A tale of two champions


Win before the final

Djokovic's emotional peak came a week earlier in Melbourne this year: on the first Sunday instead of the final Sunday as he held off Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets in the fourth round and celebrated by ripping his shirt off his body. "I didn't feel I was a better player on the court that night," Djokovic said. "Stan deserved to win maybe even more than I've done, but it's sport. I've had lots of those kinds of tricky intense situations in matches where I have to come back from match points down."

He is now 18-6 in five-set matches (compare that with Roger Federer's 21-17 record) and has won eight of his last nine. It is hard to separate that strike rate from his increased endurance and his exceptional powers of recovery. But whatever the training regimen, it takes a true champion to find the precision under pressure that Djokovic did on match point against Wawrinka and that he found to turn the match against Murray, who looked ready to run through walls for the title in the early phases of play.

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