Fifth seed Murray lost out in the Melbourne final for a second year running as Djokovic sealed his second grand slam crown 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
Murray, who is now the first man in the Open era not to have won a set in three grand slam final appearances, said: “He played great although I would have liked to have played better. I think he would have beaten every other player on the tour.
“He served well, he didn’t make many mistakes from the back of the court, he moved really well and he hit the ball cleanly.”
And Murray refused to blame injury for his disappointing performance. He added: “I could have moved better but no, I wasn’t injured. Against Novak you need to be firing on all cylinders and I didn’t move as well as I would have liked.”
Murray was visibly tense in the opening set and the statistics reflected the tight start with the 23-year-old Scot hitting an uncharacteristic 14 unforced errors. Despite loosening up and managing to twice break Djokovic’s serve it was his inability to hold his own serve which decided the third and final set.
“I started to go for my shots more as the match went on,” he said. “At the start both of us were trying to feel each other out a little bit and as you work your way into the match you start to find patterns and go for your shots more. I started taking more chances and managed to break serve a few times but I wasn’t able to keep it up for long enough.”
Meanwhile, world No3 Djokovic was thrilled with his performance Down Under. “It was a great match. From the start to the last point I did what I intended to do tactically and what I prepared for,” said Djokovic.
“I was aware of the fact I was going to have some long rallies against a player who doesn’t miss a lot, a very talented player who is one of the best returners in the game.
“So I had to step in, that was the key. When I had the chance to step in and move him around the court that’s what I did.”
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BIOGRAPHY: Marcus Rashford