Andy Murray blamed himself after suffering more Melbourne misery at the hands of Novak Djokovic on Sunday, losing the pair's third Australian Open final with a dramatic late collapse.
After the first two sets were split in two hours and 32 minutes, Murray looked to be in command against an apparently ailing Djokovic when he broke for a 2-0 lead in the third.
However, from then on the 27-year-old Scot won just one of the next 13 games as a rejuvenated Djokovic raised his level to secure a fifth Australian Open and eighth grand slam title with a 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 6-0 win in three hours and 39 minutes.
The third set was frustrating because I got a bit distracted when he fell on the ground after a couple of shots. It appeared that he was cramping and then I let that distract me a little bit.
That's what I'm most disappointed about, not so much the fourth set because I think, especially at the end of it, he was just going for everything and it was going in.
Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash accused Andy Murray of collapsing in the latter stages of his Australian Open final defeat to Novak Djokovic and believes he needs to learn from his mistakes.
After the first two sets were split in two hours and 32 minutes, Murray looked to be in command against an ailing Djokovic when he broke for a 2-0 lead in the third.
However, from then on the 27-year-old Scot won just one of the next 13 games as a rejuvenated Djokovic raised his game to secure a fifth Australian Open and eighth grand slam title with a 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 6-0 win in three hours and 39 minutes.
Things just started snowballing for Murray once he lost that concentration when everything was going his way
He hasn't put up a great fight, he hasn't. He absolutely collapsed. Sorry but you don't put a rose tint on this. He melted down, he's been disappointing and the bottom line is, the situation got too much.
Novak Djokovic has secured his fifth Australian Open title with a four set 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-0 victory over Andy MurrayRead the full story ›
Novak Djokovic leads Andy Murray 2-1 in sets at the Australian Open final after winning the third 6-3.
Murray appeared to be in the ascendancy after breaking in the opening game of the set and holding immediately afterwards, but Djokovic moved through the gears to claim the next three games and race into a 3-2 lead.
He forced three breaks points at 4-3 on the Murray serve and the Scot showed his frustration by smashing his racket on the ground when the Serbian won the second of those.
Djokovic needed just one of his three set points to hold serve and give himself the upper hand at Melbourne Park.
Andy Murray has broken Novak Djokovic in the opening game of the third set after fighting his way back to one set all in the Australian Open final.
World number one Djokovic slipped as he attempted to return a powerful Murray shot, ensuring the Scot made the first of two break points count.
Murray appeared to be in the ascendancy after holding with a love service game to lead 2-0 in the third.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are tied at one set all after the Scot fought back to win the second set 7-6 (7-4).
Vying to lift his first ever Australian Open title, Murray fashioned four set points in the decisive tie break, and clinched the set with an inspired return on the third.
Djokovic had earlier clinched an epic opening set in 72 minutes after an equally tense tie break which he surrendered with a second serve return into the net.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will contest a second set tie break with the match delicately poised.
Vying to lift his first ever Australian Open title, Murray couldn't take advantage of set point at 5-4 on the Djokovic serve.
The Serbian had earlier clinched an epic opening set in 72 minutes after a tense tie break which he surrendered with a second serve return into the net.
Andy Murray has clawed Novak Djokovic back to 4-4 in the second set after breaking the Serbian with a ferocious forehand winner.
World number one Djokovic clinched the opening set in 72 minutes after a tense tie break which could have gone either way.
Novak Djokovic has broken Andy Murray in the second set and leads 3-2 in games as the Scot battles to stay in the Australian Open final.
World number one Djokivc clinched the opening set 7-6 (7-5) following a tense tie break.
Andy Murray's fiancee Kim Sears made light of her apparent outburst during the Scot's semi-final victory over Tomas Berdych as she took her seat for today's final wearing a 'parental advisory explicit content' T-shirt.
She was caught on camera apparently swearing last week as tensions boiled over during a feisty encounter between Murray and Berdych.
Murray is currently one set down against Djokovic in the Melbourne final following a tense tie break which the Serbian clinched 7-5.