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Djokovic bids for third straight title at Melbourne Park

Novak Djokovic of Serbia speaks during a news conference at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2013. Djokovic wi
Novak Djokovic of Serbia speaks during a news conference at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2013. Djokovic wi

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic will bid to extend his Australian Open reign to a third straight year on Sunday in the final against Andy Murray, who will aim to end Britain's 79-year wait for a men's champion at Melbourne Park.

World number one Djokovic holds a 10-7 career record over fellow 25-year-old Murray, including beating him in the 2011 final at Melbourne Park.

Third seed Murray, however, edged Djokovic in five-sets at the U.S. Open last year to win his maiden grand slam title after failing in four previous finals.

Djokovic, who will bid to become the first man to win a hat-trick of Australian Open titles in the professional era, survived a five-set scare against Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round, but has otherwise barely been pushed in his run to the final.

The five-times grand slam champion heads into the Murray clash after a straight-sets demolition of fourth seed David Ferrer.

Murray motored into the semi-finals without dropping a set but was taken to five by second seed Roger Federer.

The Scotsman will try to become the first man in the professional era to win his second grand slam immediately after his first.

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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