-year-old who knows the game is now up. But it's not just yet, Djokovic sending successive backhands beyond the baseline to bring us back to 30-30. Murray is right in the next rally only to clip the tape with a forehand. He repeats the not-so-clever trick at championship point and there it is. NOVAK DJOKOVIC BEATS ANDY MURRAY TO WIN THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN
.* denotes next server
Murray 4-6 2-6 3-5 Djokovic*
Murray cuts a forlorn figure after working tirelessly at 30-15 to pin Djokovic back with a series of bludgeoning forehands, but the Serb lands a defensive lob on the baseline before coaxing an error to level at 30-30. After Murray smacks a forehand down the line for game point, Djoko forces deuce and it's soon break point
. Murray looks a worried man. The Scot nets a forehand out wide and there's the break
. Djokovic to serve for the championship.* denotes next server
Sam via text on 81111:
"I'm going to go ahead and say it. This is embarrassing. Djoko - although playing well - is nowhere near the standard he was against Fed. Andy's outbursts are petulant and his constant appeals to his box are tragic. I'd love Andy to come back... But he needs to play the man not the occasion. "
*Murray 4-6 2-6 3-4 Djokovic
Supreme athleticism and majestic shotmaking allow Djokovic to keep his nose in front. An ace and net-cord get the world number three to 40-15 but he then not only reaches a ball he no right to get near but unleashes the most sumptuous winner down the line to close out the game. Massive service game coming up for Murray now.* denotes next server
Murray 4-6 2-6 3-3 Djokovic*
To clarify, if Murray loses today he will become the first man in the Open era to have reached three Grand Slam finals without winning a set
. That prospect looks a whole lot likelier when Djokovic engineers two breaks points
in game six, only to let both slip by the wayside. Murray holds firm with a laser-guided forehand - his 20th winner of the match. He's only two behind Djoko now but has made 40 unforced errors to the Serb's 29.* denotes next server
*Murray 4-6 2-6 2-3 Djokovic
Spirited riposte from Murray to seal the instant break-back
with a show of aggressive that will fill his supporters with hope. The Scot races to 15-40 and although the first break point is saved with a booming ace down the 'T', the second sees Djoko slice a backhand into the net. Game on.* denotes next server
Danny via text on 81111:
"Time for a famous comeback, to be spoken about for the next 75 years"
Murray 4-6 2-6 1-3 Djokovic*
One-way traffic at the start of game four, Djokovic tearing into his opponent's serve to register break points
nine and 10. Both are saved by Djoko errors but it's Murray who goes long to bring up a third break point
. The British number one saves that - and two more break points
- with heavy serves before a sixth
is saved with a clipped forehand put-away. The Scot eventually gets to game point, only to crumble under the pressure of a fierce Djokovic return. And when Murray fails to control a stinging body shot at the net, the Serb has his seventh break point
of the game. This time he takes it after luring Murray forward and reading an attempted put-away before stabbing a backhand winner down the line. Djokovic breaks
and lets out a roar of delight. "Surely he's got one hand on the trophy now," says Andrew Cotter on BBC One
.* denotes next server
*Murray 4-6 2-6 1-2 Djokovic
Normal service resumed as Djokovic holds to 15 with a classy hold in which he pushes the first-serve percentage towards 70% and the winners tally up to 18. Just to let you know, if Murray loses today he will become the first man in the Open era to have reached three Grand Slam finals without winning a set.* denotes next server
Murray 4-6 2-6 1-1 Djokovic*
Erm... no. Murray punches his racquet and lets out a tirade of expletives after giving Djokovic an immediate break-back points
. Murray surges forward in an attempt to avert the danger so Djoko puts a defensive lob straight up into the Melbourne sky, knowing full well that Murray has struggled with overheads all fortnight. The Scot duly his return into the tramlines. Nole gets that break
back and we're on level terms once more.* denotes next server
*Murray 4-6 2-6 1-0 Djokovic
