Tag Archives: djokovic

Andy Murray beats Andreas Seppi in Sony Open in Miami

Murray in the box seat after rival Djokovic suffers shock defeat by Haas in Miami

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

08:15 GMT, 27 March 2013

Two-time defending champion Novak
Djokovic suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Tommy Haas to leave
Andy Murray in the box seat at the Sony Open in Miami.

Veteran German Haas completely
outplayed the world No 1 for a 6-2 6-4 victory meaning Murray, who
earlier beat Andreas Seppi by the same scoreline, is the highest seed
left in the tournament going into the quarter-finals.

In control: Andy Murray was seldom stretched against the No 16 seed

In control: Andy Murray was seldom stretched against the No 16 seed

From 2-1 down in the first set, Haas
won seven straight games to got 6-2 2-0 up and, though Djokovic
eventually broke back to level, the 34-year-old held on for his first
victory against a world No 1 since 1999.

In
distinctly chilly conditions in the late match, there were hints of
what was to come as Haas held his first two service games to love.

Haas then sealed the first break of the match as Djokovic netted, and the Serbian handed him another with a poor shot at net.

Net result: Murray is in to the last eight in Miami

[caption

The 15th seed took the first set in less than half an hour, then kept on rolling with a break to open the second, in part thanks to a double fault from his opponent.

Djokovic saved break points in his next service game too, before holding to stop the rot, then pounced on some rare unforced errors from Haas to seal a break of his own and level at 3-3.

Haas broke again though at 4-4 and it proved decisive as he sealed the match at the second attempt with a forehand winner.

The German’s prize is a last-eight meeting with 11th seed Gilles Simon, who beat Janko Tipsarevic in three sets.

Murray breezed into the quarter-finals, where he will face Marin Cilic, after cruising past 16th seed Seppi.

Murray has yet to drop a set in this tournament and this did not seem likely to change today as he was rarely tested by his Italian opponent, whose sole break point opportunity came in the final game.

The Briton felt the windy conditions worked to his advantage.

'It was swirling a little bit at the start and he made more unforced errors than he usually does,” he told the Independent.

'I was able to track down a lot of his balls because he wasn’t timing his shots that well.

'But he started going for his shots more in the second set and made it tough for me.'

A
limp forehand into the net immediately gave Murray two break points in
the opening game and another unforced error from Seppi gave the world
number three the initiative.

To the exit: Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd as he leaves the court after losing to Tommy Haas

To the exit: Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd as he leaves the court after losing to Tommy Haas

Seppi,
who reached a career-high 18th in the world in January this year, won
just four points on Murray’s serve in the first set and was broken again
in the seventh game as the US Open champion put one foot into the next
round.

The second seed wasted three break point opportunities at the start of the second set before Seppi steadily settled.

The 29-year-old had a slight hope of getting back into the match when Murray found himself 4-3 and 0-30 down on his serve before storming back to level.

Big hit: Tommy Haas of Germany celebrates his win

Big hit: Tommy Haas of Germany celebrates his win

In the very next game, Murray earned his fourth break point opportunity of the set and he would not be denied this time as Seppi crashed a forehand into the net.

The Briton had a bit of a wobble serving out the match and although Seppi had an opportunity to break straight back, Murray sealed victory with his first match point, booking a meeting with ninth seed Cilic who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 7-6 (7/4).

There were also wins for the third
and fourth seeds, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych, as well as Richard
Gasquet and Jurgen Melzer.

In
the women’s draw, Serena Williams matched Steffi Graf’s record for the
number of match wins in this tournament, a 6-3 7-6 (7/5) win over
Australian Open finalist Li Na in the quarter-finals seeing the American
claim her 59th victory in the Miami Masters.

'I’m excited,' said the five-time champion in her on-court interview. 'It’s just great.

'Every
day I play here is a surprise for me because I enjoy it so much. I
enjoy the great crowd and I’m just happy to still be here.'

Williams
will next face Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who produced an
astonishing shot in the second set to help her beat Belgium’s Kirsten
Flipkens 4-6 6-4 6-2.

