With BB in his corner Djokovic looks ripe for career Grand Slam
It might have been meltdown for Andy Murray Down Under, but for world number one Novak Djokovic an Open Era record fifth Australian Open title ensured another step on the rung to tennis immortality was climbed.
With his British opponent a break of serve up in the crucial third set, having looked to have turned the early tide of an intense match, the Serb simply found another gear by crushing a curse-happy Murray by winning 12 of the subsequent 13 games.
Up in the stands a fist-pumping Boris Becker, who has swapped the cosy confines of the commentary box to coach the 11-time Grand Slam champion, showed his appreciation of a tactical master class achieved to the letter by his charge.
Call it gamesmanship, but Djokovic and Becker clearly had a plan to rile the fragile psyche of Murray across the net by appearing to show the effects of fatigue whenever the Scot had the upper hand, only to then hit back with venom.
Murray has vowed to exorcise his mental demons, but it will surely be Wimbledon rather than the French Open before any evidence of this in a Slam final can be proved, as the Scot is yet to make the showpiece at Roland Garros in seven attempts.
Of course, this means preventing a sixth consecutive clay court crown for favourite Rafael Nadal, at 11/8.
However, the evidence so far this season suggests Djokovic is closer than ever to that dream which has been put on hold in two of the last three French Open finals by the Spaniard.
The spectre of injury has returned to haunt Nadal early in 2015, apparently accounting for his shock exit in Melbourne and this only inflates Djokovic’s chances further.
He may even get better at dive-volleying with Becker around, although not advised on the dirt.
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