Djokovic v. Murray in a Fedal-Less Australian Open Final, Who’s the Pick?
by Sean Randall | January 29th, 2011, 7:11 pm
  • 379 Comments

For the first time in three years there will be no Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam final, and I have to say, I don’t mind. Replacing or standing in for the two legends later tonight/early this morning are Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Djokovic was the prime beneficiary the last time Roger and Rafa failed to reach a final Sunday at a Major. That was at the 2008 Australian Open when Novak ripped Roger in the semifinals then beat JW Tsonga in the four-set final to win his maiden Grand Slam.

This time circumstances are similar.

In the semifinals Thursday night, to my surprise, Djokovic really whipped Federer beating the Swiss again in straight sets on Rod Laver. Roger played well but Novak was far too consistent – he seemed to get every ball back – and his serve was clicking, which I thought would be a real key to the match.

From what I saw it was one of Novak’s best matches he’s ever played. I have been saying for years that the Serb has the game to dominate the sport. And we got to watch it in full flight Thursday. Wow.

Murray is also back into the Australian Open finals. Last year, the Brit ousted an injured Rafael Nadal and overcame set hole to Marin Cilic in the semifinals.

Again, similar path this year.

Friday Murray was under severe pressure from David Ferrer, who at times resembled more of a wall than a human. Murray’s passive play and Ferrer’s inability to hit clean winners made for long, grinding rallies. But in the tiebreaks when it mattered the most the Spaniard cracked and Murray got through after losing the first set to win in four.

So we have Djokovic v. Murray in the final. And they’ve known each other for years.

“We were 11 years old or 12,” Djokovic said of first meeting Murray. “We played couple of times under 14, under 16 in the European level, then we started to play the professional tournaments. We didn’t play for a couple years. He went to Spain. I think he was practicing in Barcelona. I was partly in Germany, partly in Italy. We went the different paths. Then again at more or less the same time we developed into the professional tennis players. So it’s been a nice story, you know, about both of us. And to be able to meet him in a Grand Slam final, it makes it even more special.”

Surprisingly, these two friends, practice partners and 23-year-olds, haven’t played a tour-level match since Miami in 2009. Overall, Djokovic has the head-to-head edge 4-3 but it’s been Murray who’s won three straight, all in straight sets and all on hardcourts including that Miami final.

But playing in the Australian Open final is a major level up from Miami. This is a best-of-5 set match for the first Slam title of the 2011 season.

“I don’t know if they’ll have a bearing during the match on Sunday,” Murray said of his past wins over Novak. “But at the time they meant a lot to me. You know, I expect a very tough match. I’m not expecting him, just because he’s lost the last couple of times, to hand the match to me. I’m going to have to work incredibly hard.”

Both players have been this far before in Melbourne. Novak’s into his fourth career Slam final, Murray his third. But Novak has won his and won it here. Murray has yet to win a set.

That said I absolutely give Murray a chance tonight. However, I like Djokovic.

For me the biggest problem I see with Murray is the fact that Ferrer was able to push him around and get on top of him at times. Why that’s an issue is because Djokovic, as we saw against Federer, can not only duplicate Ferrer’s tactic but execute far better with greater weaponry.

Ferrer couldn’t put many of Murray’s ball away, Djokovic can and will.

“We have more or less similar games,” said Djokovic. “We put some variety in our games depending on who we play. But our games are based on the baseline. We can mix it up. We can play spin, defensive, offensive, quite solid serves. It’s going to be interesting to see who is going to dominate from the baseline. But I expect long rallies. I think patience and really using the opportunities when they have been given to you in the certain moments.”

Murray’s quick enough to keep pace with Novak, but will he be more offensive-minded than the Serb? In tennis, great offense eventually beats a great defense.

I think if Novak plays like he did against Federer he’ll win, regardless of how Murray plays.

If Murray can serve huge, win his second serve points and return well, that will put him in position to win the match.

Fitness could also play a role. Murray went through a very tough, physical almost four hour, four set win over Ferrer and I wonder just how well his legs will have recovered. And we know Murray’s going to be running again against Djokovic.