Wrong-footed by a net cord, Radwanska spun more than 180 degrees and stuck out her racquet for an improvised volley winner, leaving her opponent staring in disbelief.

Ruthless Djokovic helps ease Serbia through Davis Cup first round

Epic seven-hour encounter between Czech Republic and Switzerland smashes Davis Cup record for longest tie

PUBLISHED:

23:01 GMT, 2 February 2013

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UPDATED:

02:02 GMT, 3 February 2013

Davis Cup defending champions the Czech Republic
claimed a 2-1 lead over Switzerland after a seven-hour epic.

Tomas
Berdych and Lukas Rosol eventually overcame Stanislas Wawrinka and
Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 24-22 in a match featuring
250 winners, 51 aces and just six break points converted from a possible
38.

At seven hours and one minute it was
the longest Davis Cup match in history, surpassing the six hours and 22
minutes played by John McEnroe and Mats Wilander in 1982 before
tie-breakers had been introduced.
The United States surprisingly missed the chance to wrap up victory over
Brazil as Mike and Bob Bryan went down to Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo
in Florida.

Epic: Davis Cup

Epic: Davis Cup

Soares and Melo secured a 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win to trail 2-1 going into Sunday's reverse singles.

Last year's beaten finalists Spain
kept their hopes alive against Canada in Vancouver after Marcel
Granollers and Marc Lopez twice came from a set down to beat Daniel
Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-2.

Without the likes of Rafael Nadal and
David Ferrer, Spain slipped 2-0 down in the opening singles, but
Granollers and Lopez, who is ranked as the third best doubles player in
the world, dug deep to keep them in it.

Elsewhere, World No 1 Novak Djokovic needed to play just one match as Serbia completed a comprehensive victory over Belgium in their Davis Cup World Group first-round tie.

Novak Djokovic

Simply the best: Djokovic only needed to play one match in his country's tie against Belgium

Djokovic
had done his bit with victory over Olivier Rochus in yesterday's second
singles after Viktor Troicki had beaten David Goffin, and the
Australian Open champion could sit back and watch Saturday's doubles as
Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic saw off Ruben Bemelmans and Steve Darcis in
four sets.

That gave Serbia an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie in Charleroi, with Djokovic likely to sit out tomorrow's dead rubbers.

Novak Djokovic

Team player: Djokovic cheered on countryman Viktor Troicki

France also wrapped up an easy
triumph over Israel, with Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra thrashing
Jonathan Erlich and Dudi Sela in this afternoon's doubles.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet had beaten Amir Weintraub and Sela respectively in yesterday's singles.

Novak Djokovic

Great year: Djokovic has had a great start to 2013 after winning the Australian Open last week

Austria kept their hopes alive
against Kazakhstan with a doubles victory for Julian Knowle and
Alexander Peya, who defeated Andrey Golubev and Yuriy Schukin 7-6 (7/5),
6-3, 7-6 (7/3).

Kazakhstan will take a 2-1 lead into tomorrow's singles in Astana.

Argentina also advanced to the quarter-finals after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead over Germany in Buenos Aires.

Following singles wins for Carlos Berlocq and Juan Monaco, David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos combined for a doubles victory over Christopher Kas and Tobias Kamke, winning 6-1, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

Italy will take a 2-1 lead into the final day of their tie with Croatia in Turin after Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini beat Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (13/11).

Australian Open: Andy Murray hails Novak Djokovic"s incredible record

Murray hails Djokovic's 'incredible' Australian Open record after four-set defeat

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

13:08 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:08 GMT, 27 January 2013

Andy Murray paid tribute to Novak Djokovic after losing in the Australian Open final on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.

The Serb was too hot to handle for Murray in the third and fourth sets as he ran out 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2 in Melbourne.

Djokovic sealed his fourth Australian Open title and Murray praised the champion's 'incredible' record Down Under in the post-match presentation.

Beaten: Andy Murray had no answer to Novak Djokovic's onslaught in the third and fourth sets

Beaten: Andy Murray had no answer to Novak Djokovic's onslaught in the third and fourth sets

'I would like to congratulate Novak – his record here is incredible,' said Murray.

