Andy Murray rushed through his post-match press conference and admitted he just wanted to get home after the Scot’s Australian Open dream was ended again by Novak Djokovic.
Murray was hoping to win a third grand slam title and halt a run of four losing finals in Melbourne but Djokovic made it five with a ruthless performance on Rod Laver Arena.
The Serb blew Murray away in another flawless first set and while the British number one mounted more resistance as the match went on, he could not prevent Djokovic winning 6-1 7-5 7-6 (7/3).
Djokovic has now won a record-equalling six titles at the Australian Open and 11 grand slams overall.
It brings an end to a turbulent fortnight for Murray, who has had his bags packed and was ready to leave if his wife Kim went into labour early at home.
There was also the unexpected collapse of his father-in-law Nigel Sears last weekend, when Murray admitted he had been close to pulling out of the tournament, before Sears was given the all-clear.
The world number two said an emotional thank you to Kim in his post-match speech on court and with the contest finishing at just after 10.30pm, he aimed to catch an even earlier flight out of Melbourne than planned, at around 1am.
“I’m proud that I got into this position, just quite looking forward to getting home now,” Murray said.
“It’s been hard. Regardless of today’s result, it’s been hard.
“Had I lost in the third or fourth round it still would have been difficult with everything that’s happened.
“Kim has been, yeah, amazing. She’s handled everything unbelievably well.
“I have to thank her for allowing me to play and sort of stay here with everything that was going on. But, yeah, it was tough.”
On his plans to catch a flight, Murray said: “I think the earliest one was at like 1am but I’ve been held on flights for it feels like five days.
“I’ve been held on almost every single flight, so the first one out of here, I’m leaving.”
and Djokovic a fter thrashing Rafael Nadal in Doha and trouncing Roger Federer here in the semi-finals, Djokovic’s straight-sets win over Murray would appear to confirm that the big four has become a big one.
But Djokovic said: “I don’t want to allow myself to be in that frame of mind.
“If I do, the person becomes too arrogant and thinks that he’s a higher being or better than everybody else, you can get a big slap from karma very soon. I don’t want that.”