Djokovic not underestimating Murray


Novak Djokovic insisted he will not be taking four-time runner-up Andy Murray for granted as the world number two attempts to claim an elusive Australian Open crown.

Sunday's Australian Open final will pit defending champion Djokovic against Murray in a rematch of last year's decider.

Djokovic has emerged as Murray's nemesis in Melbourne, having also taken out the 2011 and 2013 titles on Rod Laver Arena.

But five-time winner Djokovic is not underestimating Murray's hunger in the Brit's bid to breakthrough at Melbourne Park.

"I've played him many times and been in the situation before where I haven't won specific tournaments, like Roland Garros for example, against players like [Rafael] Nadal who were dominating there," the world number one said in his pre-match news conference.

"So I understand the kind of desire and will to win that is present. But of course I don't underestimate him. No question about it. I have a tremendous respect and admiration for everything he's achieved in his career. He's one week older than me so we grew up together.

"We have very similar styles of game and very similar trajectory to the professional tennis, so it's nice to see that our rivalry keeps on going and we keep playing for the biggest titles.

"It's a challenge that I'm going to face, I must accept, and hopefully I'll be able to give my best."

While all eyes will be on two-time grand slam champion Murray in his pursuit of the title, Djokovic has the chance to match Rod Laver's tally of 11 majors.

Djokovic can also equal Roy Emerson's record for most Australian Open titles with a sixth victory.

"Fighting for a grand slam trophy is a pinnacle of our sport. This is exactly where you want to be. You work hard to put yourself in this position," the Serb added.

"Adding to that the fact that I am able to make history is of course just an additional encouragement and incentive for me to do well. I'm going to have to face one of the biggest rivals, but that's what it takes.

"If you want to win grand slam titles and be the best in the world, you have to win against best players in the world. I'm going to be ready for that.

"These are the kind of occasions that define you as a tennis player. I'll try to do my best obviously and get my hands on that trophy again."