Djokovic had a very emotional win over Federer, but I think the extra day off should bring him back to 100% full strength.

Although temperatures are forecasted over 100F during the afternoon in Melbourne. The match will of course be played in the evening.

Experience is again another factor. As I said Murray’s never won a set in a Slam final. He’ll get over that hump tonight but I think Novak’s experience of winning big matches – he won Davis Cup, he won the 2008 Australian Open and he beat Federer the other night – give him the edge.

Murray’s big wins have mostly come in the Masters or ATP events. But on the very biggests of stages – the Grand Slams – who has he beaten? Wins over Nadal and Roddick from a few years ago? Not enough.

And credit to Novak who really has put his game together. Six months ago he looked lifeless in losing badly to Roddick at Cincinnati. Then in his next match he was down 2-1 in sets to Viktor Troicki in the US Open first round. Yet, despite the heat, his poor play and the scoreboard at the time he pulled himself up, and look what’s happened since. Might that Troicki match be his “a-ha” moment? I think so and tonight in Melbourne in four sets he’ll win his second Grand Slam title.

The men’s final is scheduled for 3:30am ET to be shown live on ESPN2 with online streaming at ESPN3.com. Set your alarms!


Also Check Out:
Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?
Fedal Wars: Nadal Well Ahead Of Federer In Masters Titles, But Does It Matter In The GOAT Discussion?
Roger v Rafa Fandom: The Fedal Wars Rage On
Flawless Federer Faces Defiant Nadal in “Fedal” 22; Who’s the Pick?
Fedal Wars: Hey Agassi, Who’s Your GOAT If Roger Federer Wins A Second Career Slam In Paris?

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379 Comments for Djokovic v. Murray in a Fedal-Less Australian Open Final, Who’s the Pick?

Andrew Miller Says:

No doubt, Djokovic since mid 2010 is the most improved ATP Player – he is no longer #3 with an Asterik but possily #2 in terms of how he’s hitting the ball, vs. a Murray who has some spots during matches where he’s pushed the ball or appeared unsettled. However – credit to Murray for recovering during those matches and finding a way to regroup and win – that will be helpful in a first-strike match vs. Djokovic, where Murray can weather a blow.

Might be the tactic: Murray may just wait out Djokovic and then take the final sets.

Sorry to spoil the party and I don’t mean to offend a Novak Djokovic who’s hitting the best ball he’s hit in years, but it’s Murray’s time. Murray in 4 or 5 sets, my prediction. I am betting a nickel on it!


Nina Says:

A lot of people are claiming a win here would be far more important for Murray than for Nole. I agree to disagree. True that Andy has yet to win a grand slam even though he always seems in the brink of doing it and that the British press and his country put a great deal of pressure on him to do it.

But equally Nole has to prove that he’s not one slam wonder and I think two straight final losses would be too much for him to bear. If he goes into the court with the same mindset he had versus Federer he will win.

But Murray is the kind of player that can complicate a match and will fight for every ball, also he’s very hungry for the title and must feel a little bit recomforted that he has not to beat Roger or Rafa, even though right now I think Nole is a step above them form wise.

Let the best win! And I’ll feel bad for whoever loses as that seems the case for many people in blogs and forums that are divided between these two amazing players and personalities.

And of course for me is ajde Nole!


dave Says:

In an earlier article, Sean Randall sympathetically mentioned “a virus hit Nadal earlier this month which seemed to have dissipated Monday. Yet once again Nadal gets bitten by injury in a Slam. Nadal battled an stomach injury in his lopsided loss to Juan Martin Del Potro at the 2009 US Open. At the French that year it was a knee issue he said derailed his title chances in that Soderling loss. And of course a year ago his knee flared up in the quarterfinals on this same day to Murray. Call it bad luck, over playing, poor training, or whatever you want, the Spaniard to some degree is simply snakebit. And lately, it seems to be all or nothing with Nadal. Quite sad and unfortunate, really.”

Yet when Sean mentions “the 2008 Australian Open when Novak ripped Roger in the semifinals” he omits to mention that Federer played Djokovic (a) while suffering from energy-sapping mononucleosis viral illness and (b) about two weeks after suffering severe food poisoning in which he was hospitalized.