'Very few people have managed to do what
he has done here. He is a very well-deserved champion.

'To his team… I know you can't do this on your own and he has great people around him.

'I'd like to thank my team – they've done a great job with me.'

Force: Djokovic was too good in the end for Murray as the Brit was forced to settle for the runners-up trophy

Force: Djokovic was too good in the end for Murray as the Brit was forced to settle for the runners-up trophy

Force: Djokovic was too good in the end for Murray as the Brit was forced to settle for the runners-up trophy

Djokovic, who lost the US Open final to Murray, responded: 'I have to thank Andy for his kind words.

'We have played so many thrilling
matches over the last few years. Bad luck tonight and I wish you luck
for the rest of the season.

'What a joy. It's an incredible
feeling winning this trophy again. It's definitely my favourite grand
slam, my most successful grand slam. I love this court.'

Champion: Djokovic claimed his fourth Australian Open title with the four-set win

Champion: Djokovic claimed his fourth Australian Open title with the four-set win

Champion: Djokovic claimed his fourth Australian Open title with the four-set win

Missed chances: Murray won the first set but failed to take three break points early in the second

Missed chances: Murray won the first set but failed to take three break points early in the second

Fighter: Djokovic was on the ropes in the opening part of the match but he eventually wore Murray down

Fighter: Djokovic was on the ropes in the opening part of the match but he eventually wore Murray down

Hampered Murray had treatment for blisters

Hampered Murray had treatment for blisters

Edge: Djokovic has won his last three matches against Murray since the US Open final

Edge: Djokovic has won his last three matches against Murray since the US Open final

Edge: Djokovic has won his last three matches against Murray since the US Open final


Repeat: It was the second time Djokovic played Murray in the Australian Open final after the Serb won in straight sets in 2011

Repeat: It was the second time Djokovic played Murray in the Australian Open final after the Serb won in straight sets in 2011

Winner: Djokovic also beat Murray in the semi finals last year

Winner: Djokovic also beat Murray in the semi finals last year


Too good: A Murray fan looks glum as the Scot couldn't live with Djokovic

Too good: A Murray fan looks glum as the Scot couldn't live with Djokovic

Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic Australian Open final LIVE

LIVE: Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic – follow all the action from the Australian Open final

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

00:01 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 27 January 2013

Andy Murray is bidding to win his second consecutive Grand Slam title when he takes on Novak Djokovic in Melbourne on Sunday.

The two have enjoyed some epic battles, not least in the US Open final last September and the Serbian world No 1 is aiming for a hat-trick of Australian Open titles.

Follow all the action with Sportsmail's unrivalled coverage and send your emails to [email protected]

8.15am: So, what can we expect today Some huge hitting no doubt and hopefully a five-hour, five-set epic. Djokovic has the upper hand over Murray, winning 10 of their 17 meetings as well as both matches at the Australian Open. But the Scot's win at the US Open was a defining moment for him, and for British tennis, and with that monkey off his back, who knows how far he can go

And interestingly, Murray has won four of the seven finals the pair have contested…

8.05am: Seems like just yesterday that I was here looking forward to the US Open final between the same two protagonists. Difficult to see anything other than another classic clash between the two best players in the world right now.

And as John Lloyd said this morning, if Andy Murray wins, he can rightfully call himself the best on the planet.

8am: Welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of the Australian Open final in Melbourne.

Andy Murray

Brad Gilbert: Even after a four hour bout with Federer, Murray will edge out Djokovic too

Even after a four hour bout with Federer, Murray will edge out Djokovic too

By
Brad Gilbert

PUBLISHED:

01:12 GMT, 26 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:16 GMT, 26 January 2013

After a four-hour match against Roger Federer, Andy Murray has a day less to prepare for the final than Novak Djokovic. But Andy is a very fit guy, and I’m not sure it makes that much difference.

It is not like the US Open where there is no rest day at all. Djokovic will know he had a cakewalk in the semis against David Ferrer; that will give him a little edge.

