Switzerland’s Roger Federer has won his fourth Australian Open championship after delivering a sterling performance against Britain’s Andy Murray.
On top form, the world number one dominated the match at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on Sunday, winning 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (13-11). The victory extends his record to 16 grand slam titles.
Murray started strong, breaking Federer’s serve early in the first set and battling through a 28-stroke rally.
But he was no match for Federer’s constant A game and failed to present a serious challenge in the first two sets.
Murray took advantage of a lull in Federer’s performance in the third, shaking off his previous passivity and causing the Swiss to make several errors.
Federer climbed back from 5-2 down to win the championship after a tense and hard-fought tie-break.
In all, Federer served up 11 aces to Murray's ten and made 42 unforced errors compared with 36 by Murray. Federer dropped serve only twice in the match and hit 46 winners.
An emotional Murray told the crowd afterwards: "I can cry like Roger, it's just a shame I can’t play like him. I loved every minute of it and hopefully one time I can come back and win here."
Federer complimented him on an "incredible tournament" and said: "I'm over the moon at winning this again. I think I played some of the best tennis of my life these last two weeks."
He is the fifth man to win four Australian titles.
British hopes quashed
Murray still holds a 6-5 advantage over Federer in career head-to-heads.
The fifth seed was carrying more than 70 years of pressure into the much-hyped match. Fred Perry was the last Briton to win the Australian Open in 1936 and Murray, after becoming the first British man to reach the final since John Lloyd in 1977, was hoping to end that dry spell.
Federer, on the other hand, had come into the match having reached a record 22 grand slam singles finals. He had won the Australian event in 2007, 2006 and 2004 and lost to Nadal in the final in 2009.
The Australian Open is the first of the four grand slam tennis tournaments held each year. The winner receives A$2,000,000 (SFr1,900,000).
Jessica Dacey, swissinfo.ch
The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held each year. It was held for the first time in 1905 and was contested on grass until 1987, when it moved to the hard courts at Melbourne Park.
The two main courts used in the tournament are Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena. These feature retractable roofs, which can be shut in case of rain or extreme heat.
The 2009 Australian Open achieved the highest ever single-day day/night attendance record for any Grand Slam tournament of 66,018.