An early sniff for Murray at 0-30 and that's much better from the Scot, far more aggressive. Djokovic ups the ante and gleefully watches on as Murray's unforced error count rises to 28, yet it is the Serb who begins to falter with two poor forehands gifting Murray a break point
. The scream of "C'mon" suggests he's bang up for this and the break
arrives when the world number five gobbles up the Djokovic second serve with a forehand winner down the line. Judy's on her feat giving it a good fist pump. She urges Andy Ireland and Jez Green to get up too. Could this be the turning point?* denotes next server
Hector, Dundee, via text on 81111:
"Am I right in thinking that if Murray looses in straight sets he will hold the unwanted record of most grand slam finals without winning a set?"Sounds about right but not 100% sure
Murray 4-6 2-6 Djokovic*
Djoko back on song with a couple of g forehands but Murray levels with a delicious off-forehand winner which Nole doesn't even bother to chase. The Serb gets to deuce, though, and some phenomenal defensive skills bring another set point
. Can he do it this time? Indeed he can, Murray netting a tame groundstroke to hand his opponent the two-set lead.* denotes next server
adam_chailland on Twitter:
"Maybe this is all part of Murray's masterplan of lulling Djokovic into a false sense of security... #bbcaussieopen"
*Murray 4-6 2-5 Djokovic
Where on earth did that come from? Murray races to 0-40 thanks mainly to some terribly loose hitting by his opponent. Three break points
to the world number five... the first of which is taken when Djokovic flings a forehand over the baseline. Life in this set yet? Murray blinking wildly at the changeover, seems to have a problem with his eyes. Perhaps Djoko could lend his pal the eye drops... or not. A manual refresh will show the score at 5-2
, not 6-2. My bad.* denotes next server
Murray 4-6 1-5 Djokovic*
Judy and the Team Murray clan doing all they can to rally their man but Djokovic is in near-total command and comes in to dispatch an easy put-away, which registers set point
. Finally, though, the Murray serve clicks into gear and he avoids the ignominy of a love set with an ace out wide, his fourth of the day.* denotes next server
*Murray 4-6 0-5 Djokovic
Hints of life from Murray as he ups the tempo to take the first point in game five but Djokovic is playing out of his skin and storms through to close in a bagel set. Two aces aid his cause and Murray will now serve to stay in the second set.* denotes next server
Murray 4-6 0-4 Djokovic*
Dear oh dear. Murray's entire game has gone to pot and Djokovic is able to break to love
when the British number one throws a backhand long for his 24th unforced error. Plenty of talk about Murray's body language now, what do you guys think?* denotes next server
*Murray 4-6 0-3 Djokovic
Nothing going Murray's way right now. "There's more pace and angle on the Djokovic groundstrokes, he's the one making Murray do the running," says John Lloyd on BBC One
. Murray looks to be getting frustrated and keeps telling himself to relax, even shouting the word in the direction of his player box. Djokovic holds to 15 with an unreturnable down the middle. His first-serve percentage is at 63% to Murray 46% and he has made 17 unforced errors to the Scot's 21. The winners count favours Djokovic too - 11 to Murray's eight.* denotes next server
Murray 4-6 0-2 Djokovic*
Novak calls for the magic eye drops but he appears to be seeing the ball like a football right now and a vicious forehand sees him level at deuce before forcing a break point
when Murray drills long. The Scot saves it with a blistering serve out wide but here a second break point
... Murray thinks he's escaped with an ace down the middle but Nole challenges and Hawkeye calls the serve wide. Andy has won only 46% of points on his second serve today and Djokovic attacks it once more, drawing his opponent into the net and then passing him with a crosscourt backhand to snatch the break
as well as the second-set ascendancy.* denotes next server
gazpetersen on Twitter:
"Great stuff so far but Novak just seems more consistent than Andy at the minute. Let's up the ante Andy!! #BBCAussieOpen"
*Murray 4-6 0-1 Djokovic
A first ace of the day helps Djokovic to 40-0 and he closes out the most emphatic of service holds when Murray floats a sliced backhand a foot or so over the baseline. Nole seems to have an answer to everything Murray throws at him - much as Ferrer did in Friday's semi-final. On that occasion, Murray reverted to Plan B, tightening his strings and stepping into the court more often. Is similar action required now?* denotes next server