He made the world No 4 look like the No 100. He has won this title three times before. It is his most successful major.

Andy Murray has cut down on his tantrums and become far more focused on court

Head in the game: Andy Murray has cut down on his tantrums and become far more focused on court

He has a day less to rest and prepare for the final than Djokovic

Ice bath: He has a day less to rest and prepare for the final than Djokovic

Andy is playing as well as I have ever seen him. His serve is more accurate and heavy than before and his forehand is improved, too.

A few years ago, a lot of Andy’s game was about great defence, amazing movement and his backhand. But watching him against Federer, I was thinking it has been quite some transformation as his serve and forehand were the dominant shots.

He’s much more aggressive now and he’s not relying on defence any more.

He still has that in his locker but he’s much more attacking. It is partly down to confidence. He’s hitting a lot more winners. He served 21 aces against Federer, more than four times as many as the Swiss.

To have served only two double faults in the tournament is incredible. He will need to keep up that level as he is playing the world’s best returner.

Before, he too often was getting only 55 per cent of his first serves in. Now it’s 10 per cent higher. He can be freer on the court and take more risks.

Federer was gracious in defeat and admitted Murray outplayed him and deserved to win

Honest: Federer was gracious in defeat and admitted Murray outplayed him and deserved to win

His attitude is better, too. After that altercation in the fourth set with the umpire, he didn’t lose focus or mutter to his support team. He went and won the fifth instead.

It’s great watching him focusing on his tennis rather than getting distracted during matches.

Unfortunately for Andy, Djokovic does not have a weakness. His serve and forehand are also better than they have ever been.

Murray's serve demolished Federer for most of the match

Weapon: Murray's serve demolished Federer for most of the match

The pair are mirror images of each other and the world’s two best players at the moment. It will come down to who executes the big points best.

What will also be key is who can defend their second serve better. Andy showed resolve in his US Open final win against Djokovic. I’m sure that came from talking to Ivan Lendl about his experiences at the top.

I don’t think you’ll see the same probing rallies as in New York but more attacking, shorter rallies. It will be cool, which slows the court, too.

This match is what we call in American football a 'pick-em' – it's too close to call.

My hunch, though, is that Murray will edge it.

After looking rocking against Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic cruised past David Ferrer

Warning signs: After looking rocking against Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic cruised past David Ferrer

Australian Open 2012: Novak Djokovic reached quarter-finals after beating Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets

Djokovic survives scare from Swiss No 2 Wawrinka as he comes through early morning marathon

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

14:43 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 20 January 2013

It was 1.42am when we saw the shirt ripped off and Novak Djokovic reveal that increasingly familiar torso – the sight which says: ‘You just can’t beat me’.

Stanislas Wawrinka had played like a raging bull for five hours and two minutes, cutting and thrusting with a brutal forehand and elegant backhand. Still it was not enough to finish off a competitor whose spirit makes him stand alongside the greats of the game.

An astonishing half-volleyed paddle at a sharp angle delivered the final blow and Djokovic had made it into the last eight of the Australian Open with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 12-10 victory against the No 15 seed.

Time to relax: Novak Djokovic tweeted this picture of his post-match massage after seeing off Stanislas Wawrinka in an epic five-setter

Time to relax: Novak Djokovic tweeted this picture of his post-match massage after seeing off Stanislas Wawrinka in an epic five-setter

 Djokovic celebrated in his usual manner, ripping his shirt off after taking the fifth set 12-10

Winner: Djokovic celebrated in his usual manner, ripping his shirt off after taking the fifth set 12-10

It took until the early hours of the morning for Djokovic and Wawrinka to complete their five-set marathon

Tired: It took until the early hours of the morning for these two to complete their five-set marathon

Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

So close: Wawrinka won the fourth set tie-break and broke early in the second set, but Djokovic came back to win

The Swiss had been given a fairly easy ride so far, but the World No 1 was always going to be a tough challenge

Shock to the system: The Swiss had been given a fairly easy ride so far, but the World No 1 was always going to be a tough challenge

January is not done, but already there
is a contender for match of the year and, unquestionably, the match of
the year’s first Grand Slam. The 25 year-old Serb is through to face
Tomas Berdych and how much of a toll this has taken remains to be seen.

