Australian Open: Serb joins multi-majors club
MELBOURNE, Australia ó Novak Djokovic gave his old friend Andy Murray a sympathetic hug and a few consoling words, then got on with the real celebrations.
Djokovic walked to the middle of the court, tossed his racket into the crowd, then stripped off his shirt and shoes and hurled them, too.
The 23-year-old Serb had plenty to celebrate after his 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win over Murray in the Australian Open final on Sunday night. Djokovicís second Australian title made him only the fourth active player on the menís tour to win multiple majors. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have had a lock on the menís side, winning 21 of the previous 23, while Lleyton Hewitt has two titles ó the last coming at Wimbledon in 2002.
ěItís been a fantastic tournament for me,î Djokovic said. ěI donít want to fly up to the sky and say, ëI am the best,í or whatever. I cannot compare to Rafa and Rogerís success.î
Heís the most successful player so far in 2011, though, and thatís what counts right now.
ěCertainly this will give me a lot of motivation for the continuation of the season, because to win a Grand Slam at the start of the season is the best start you can ask for,î he said. ěIt means a world to me. Iím still 23. I still have a lot of time to go.î
Top-ranked Nadal came to Australia aiming to win a fourth consecutive major and complete a ěRafa Slam.î He lost in the quarterfinals. Federer came in as the defending champion and lost to Djokovic in the semifinals.
The loss for fifth-seeded Murray continued his horrible stretch in Grand Slam finals ó he hasnít won a set in three tries, including losses to Federer last year in Australia and at the 2009 U.S. Open. It also extended the long drought for British men at the majors that dates back to Fred Perryís titles in 1936.
Djokovic and Murray have been friends since they started playing each other at age 11 or 12.