Fitzgerald Cecilio

Melbourne, Australia

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic etched his name in the history books Sunday, becoming the first man in the Open era to win three straight Australian Open trophies by beating Andy Murray, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 in three hours and 40 minutes.

"What a joy," said Djokovic. "It's an incredible feeling winning this trophy once more. It's definitely my favorite Grand Slam and my most successful."

"I love this court. I'd like to congratulate Andy and his team for a great two weeks. We've played so many important matches in the past few years and I hope there are many more to come," he added.

Djokovic joined Andre Agassi (1995, 2000-01, 2003) and Roger Federer (2004, 2006-07, 2010) as a four-time Australian Open winner in the Open Era.

The title was the sixth for the Serbian, who won his first major title at the Australian Open in 2008 and followed with titles at Melbourne Park in 2011 and 2012. He also defeated Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2011.

Djokovic improved his head-to-head record against Murray to 11-7 and avenged the five-set defeat he suffered to the Scot in last year's US Open final.

Djokovic also spoiled Murray's attempt to become the first player to back up his first Grand Slam title with victory at the following major championship.

The 25-year-old Murray ended Great Britain's 76-year drought for a male Grand Slam champion when he triumphed at the US Open in September.

Murray lost out in the final at Melbourne Park for the third time. In addition to his defeat to Djokovic in 2011, he was beaten by Federer in 2010.

The right-hander slipped to 1-5 in major finals, having also fallen to Federer in the 2008 US Open title match.

After battling for more than two hours in the first two sets, Djokovic seized control of the match by breaking Murray in the eighth game and winning four straight points to clinch the third set in 41 minutes.

In the fourth, Djokovic stormed to a 5-2 lead but had troubles closing out the victory when Murray delivered two winners. However, the Serb regained his bearings and wrapped up the victory.

Djokovic Tops Murray, Wins Third Straight Australian Open Crown