Last year he managed to rebound from a
match of four hours, 50 minutes against Andy Murray in the last four to
overcome Rafael Nadal and win the final in five hours, 53 minutes. So
there is no reason for the 27-year-old Czech powerhouse to think that
some of the work has been done for him.

Murray’s effort in the US Open final,
when he emphatically put Djokovic away in the fifth set and caused him
to severely cramp, was left looking all the more impressive by the
Serb’s typical refusal to submit and the way his body held up.

The 25-year-old Scot was this morning
due to play Gilles Simon, who featured in another late-night epic on
Saturday against compatriot Gael Monfils, although that was not in the
same bracket of quality as this five- part drama.

Wawrinka, Switzerland’s eternal
bridesmaid to Roger Federer, did everything but win this match and again
showed that he is capable of causing extreme discomfort to the very
best players if they are slightly below their top level.

The Serb is attempting to win his third consecutive Australian Open, which no man has managed before

Big dreams: The Serb is attempting to win his third consecutive Australian Open, which no man has managed before

There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

Shattered: There were five deuces in Wawrinka's final service game, and the Swiss played a stunning final rally, but Djokovic was just too good

Djokovic felt that his experience of
these situations was the difference. ‘In the end these kind of matches
help your confidence, they are what you live for and practise for,’ he
said.

‘I had a flashback of the 2012 finals.
I feel sorry that one of us had to lose, but I am just thrilled that I
was able to fight up until the last moment.’

That Wawrinka cannot quite deliver the
knockout punch explains why he has spent much of his career just
outside the top 10. ‘It was the best match I have ever played and the
worst I’ve ever felt afterwards,’ he said. ‘I fought like a dog.’ He
will look upon the four break points he created at 4-4 in the deciding
set and ponder how he failed to make one count, particularly the last of
them.

That was when he drilled an unplayable
service return onto the baseline only for the line judge to mistakenly
call it out. Wawrinka had one Hawkeye challenge left but neglected to
use it. Umpire Enrique Molina declined to over-rule and his foe escaped.

Whether he would have gone on to serve
out the match we will never know and such is Djokovic’s capacity to get
himself out of scrapes that it cannot be assumed.

Djokovic has won the last two titles
here and, with the exception of September’s defeat in New York, not
lost in one of the hard-court Grand Slams since 2010.

Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarters, after Berdych beat South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets

Quarter-finals: Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarters, after Berdych beat South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets

had Wawrinka challenged a call, he would have been serving for the match

Lucky: had Wawrinka challenged a call, he would have been serving for the match

The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

Exhausting: The final set ended as the clock approached 2am in Australia

It took more than five hours for the pair to finish their match in the Australian heat

Thrilling: It took more than five hours for the pair to finish their match in the Australian heat

His game is perfectly suited to absorb
what is thrown at him in this environment and the barrel-chested
Wawrinka hurled everything he could.

By the end it seemed a distant detail
that Djokovic had hardly helped himself by coming out with a defective
pair of shoes that caused him to slip all over the place in the first
set when faced with Wawrinka’s devastating start.

The Swiss took the first set in 25
minutes and served for the second at 5-3, by which time one of the
Serb’s gophers had brought him some new footwear. By then Wawrinka’s
certainty had faded and it could have all been over in the fourth set
but, unusually, his trademark backhand was more than backed up by
everything else in his game.

Only in the 24th game of the fifth set
did he crack and Djokovic clinched it on a third match point to the
delight of a Melbourne crowd who, not for the first time here, had
ignored thoughts of work to come later in the day.

Roger Federer is on in the same late
evening slot today against the powerful Canadian Milos Raonic as he
attempts to reach his 35th consecutive quarter final at a Grand Slam.

He will do so knowing that big danger still lurks in the other side of the draw – as hard to put away as ever.