In the link, scroll down to “Roger needs time” to read Rene Stauffer’s interview with Pierre Paganini (fitness and conditioning coach to Federer and the Swiss Davis Cup team) on Federer’s mononucleosis and food poisoning during the 2008 Australian Open.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=219203

Nadal benefits from whining about his never-ending list of ailments, while Federer gets no media sympathy for not sensationalizing his far more severe ailments. There have been msany other instances when Federer was injured, including the groin and back injuries he had while playing the 2007 French Open final, in which he was just two sets (and 17 breakpoints) away from winning four consecutive majors in a row. It would be nice to see the same standards applied to both players.


TD (Tam) Says:

Sean: “For the first time in three years there will be no Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam final, and I have to say, I don’t mind.”

Ditto. I really can’t believe it’s been that long! Shows just how dominate those two have been, be it good or bad.

Fedal is overplayed so I do hope Djokovic/Murray become a new rivalry for tennis fans to anticipate. I would say that the pressure is more on Murray than it is Djokovic simply because its been 75 years since a British man won and also he did not have to go through Nadal or Federer to get to the final so he is untested by a top player. If Ferrer can take him to four sets then I can’t see how he can expect to beat Djokovic whose defense is superior.

For the first time in a long while I am really looking forward to the men’s final. May the best man win!


Kimmi Says:

good luck Muzza


grendel Says:

Can’t remember when I’ve found myself nodding to so much in a Sean blog.

“For the first time in three years there will be no Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam final, and I have to say, I don’t mind.”

Absolutely. I badly wanted Federer to beat Djokovic, but now I find myself quite content with what we have. I can even have a sneaking sympathy for jane’s point of view – something fresh – although I am coming at it from a different perspective. Die-hard Federer fans don’t understand this, and imagine one has turned coat or something. It’s nothing to do wuth “objectivity” by the way – none of us have much of that imo. But I find the prospect of two youngish guns of immense ability – in another era, both would already have won loads of slams – squaring up against each other appealing and exciting. Also, it will feel like a holiday – watching Federer struggling desperately to win as age spreads its scaly tentacles about him is not exactly a carefree occasion. Tension before the event, tension during the event, tension even after the event. However, I greatly look forward to Federer making his response at future slams; I suspect that (outside the minds of the diehards)Federer will no longer be a hot favourite, and watching his attempts to recapture past glories will be relatively tension free. It’s the burden of expectation not quite believed in which wears you down. Now, just the possibility of a nice surprise….

“In the semifinals Thursday night, to my surprise, Djokovic really whipped Federer beating the Swiss again in straight sets on Rod Laver.” Agreed. The stats suggest otherwise – so much the worse for the stats, they did not tell the real story, which is not uncommon with crude tennis stats.

“From what I saw it was one of Novak’s best matches he’s ever played. I have been saying for years that the Serb has the game to dominate the sport.” Deep down, I’ve suspected this could be the case, but perhaps I lacked Sean’s candour. Anyway, I do think so now.

“For me the biggest problem I see with Murray is the fact that Ferrer was able to push him around and get on top of him at times. Why that’s an issue is because Djokovic, as we saw against Federer, can not only duplicate Ferrer’s tactic but execute far better with greater weaponry”. Absolutely spot on.

“That said I absolutely give Murray a chance tonight. However, I like Djokovic.” Agreed again. Murray has sparks of genius which could possibly get under Djokovic’s skin and interfere with his very smooth game. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway.

“I think Novak’s experience of winning big matches – he won Davis Cup, he won the 2008 Australian Open and he beat Federer the other night – give him the edge”. Probably true – one just hopes for an Arthur Ashe turning the tables on Jimmy Connors scenario.

