The top-ranked Djokovic is the first man in the Open era to win three straight Australian titles after beating Andy Murray on Sunday.
Novak Djokovic became the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian Opens after beating Andy Murray in four sets on Sunday.
In a match where both players seemed happy to rally and wait for an error rather than go for winners, there were 33 consecutive service holds before top seed Djokovic finally emerged victorious 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-2 in three hours and 40 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.
Murray did look the better of the two in the first set as Djokovic struggled with an unusually high amount of unforced errors, but the Scot will be rueing his failure to break the world number one's serve in the second game of the second set when he was up 0-40.
As the match wore on, Djokovic's superior physical and mental strength came to the fore as the third seed struggled with blisters and a leg problem that robbed him of his usual speed and drive around the court.
The title was Djokovic's fourth at Melbourne Park and at just 25 years of age, he is well within reach of Roy Emerson's record of six.
For Murray, it is the fifth time he has lost a major final and third time in Melbourne.
The opening stages of the match failed to live up to the hype with a high number of errors from both players easily outweighing the amount of quality strokes expected to see in a grand slam final.
After wasting four break points in the sixth game, Djokovic did produce a moment of brilliance in the seventh game when he remarkably won a point despite losing his footing midway through the rally and playing a diving forehand.
The Serb had another chance to break in the eighth game after a successful challenge on a crosscourt backhand from Murray, but once again the Scotsman saved it as the set headed towards a tie-breaker.
Djokovic surprisingly crumbled when the pressure was on with a double fault and four unforced errors from the back of the court virtually handing the first set to Murray.
The US Open champion carried his momentum into the second where he quickly held serve and won the first three points in the second game.
But Djokovic saved all three break points as he finally began to show the type of flawless tennis we have been accustomed to seeing over the past two years.
Despite the set remaining on serve, Djokovic frustration's was there for all to see as he booted the ball almost into the stands following another error before bouncing his racquet into the ground on the very next point.
Murray continued to the look the better of the pair and while Djokovic managed to reduce his error count, neither player could earn a break point as the second set headed to another tie-breaker.
This time it was Murray who cracked with a crucial double fault at 2-2 after a floating feather seemingly broke his concentration in between serves.
Djokovic took full advantage and after Murray lost a point on his first serve for the first time in the set, the top seed brought up three set points of which he only needed one to level the match.
Murray took an injury timeout for blisters on his foot after the second set, but it didn't appear to slow him down with games continuing to go with serve.
Neither player created a single break-point opportunity until the eighth game when Djokovic went after Murray's second serve to earn himself three chances to achieve the first break of the match.
Murray saved two, but an errant forehand on the third gave Djokovic the crucial break and he had no troubles serving the set out to take the lead in the match.
Djokovic moved in for the kill and with Murray appearing to battle with a thigh injury the end was nearing.
But against the script, the Scot managed to earn a break point in the second game, although he was unable to convert and then dropped his serve the next game, which all but ended his resistance.
Another break in the fifth game virtually confirmed the result as Djokovic powered towards the finish line.
Murray showed a glimmer of fight when he won the first two points of the final game, but Djokovic stepped up and sealed the match after Murray found the net with a backhand.
Following on from Victoria Azarenka's triumph on Saturday night, it is the first time both the men's and women's champion have defended their title since Jim Courier and Monica Seles achieved the feat in 1993.