Australian Open 2013: Andy Murray ready to step into the unknown

Relaxed Murray ready to step into the unknown in Australia as grand slam champion

By
Jon Fisher, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

13:00 GMT, 14 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 14 January 2013

Andy Murray will step into the unknown when he takes to the court on Tuesday at the Australian Open as a grand slam champion.

Murray ended his long wait for a maiden major at the US Open in September by beating Novak Djokovic in an epic five-setter.

The Scot has been candid about the fact the success has led to a more relaxed build-up to Melbourne but he admits to having no idea how it will affect him when he meets Dutchman Robin Haase in his opener.

Relaxed: Murray practises with coach Ivan Lendl on Sunday

Relaxed: Murray practises with coach Ivan Lendl on Sunday

Relaxed: Murray practises with coach Ivan Lendl on Sunday

'I have no idea how I'm going to play here,' he said.

'I have no idea how I'm going to feel when I go on the court.

'I said I feel more relaxed but I don't know the day when I play my first match, I could be unbelievably nervous.

'I don't know what effect it will have on me until I'm put in that situation.'

No player in the Open era has ever followed up his first grand slam title by winning the next one and Murray conceded it was a tough ask to go back to back.

He added: 'I know how hard these events are to win.

Unknown territory: Murray heads into the major as a grand slam champion

Unknown territory: Murray heads into the major as a grand slam champion

'If I don't win the Australian Open, I don't think it will be down to having won the US Open. It's down to the level of competition and how tough it is to win these events rather than what happened four or five months ago.'

Murray could have hoped for an easier opening assignment.

Haase may be 53 in the world rankings but his big-hitting style makes him a tricky opponent.

Murray experienced that first hand at the 2011 US Open when he had to come from two sets down to win their second-round encounter.

'He's a very good player, very talented,' said Murray. 'I had a tough match with him at the US Open, he likes playing on big courts.

Tough start: Murray faces big-hitting Dutchman Robin Haase in the first round

Tough start: Murray faces big-hitting Dutchman Robin Haase in the first round

'He tends to come out firing and going for big shots, playing extremely aggressive. So I'll need to be prepared for that.

'When I played him in New York it was a very, very tough match and I expect the same thing here.'

Murray won the warm-up event in Brisbane and appears primed to make another serious challenge in Melbourne after reaching the last four here 12 months ago and the final in both 2010 and 2011.

'I feel good just now,' he said.

'I've been practising well, moving well in practice.'

Andy Murray is as fast as Usain Bolt over first 10 metres

Murray is as fast as 100m world record holder Bolt… well, over the first 10 metres

saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open” class=”blkBorder” />

On a roll: 2012 saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open

His peak condition will come in useful over the next two weeks at the Australian Open, with high temperatures sure to add strain to what is already an exhausting tournament.

Last year’s final was only seven minutes shy of six hours as Nadal and Djokovic battled it out, and it wasn’t the first time that the Slam has seen a match last longer than five hours.

The tournament kicks off on Monday, with Murray seeded third and seeking his second Grand Slam title. Robin Hasse, ranked 54th in the world, will be the first obstacle in the Scot’s way.

With Rafael Nadal absent due to a virus and Novak Djokovic in the other side of the draw, Roger Federer is the biggest threat to Murray’s chances of making the final. The pair could meet in the semis, but before that Murray may have to overcome sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro.

Novak Djokovic issues warning to Australian Open rivals after Abu Dhabi win

I'm playing amazing! Djokovic issues ominous warning to Australian Open rivals after Abu Dhabi victory

|

UPDATED:

17:20 GMT, 29 December 2012

Novak Djokovic warned his Australian Open rivals that he is in ‘amazing’ form ahead of his quest for a third successive title in Melbourne.

The Serb beat Nicolas Almagro in three sets in the final of the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament after crushing tough Spaniard David Ferrer 6-0 6-3 in the semis.

And Djokovic, who has beaten Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in the last two finals in Australia, wants to be the first man to claim three titles in a row Down Under.