Finally, Djokovic says:”“We have more or less similar games… We put some variety in our games depending on who we play. But our games are based on the baseline. We can mix it up. We can play spin, defensive, offensive, quite solid serves”. I don’t know what proper tennis players think. But to a mere armchair spectator this sounds an utterly baffling analysis. Djokovic and Murray may be buddies, they are utterly different as players, so far as I can see, utterly different.


dave Says:

Andy Murray knows Novak Djokovic’s game very well (as Novak knows Andy’s game). In addition, Murray has had two days rest to recover from a less emotionally draining matches (than playing Federer and Berdych), and may benefit from the momentum of playing Ferrer (who can loosely be described as a mini-version of Djokovic… “loosely” being the operative word). If Djokovic fails to replicate his “best match of his life” performance level from the semifinals, he could easily lose to Andy Murray in four tight, drama-filled sets.

In particular, Murray and Djokovic had been practicing hard together in Australia over the past month. A January 8 Australian news article revealed: “Murray uses Djokovic to fine-tune game… World No.4 Andy Murray hopes extra practice sessions with good friend Novak Djokovic will help both of them reach this year’s Australian Open final… the pair practise together before most grand slams. The duo spent more time together while competing at this week’s Hopman Cup in Perth, with Murray hoping the extra sessions would benefit both players at the Australian Open.”

When Sean describes that “Djokovic really whipped Federer beating the Swiss again in straight sets on Rod Laver” we should note two things:

- First, Marian Vajda (Djokovic’s coach) said of the Serb’s performance against Federer “The best match of his life.” The sizzling Djokovic would have also beaten Nadal, Murray and every other top player who did not play at their very best. The third-ranked Novak Djokovic had to play the match of his life — his greatest performance — to beat Federer who was not at his best he showed in the Doha final (also using plexicushion prestige surface and Wilson balls) and the World Tour Finals. Almost every third ranked player in tennis history has experienced the day they play the match of their life to beat a higher ranked player.

- Second, the Federer-Djokovic match was close and could easily have fallen Federer’s way had Roger served slightly better or won a few key points. Carl Bialik, Wall Street Journal journalist (and Yale University-trained mathematician who uses statistics, facts and logic to analyze various issues from major sports to politics) noted: “(Federer’s) loss to Djokovic was about as close as a straight-sets match could be. Federer won 48% of points and Djokovic was just 3.5% better at winning points on his return, an alternate way of measuring the closeness of a match. Overall in Federer’s losses at the last four majors, his opponents have won just 52% of points and just 8.2% more points on return of serve. Federer’s two prior major appearances ended in five-set finals, one of which he won and one of which he lost; both were not significantly closer by the measure of points won and points won on serve than Federer’s four losses since then, even though none went to five sets… To understand how close the margin has been between Federer and Djokovic, consider that between the third set of the 2008 U.S. Open semifinal between the two players and the third set of their semifinal at the same tournament this year, they played eight sets that were decided by 7-5 or 7-6 scores, and Federer won all eight. Since then, Djokovic has won three of four such sets. That’s what Federer meant when he said after his latest loss to Djokovic, “I’ve won matches in straight sets against him at the U.S. Open where I should have never won in straights. I ended up doing it because things just fell my way and tonight was one of those nights it went his way.” Meanwhile, Federer hasn’t fallen before the semifinal stage of a tournament since Wimbledon six months ago, nor before the quarterfinal stage in the last nine months.”
http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2011/01/27/why-djokovic-murray-is-worth-rooting-for/

While Federer was distracted organizing charity matches for Australian flood victims at the start of the Australian Open and for African kids before Christmas, Djokovic had the most effective preparation for the Australian Open. Novak beefed up his body and fitness; played Davis Cup in December; played in Australia for a month (since Hopman Cup) where he often practised with Andy Murray. And Djokovic benefited from his previous night match, where he got a good three set workout in night conditions with Tomas Berdych. Federer had played three straight day matches before Djokovic, his last match fizzling into an exhibition when Wawrinka’s game broke down. While Djokovic’s game was dialed in from the first game, Federer appeared to need a few games to build his rhythm in his first night match since the second round battle with Gilles Simon. Andy Murray as well appeared to need two sets to get used to the night conditons against David Ferrer.


dAri Says:

