Djokovic strikes back

Congleton Guardian: Novak Djokovic lets out a roar after winning the second set of the final (AP) Novak Djokovic lets out a roar after winning the second set of the final (AP)

Top seed Novak Djokovic fought back to claim the second set against Andy Murray in the Australian Open final, leaving their clash finely poised at one-set apiece.

In the first set, Djokovic was the more aggressive player but neither man could grab a break as it remained on serve until the breaker, which third seed Murray won 7-2. The second set went to another tie-break and this time it went Djokovic's way 7-3 thanks to two mini-breaks - the first off a Murray double-fault.

Should he win, Murray would become the first player in the Open era to back up his first grand slam title by also winning the major which followed.

After failing to drop a point in his first two service games, Murray suddenly found himself under pressure at 2-3 as a long backhand saw him fall 15-40 down. A wide forehand and a big Murray serve saw him get back to deuce but the Serbian continued to threaten.

He could not break through, though, a big serve, big forehand combination warding off the third break point while the fourth was saved as Djokovic put a backhand in the net.

Murray held, as did Djokovic for 4-3 despite playing one shot from the baseline horizontally after slipping. The top seed was certainly having more joy on his opponent's serve and he carved out a fifth break point for a 5-3 lead but Murray got out of trouble. It remained on serve - although Murray had to escape from a 15-30 jam at 5-6 - to go into a tie-break.

The Scot raced into a 4-0 lead and duly got over the line as Djokovic put a forehand long.

The momentum remained with Murray at the start of the second as, after holding to love, he set up his first three break points as Djokovic's forehand broke down completely. But the world number one hit back from 0-40 down thanks largely to a go-for-broke mentality, which saw him twice venture forward to shorten the points at the net.

He was still not looking comfortable, though. Struggling with his game, as well as his footwear, Djokovic was cutting a frustrated figure as he gestured frequently to his camp, as well as bouncing his racket off the court as his unforced error count continued to rise.

As in the first, the quality began to rise as the set reached its conclusion. A brilliant Djokovic backhand pulled him level once again at 5-5 but Murray's continued excellence on serve kept him at arm's length, although the Serb came out on top in the tie-break.

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