Serb Novak Djokovic won his fourth Australian Open title after beating Briton Andy Murray in Melbourne final.
Novak Djokovic, 25, was the stronger man over three hours and 40 minutes, winning 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-2, as Andy Murray struggled to cope with blistered feet and an increasingly rampant opponent.
“I played a good second set,” said Andy Murray.
“I created quite a few chances, but didn’t quite get them. That was the difference.”
And despite admitting that the blister “hurt when I ran”, he insisted: “It had no bearing at all on the result.”
Novak Djokovic secured his sixth Grand Slam title and became the first man in 46 years to win for three years running in Melbourne.
“It’s an incredible feeling winning this trophy again,” said the champion.
“It’s definitely my favourite Grand Slam, my most successful Grand Slam. I love this court.”
After losing an opening set he probably should have won, with five break points to none for Andy Murray, the top seed turned the tables in the second by grabbing the tie-break.
Andy Murray had been in charge but was disrupted when serving at 2-2, a feather floating down onto the court following a missed first serve, and after removing it he promptly double-faulted and smacked a forehand wide.
He won just one more point in the tie-break as Novak Djokovic took control to level after two hours and 13 minutes of action.
The physicality of the contest appeared to be taking its toll when Andy Murray then required treatment for blisters at the changeover.
He failed to capitalise on 0-40 at the start of the third and that proved to be the decisive moment as he began to grimace between points, clearly struggling to move freely.
It took two hours and 52 minutes of absorbing but rarely thrilling tennis for the first break of serve to arrive, and it went to Novak Djokovic.
A thumping forehand into the corner set him on the way at 4-3, and despite saving two break points from 0-40, Andy Murray could not resist any longer and netted a forehand.
Novak Djokovic went on a run of eight out of nine games as he moved two sets to one up and the Briton’s serve unravelled, the double-fault count rising to five after just two in his other six matches in Melbourne.
Unhappy with the umpire for not clamping down on shouts from the crowd, and with his movement hindered, Andy Murray cut a dispirited figure as Novak Djokovic powered towards another major win.
In marked contrast to his opponent, the Serb was relishing the closing stages and romped home towards match point, one delicious drop shot verging on the cruel.
Novak Djokovic wrapped it up on serve when Andy Murray netted a backhand and did a jig of delight on court before heading over to celebrate with his support team.
With six Grand Slam victories, he matches the likes of Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Don Budge and Jack Crawford in the all-time list – and there could be plenty more to come.