barnyobarnyo on Twitter:
"What a first set. Don't think Rafa or Fed are missed at all. The desire between Andy and Novak is electrifying #bbcaussieopen"
Murray 4-6 Djokovic*
Ominous signs for Murray after he opens with a big double-fault. Djokovic looks desperate to pounce and follows up some outstanding defence with an aggressive forehand winner. This is, without question, some of the most brutal tennis you will see all year. These two are taking lumps out of each other but it's Djokovic who makes the first move and brings up two set points
when Murray nets at the end of another energy-sapping rally. The British number one then fires long. Djokovic gets the break and the set
, so it's first blood to the world number three.* denotes next server
Lee, Harrold Hill, via text on 81111:
"Djokovic is holding serve far more convincingly than Murray. But something tells me we are in this for the long haul"
*Murray 4-5 Djokovic
The chants are all for Djokovic as he once again holds with aplomb, an inside-out forehand winner leaving Murray rooted to seal the deal. Murray will now serve to stay in the first set. And I can confirm he has his re-strung racquets with which to do so.* denotes next server
Murray 4-4 Djokovic*
Moving towards the business end of the opener now but Murray is refusing to blink. The 23-year-old Scot still looks coolness personified - as does Djoko, to be fair - and snaps up game eight when his opponent wafts a crosscourt backhand into the tramlines. When these two met for the first time at the age of 13, Murray won 6-0 6-1. Things are clearly going to be far tougher today.* denotes next server
*Murray 3-4 Djokovic
Still no significant pressure from Murray on the Djokovic serve. "Neither player making an impact on the other's second serve - something they will both look to change," says John Lloyd on BBC One
. Murray asks Jake Garner if his re-strung racquets are back but the answer is "no". He asks for the first one to be sent back as soon as it's ready. With the cooling temperatures comes a slowing of the ball through the air and Murray knows tighter strings will up the power of his groundstrokes.* denotes next server
Murray 3-3 Djokovic*
Murray still posting a first-serve percentage below the 50% mark but it doesn't seem to be causing him too many problems at present. Quite a straightforward hold, that, with Djokovic's forehand finding the net for his 11th unforced error to level the set.* denotes next server
aurorarain on Twitter:
"If both guys continue to play in this manner, it will come down to who has the greater stamina."
*Murray 2-3 Djokovic
This time it's Djokovic's turn to struggle with an overhead, drawing gasps from the crowd as he smashes a routine overhead into the net. But it's a hold to 15 for the Serb, too, and the pressure swings back into Murray's corner. At the changeover the British number one is seen in fairly heated conversation with American chair umpire Jake Garner - "calm down, calm down," says Murray. Not sure what all that was about. * denotes next server
Murray 2-2 Djokovic*
"Murray may be sending rackets to be re-strung but Djokovic will have to ask for some new trainers if he keeps this up," says John Lloyd on BBC One
after the latest in a series of exhausting exchanges. Barely a quarter asked or given by either man so far. A stunning crosscourt backhand pass and ace number two help Murray hold to 15 and the Scot looks to have found his rhythm, although a first-serve percentage of 48% doesn't bode too well.* denotes next server
*Murray 1-2 Djokovic
A first look-in on the Djokovic serve for Murray. The world number five from Dunblane goes all David Ferrer on us, refusing to budge in a mammoth baseline rally, so Djoko attempts to change things up with a sliced drop shot which catches the tape. Nole levels things up but then slips to 15-30 with a sloppy forehand. And Murray really should move to 15-40 but floats an uncharacteristically poor smash beyond the baseline. A few more marathon rallies follow before Djokovic scrapes over the line. Get comfortable, people, you could be in for a very long ride.* denotes next server
Farid, London, via text on 81111:
"Why doesn't Murray wear a blue top rather than luminous green so he blends into the court and is less visible to Djokovic?!"