Champion: Djokovic beat Almagro in three sets in the final in Abu Dhabi

Champion: Djokovic beat Almagro in three sets in the final in Abu Dhabi

Hat-trick: The Serb is looking for a third-straight Australian Open title

Hat-trick: The Serb is looking for a third-straight Australian Open title

‘I will be very motivated to hear that nobody has done this so I will try to make history there,' he said.

'I will be very flattered to be the first person to do that.

'The Australian Open is my most successful grand slam and hopefully I can get a shot at the title next year.'

Dominant: Djokovic crushed Ferrer 6-3 6-0 in the semis

Dominant: Djokovic crushed Ferrer 6-3 6-0 in the semis

Warning: The Serb thinks he is in 'amazing' form

Warning: The Serb thinks he is in 'amazing' form

Speaking after his dominant win against Ferrer, Djokovic said it was a 'perfect performance'.

'Last year I played an amazing few matches and this year I am playing amazing as well.

'It felt great, after a few weeks of preparation and hard work, more focusing on fitness and just gradually increasing the hours on the tennis court.

'It was a perfect performance against one of the best players in the world, especially in 2012 where he had his best year.

'It is a great confidence boost for me. It's something I will look at as a positive indication of my form in this tournament.'

Andy Murray delighted to receive OBE in New Years Honours

Murray proud to receive OBE as 'final touch' to incredible year for US Open and Olympic champion

|

UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 29 December 2012

Olympic and US Open champion Andy Murray expressed his pride at being awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list.

The 25-year-old was one of a host of sporting stars to receive honours as part of a special list rewarding British athletes who excelled at the London Olympics and Paralympics.

Murray said in a statement on his website: 'It is with incredible pride that I have been named in the New Year's Honours List to receive an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to sport.

What a year: Andy Murray won two Olympic medals and lifted the US Open trophy

What a year: Andy Murray won two Olympic medals and lifted the US Open trophy

'This has been an amazing year for British sport and I am proud to have been able to play my part.

'I reached my first Wimbledon final, competed and won gold at the London 2012 Olympics with Team GB at Wimbledon, and then won my first grand slam title at the US Open.

'Being recognised in such a way at the end of such a great season is the finishing touch on 2012. Thank you all for your support, I hope everyone has a very happy New Year…..and here's to 2013!'

Murray went into the Olympics still looking to win one of tennis' biggest titles after falling just short at Wimbledon in July.

The Scot reached the final for the first time, ending a 74-year wait for a home men's singles finalist, but was beaten in four sets by Roger Federer, his devastation clear for all to see as his sobbed his way through a post-match interview.

Devastation: Murray (right) had to settle for second best at Wimbledon after losing to Roger Federer (left)

Devastation: Murray (right) had to settle for second best at Wimbledon after losing to Roger Federer (left)

Bouncing back: Murray beat Federer in the Olympic final at Wimbledon to take gold in the men's singles

Bouncing back: Murray beat Federer in the Olympic final at Wimbledon to take gold in the men's singles

Murray reacted in superb fashion, though, beating Novak Djokovic to guarantee himself a first Olympic medal and then handing Federer his worst defeat on grass to clinch gold in the men's singles on Wimbledon's Centre Court.

Murray almost made it two gold medals on the same day but had to settle for silver in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson.

The hope was the success would spur him on to break his grand slam duck, and he did just that at the first opportunity by winning the US Open in New York, ending Fred Perry's 76-year reign as Britain's last male grand slam singles champion.

Busy: Murray was in action earlier this week in Abu Dhabi

Busy: Murray was in action earlier this week in Abu Dhabi

The Wimbledon final was the fourth slam showpiece Murray had lost but he matched coach Ivan Lendl in winning at the fifth time of asking with a five-set victory over Djokovic.

Murray revealed after his triumph that his friends had been teasing him about the possibility of a knighthood – something he definitely was not expecting.

The world No 3 said: 'A lot of my friends have been messaging me about it and I don't really know what to say. I think it should take more than one or two good tournaments to deserve something like that. It would probably be a bit rash.'

The OBE is the first honour received by Murray, who survived the school shooting in his home town of Dunblane when he was eight.