Big guns are still firing in slams

THE more things change, the more they stay the same.

New stars such as Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov in the men's game, and Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard in the women's, may have threatened to upset the order at the Australian Open, but when the dust settled it was world No.1 players Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams who stood supreme.

Williams claimed her sixth Aussie Open title, and 19th Grand Slam crown, after beating Maria Sharapova for the 16th consecutive time in the final.

And Djokovic overcame what appeared to be a debilitating leg muscle issue at the start of the third set to down Andy Murray 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-0 in a brutal men's final.

It was the fifth Australian Open title for the Serb, the most in the Open era and only one behind the all-time record held by Roy Emerson.

The 27-year-old also joined former stars Andrew Agassi, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl with eight Grand Slam titles to their name.

It was Murray's fourth loss from four finals at Melbourne Park, but the Scot was far from disconsolate.

"Success is being happy," he said. "It's not about winning every single tournament you play, because that isn't possible.

"I would rather lose in the final and be happy than win the final and go home and be miserable."

Murray's effort in reaching the final saw him return to the "big four" - alongside Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - suggesting the next generation of stars, which could soon include Australia's Nick Kyrgios, may have to bide their time a while longer yet.

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