Novak Djokovic became the first man to win three successive Australian Open titles as he swept aside Andy Murray in four sets.
The Serbian world No 1 came from a set down to win 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2 in Melbourne, in the process avenging his defeat to Murray in last year's US Open final.
It was a fifth Grand Slam final defeat for Murray - whose solitary success in major finals remains that win over Djokovic in New York - and his third in four years at the Australian Open. Djokovic also beat him in the 2011 showpiece.
Neither man was able to claim a break in the opening two sets and both were settled by one-sided tie-breaks, Murray winning the first 7-2 and Djokovik running away with the second 7-3.
The third set also looked to be heading for a breaker as neither man threatened the other's serve, but that changed in game eight as a crushing forehand from Djokovic gave him three chances at 0-40.
The first two were wasted by weak forehands from the Serb but he claimed the third as Murray broke down from the baseline and fired a backhand long.
Djokovic held firm to serve it out and claim the set 6-3.
Both men slumped to 0-30 in their opening service games of the fourth set but both battled back to hold on, although for Murray it was merely disaster delayed.
In the third game the Scot fired a weak backhand into the middle of the net to give Djokovic the break for 2-1, which the Serb immediately consolidated for 3-1.
Murray was reeling by now and his body language was resonant of his pre-Lendl days, emphasised as a double fault handed Djokovic the double break and a 4-1 lead.
The champion came back from 0-30 down to hold for 5-1 before Murray ended a five-game losing streak with a hold.
Murray had one last chance to launch a comeback as he got to 0-30 on the Djokovic serve, only for his opponent to win the point from an outrageous net-cord after a wildly mis-hit smash.
Murray's frustration was evident and he surrendered the next three points as Djokovic wrapped up what in the end was a comfortable victory in 171 minutes.
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