“Murray has had two days rest to recover from a less emotionally draining matches”. Nope, Dave. Murray played the second semi for 3.75 hours, no advantage there. And if Djoko suffered any emotional exhaustion from the federer match, he was replenished by coming out on the right side of that.
The only nebulous advantage Andy has is that he is rolling on only one days rest, hasn’t had too much time to stew. Bit if anything is hurting him he would want more time to rest.
Meanwhile, Djoko suffered nothing exceptional physically, if anybody wants to hope for it, maybe he has gotten a little cold in the last two days, a little stiffand has slowed down his momentum of great form.


jane Says:

As mentioned, the last 3 winners of the AO have been the ones who have had *less*recovery time (Nole, Rafa, Fed); on the other side, the players who beated Fed in recent years when he has not won the title (05, 08, 09) have won the title: Safin, Nole, Rafa respectively. But Rafa didn’t have to go through Fed when he won the USO, so who knows. And as grendel opined elsewhere, history never repeats itself exactly anyhow (nice to hear you can appreciate the excitement of this match up, and/or the sense of freshness that accompanies it. Hope it lives up).


jane Says:

Beated? I mean “beat” clearly, oops.


dAri Says:

This $#¡+ better be bananas tonight the way we’re talking about it!
So Andy and novak have both the pressure of trying to win the match AND just trying to put on a good match relative to fedal! Haha


stu Says:

haha exactly dAri…i have the horrible feeling it will be a major anticlimax. Over in 2 hours, 2, 1 and 2.


grendel Says:

But dAri, how do great matches come about? Sheer happenstance, it seems to me. Sometimes, a promising looking match turns out to be a dud. And then again, you think:god, I don’t want to watch THAT. And you roll back from the pub 4 hours later to find the contestants locked in a life and death struggle and everyone sitting around furiously biting their nails and snapping contemptuously at your attempts at jolliness, eyes fixed unwaveringly on the screen. You tentatively ask if anybody wants any tea, and they stare at you briefly, uncomprehendingly, as if you had proposed a question of staggering complexity. You creep out unnoticed. Thus the great match – never know when it might strike.


thark Says:

haha grendel – such an apt description!

nole with the edge, but muzza would be better for history – hate to see either lose to be honest.

stu don’t say such things aloud! please let this be a 5 setter…


jane Says:

Yes that’s recognizably funny grendel! Been there.


Colin Says:

Grendel, I’m too lazy to scroll through and see if anyone else mentioned this, but I think you may have misunderstood Nole’s remark about “similar styles”. I took him to be referring to Ferrer, not Murray.


stu Says:

Off to bed early since this 28-yr old can’t think of anything better to do on a Sat night than prepare to wake up at 3 am. I’m guessing I’ll see more people here than during the Nole-Fed semi? :)


Nina Says:

@Colin
Nope, Novak was referring to Murray. I understand what he says, they’re both fundamentally baseline players with a good reliable serve, amazing backhands (the best two in the game), all court coverage and incredible movement.

Djoko is an attaking baseliner while Murray is more a counter-puncher. But I think they have similar games; Murray can mix it up more and is more creative. Nole has a much more dangerous and penetrable forehand. I think they’re equally gifted.


contador Says:

haha! great story, grendel.

much has been made of these two being practice partners. add in the hoopla of them being “friends” and it doesn’t suggest scintillating tennis will be produced. it’s not exactly a “rivalry” at this point. but hopefully after tonight it’s a step toward becoming that.

both have been busy trying to beat rafa or roger not each other in slams. so giving them a break.

reserving judgment and i’m willing to try to be awake at 1 or 2 am to see this GS final live. admit i will be bummed if it’s a “dud,”grendel; as in someone rolls over for one reason or another.

my mind changes about who will win every other hour. right now feeling nole as Duro described: “irreparable soul.” and as in Huh’s comment: “benevolent.” put it together and it’s that feeling of irreparable soul vulnerable and sensitive to his slamless friend andy. in that case, murray in 3.

maybe it’s time go watch nole’s latest video clip about the final again.

full blown tennis withdrawal here.


