Djokovic, Serena live up to top billing

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Melbourne (AFP) – Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams lived up to their billing as the world s best players at the AustralianOpen, but it was a tournament to forget for Swiss maestro Roger Federer.

The opening Grand Slam of the season, played in milder conditions than Melbourne usually delivers and to record crowds, largely followed the script, although there were some shocks along the way.

Djokovic maintained his formidable record on the tournament hardcourts, winning his fifth title for his eighth Grand Slam crown, overcoming sixth seed Andy Murray in the final 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-0.

He said the win had more meaning since becoming a husband and father last year.

“I think it has deeper meaning, more intrinsic value now to my life because I m a father and a husband,” he said.

“It s the first Grand Slam title I won as a father and a husband and I just feel very, very proud of it.”

The irrepressible Williams consolidated her place among the game s legends at age 33, overwhelming arch-rival Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) — the dominant American s 16th consecutive win over the Russian.

Williams now has 19 Grand Slams, overtaking 18-time major champions Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert on the all-time Open-era winners  list, three behind Steffi Graf.

2015-02-03

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