Murray 1-1 Djokovic*
Generous applause for Murray as he comes out to serve but it's Djokovic who makes the better start in game two, scrambling around the baseline to return a couple of big groundstrokes and a Murray overhead en route to 0-30. Two wayward forehands - apparently Djokovic's "weakest" shot - give Britain's finest his first points of the day and he powers through to 40-30 with a yelp of "C'mon!". Djokovic levels with a precise inside-out forehand which Murray can't reach, but the Scot fires long to bring us back to deuce and then nets a forehand to give his opponent break point
. Real opportunity for Nole, this, yet he wastes it by firing long and Murray follows up with ace number one, a 132mph howitzer down the 'T'. Former women's world number one Ana Ivanovic looks on with a smile as her fellow Serb reels Murray back in, but his radar goes a little wonky and Murray eventually comes through with another unreturnable delivery.* denotes next server
*Murray 0-1 Djokovic
And it's a high-tempo start from the Serb, known as Nole to friends and fans alike. One solid first serve and three heavily-spun second deliveries, allied to a few rusty returns from Murray, get Djokovic up and running with a hold to live.* denotes next server
Chair umpire Jake Garner calls time and you know what that means. Is it to be third time lucky for Andy Murray
? Or a second Grand Slam title for Novak Djokovic
? The world number three from Serbia to get us under way.
Spine-tingling ovations for both men as they enter Rod Laver Arena. Murray first out and the capacity crowd are on their feet. But Djokovic just about shades it with an ear-splitting welcome. The pair meet at the net for pleasantries and coin toss before wishing one another good luck. "They don't mean it," says Boris on BBC One
. Temps down to 28 degrees so the heat shouldn't be a major factor. Although Djokovic is sporting a bandage on his left knee.
Phil via text on 81111:
"Sitting in a poorly air conditioned hotel room in Douala, Cameroon. Come on Andy, the time is now!!!"
So here we go. Players emerging from the locker rooms. Quick word with TV. Murray
hoping his defeat by Roger Federer in last year's final will help. Djokovic
seeking a similar performance to that which brought him the 2008 title. A manual refresh from we're all set.
It's all too much for me, I'm going to hand over to David Ornstein to take you through the match game-by-game while I pace the hallway like an expectant father. Summon up the blood and see you on the other side, everyone...
Speaking on BBC One, Boris Becker:
"Once you've won your first Grand Slam the pressure is never going to get easier but it helps you to prepare for matches like this. If you're Andy Murray you must have it in your head that you haven't won one yet. It's his third Grand Slam final, last year he cried after losing to Federer and that could play tricks with your mind."
From Joel, Mill Hill, via text:
"I need to be out the house at 9:15 for some Sunday League footie action; so Andy, wrap it up in under 45, or pull through a 5 set special taking at least 4 hours please."
OK, that's pretty glamorous. At least it is from Shepherds Bush. However, if you too are in the UK then a manual refresh of this page will give you access to 5 live's coverage
, while BBC One
is under way at the top of the page.
allinthegutter on Twitter:
"The control room of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii is cheering for Andy Murray today!"
richardgorvett on Twitter:
"Settling in for this one in Kigamboni, Tanzania. Reliant on the live text updates to follow this, so cheers Piers!"
We're told that the roof across Rod Laver Arena, which has been closed all afternoon in Melbourne, is about to open, exposing the growing crowd to some brutal sunshine.
It's great to hear so many of you are following events in Melbourne, anyone able to outdo Leighton Buzzard on the glamour stakes? There will be a dash of stardust on Rod Laver Arena today as the casts of Neighbours
and Home & Away
get shunted for bona fide film stars Eric Bana and Toni Collette. Someone is going to have to enlighten me about "Australian pop singer & songwriter" Missy Higgins though.
Preparations are under way in the BBC commentary box on Rod Laver Arena, levels are being checked and last-minute comfort breaks taken before BBC One coverage kick offs at 0815 GMT
. I sense tension. The calmest man over the last 24 hours has definitely been Andy Murray, and he and Djokovic were out practising in front of large crowds earlier today. The pair have known each other since they were about 12 and were
gushing about their friendship in yesterday's excellent BBC interviews.
