Djokovic to break British hearts
Djokovic and Murray are well matched - but the Serbian may have the edge
The head-to-head record stands at 4-3 in Djokovic's favour, with six of the seven matches being played on hard-courts. But, interestingly enough, Murray has triumphed in their last three matches - all at Master Series level, and all in straight sets.
The stats suggest a close fought Australian Open Men's Final, but sadly, for Ben Caudell, a tough semi-final may have just taken the edge off of Murray.
Andy Murray (GBR) v Novak Djokovic (SRB)
The paths of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic converge once more having both successfully won through their semi-final matches to set-up an epic title showdown in Melbourne.
Both men will be familiar with one another's games having competed at junior level from the age of 12, and on to the professional circuit where they have battled it out on seven occasions.
The head-to-head record stands at 4-3 in Djokovic's favour, with six of the seven matches being played on hard-courts. But, interestingly enough, Murray has triumphed in their last three matches - all at Master Series level, and all in straight sets. Sunday morning's final is the pair's first best of five-set match played between the two 23-year-olds and the third final in a row.
Murray is clearly the best tactician on tour and if he can find the balance between his notorious defensive play and his attacking game that has so far proved to be extremely effective against his opponents in the previous rounds he will cause Djokovic difficulties.
The Brit star managed to change tactics with extreme precision when a set down against his dogged semi-final opponent, David Ferrer. Murray started to hit with considerably more depth and power, picking away at Ferrer's defensive wall, applying enough pressure for Ferrer to increase his unforced error count, eventually winning in four tough sets. If he is to succeed tomorrow he will have to apply similar methods.
Although the Serbian will be slightly worried by the fact that he has lost to Murray three times in a row, he will be more than delighted with his near perfect performance against the reigning champion Roger Federer in his semi-final match. It is very difficult to find fault with Djokovic's game at the moment and he is still on a massive high after winning the Davis Cup at the end of 2010 with Serbia.
Djokovic has won 11 matches in a row, his last nine in Australia, and has been victorious in his last nine five-set matches. He also holds better stats on hard courts than Murray. Djokovic will have the advantage of having won a Grand Slam title here back in 2008 and is the deserved favourite in the match odds @ [1.74] to succeed.
Moreover, the Serbian has had an extra day of rest, while Murray looked exhausted and maybe slightly injured after his semi-final. I have to side with Djokovic to win here for the second time in his career, unfortunately for Murray and Britain, the wait continues.
Back Novak Djokovic @ [1.74] to win match
Back Djokovic 3-1 @ [4.8]