Andy hearts Nole, and Nole hearts Andy.
From Ajeet, Leighton buzzard, via text:
"Just got a cab back home after a messy night out yesterday. Slightly hungover, bleary eyed, and very nervous! Got a real feeling this is andy's year and can't wait to see him lift his first major! Come on Murray!"
Bill from Aylesbury via text:
"Oh my goodness, so excited i have to say i agree with Jamie i think Andy definitely has a stronger overall game and hasn't Novak wilted in the heat before. Cmon Andy lets do this."
Ron from Dunfermline via text:
"A Scottish Minister here - said a little prayer for Andy as he is preparing for final and I prepare for Church... What can I say - I'm a sucker for miracles!"
Speaking on the BBC News Channel, Tim Henman:
"For me, it's a bit of a 50-50 job - Djokovic and Murray are playing fantastically well. They've got great games and are superb athletes, so it will probably boil down to who creates the chances and takes them on the day. Murray is possibly the more versatile but Djokovic is the form player of tournament. If you look at how Federer and Nadal have dominated the men's game for so long, this is a really is a good opportunity for Murray. But you want to do a good job of controlling the things you can control. What's said and written doesn't really matter - he'll just be keen to go out there and do well today. I've just done a radio interview in which I said Murray to win in five, so now I'll say Murray in four to cover more bases!"
drewskingle on Twitter:
"Having a late night in British Columbia, either this or sleep & first bus to the ski slopes in the morning!"
garrethhawkins on Twitter:
"Watching Murray from Cyprus, this is a great chance for him to get on the grandslam board. Come on Andy!"
Ah, Fred Perry. Anyone who can walk into the changing room saying loudly, "Thank God I'm not playing me today," is alright by me. Maybe Andy should try that. Perry was, of course, Britain's last male Grand Slam singles champion at the US Open in, er, 1936. Fred won all four major titles during his stellar career, including the Australian Open in 1934,
when he beat Jack Crawford for the loss of just nine games.
"Better tennis has never been seen in Australia than that of Fred Perry in his match against Jack Crawford yesterday afternoon," said the local newspaper. "He dominated the game from the beginning to the end of a very fine contest, one sided though it unquestionably proved to be." A bit more of that will do nicely.
Jamie Murray on Twitter:
"Waiting for it all to begin..1hr to kill....gym time...need to get rid of the mahoosive steak i tucked away last night...vamos andresito! my feeling is if they both play their best tennis....andy's is better.......but i'm biased!!"
After an unusually cool fortnight in Melbourne it's an absolute scorcher for the men's final, with temperatures peaking at around 40C earlier in the day and expected to remain well above 30C for the start of play at 7.30pm local time.
We're in this together and I need to know where you're watching, who you're supporting, what else you should be doing, and what victory plans you have in place should your man prevail. You can get in touch via
Twitter (hashtag #BBCAussieOpen )
or by sending a text message to 81111
(UK) with TENNIS before your message. If you have a specific query then
or my colleague
I'd go for David.
You're obviously mad keen if you're already up on a Sunday morning gawping at this, but don't worry - sound and vision will be available within the hour for UK users. BBC One and Radio 5 live coverage kicks off at 0815 GMT
and will be carried online
and on the Red Button
, all of which will be available from this page.
Or maybe not. The British number one is only 23 and will have plenty more opportunities to win Grand Slam titles, but shall we just get it done today? Then we can all move on. It might not be that easy - we know it won't be that easy - because across the net in today's Australian Open final will be world number three and 2008 champion Novak Djokovic
, the marginal favourite on form, rankings, Grand Slam experience and head-to-head record.
"So is he going to do it then? He's got to do it this time, surely....?" If not for British tennis, then for the sake of my cab driver and his forlorn plea at 5.45am this morning, today is the day for Andy Murray
to make history.