Danica Says:

Dave,
you and other Fed fans refuse to acknowledge that Novak would have probably beaten Rog with something like 6:3 in the second set had it not been for the lousy shoes he played in. I read from his lips that they were bothering him for some reason. The moment he got the new pair, he won, what, five games in a row? Went from 2:5 to 7:5. Sorry, but give credit where credit is due and try not to make excuses for Federer’s loses. Roger had a great press conference, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to read it and think about what he had to say.

Go Noleeee!! :)


dAri Says:

Lol- grendel! Let’s hope your story won’t apply tonight.
Puh-lease Danica. The shoes? Really? Your guy is in the final and will hopefully be wearing the right shoes. Water under bridge gosh darnit!_


ron Says:

@ dave,

how are Mirka and the twins? Did you get home safely? How’s that mono? Heard it was a bad strain.

Get well soon.


contador Says:

hahaha……


contador Says:

not laughing at the “ron” comment…that was mean.

laughing in general


contador Says:

roger mad it clear: nole was the better player.

hoping he can be the better player tonight. but dubious.


contador Says:

made not mad ….oops


gannu Says:

Really hope muzza wins this.. He deserves his 1st gslam.. And its long overdue.hope its a thrilling 5 set gruellling match


Hypnos Says:

Dave,

Federer is no angel — he gets pissy (or teary) when he loses, whereas Nadal always tries to be gracious to his opponent. And being oft-injured doesn’t do wonders for your reputation, either — ask Safin, Nalbandian and Malisse.

As for tonight, I think Djokovic is at a decided advantage going in: he’s beaten Federer twice in the last two Grand Slams and has already won a GS title. Murray has to get over the mental hump against somebody at the top of his game.


aleish17 Says:

Game on!

Here’s hoping that Murray will get his first slam.
Sending all positive vibes for Muzza today.

Go Muzza! We want to see you lift that trophy today!


Lulu Iberica Says:

Adje Nole! I’ll be rooting for you in my sleep. Let me awake to good news!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Dave

All due respect on ur research and post still sounds like an excuse for Fed. Being a Fed fan, Rog got beat, and he did not have an excuse why. Good for him, he got beat that day Fed did the same to Novak on plenty of occasions. Let’s hope for the best in the comng year for Fed and give these two guys all the credit in the final, they both earned it.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Hypnos,

Quit tryin to pull down Fed so you can twist it to make your fav look good, doesn’t work and any lame-o can see through it.


Hypnos Says:

Skeezeweezer,

Relax, I’m just noting that Federer is human. As joyful and commanding as he is when he wins, he gets perturbed and hurt when he loses. This is not unusual among champions, who play well in big moments because they feel entitled to win.


tennis coach Says:

Good luck Novak! You can do it!


margot Says:

jane: ah well, at least we don’t have to go shopping or discuss films, though I did see “Black Swan” last week, weird but not recommended..;)
So here I am, nerves jangling and a large box of tissues at the ready. Doubt if I’ll be able to watch much….couldn’t last year, find “ordinary” Murray matches difficult enough. Oh for those wonderful Rafa/Rog days when I could just sit back and enjoy the tennis ;) Be careful if you get what you wish for, don’t they say?
So kimmi, dAri, aleisha, huh, Swiss Maestro, colin and all Andy fans lots of positive vibes and cheers please for a brilliant, magical, multi-talented player whose worst enemy appears to lurk inside his own bloody head!
stu, jane love Nole only a tiny bit less and echo your thoughts, shame there’s got to be a loser.
So, game on! Come on Andy forget history, the wolf pack, the doubters and all that cobblers, do it for yourself, your family and your team! :)


margot Says:

Andy gives security guard at entrance a signed raquet, bless him. Sorry folks Nole just shakes his hand…;)
Andy practising outside, Nole in but roof may be closed which apparently will favour Nole..ooer..


nadalista Says:

@ Dave post on January 29thth, 2011 @ 8:29pm

Jeez, another numpty who has Nadal firmly camped in his fragile mind…….

Go see a shrink, mate……..you have issues. This blog is about NOVAK AND ANDY, seriously.

And another thing, quit spit-polishing those Federer dolls of yours…….really sick!!!


Colin Says:

There was a phenomenonally stupid post on the BBC forum yesterday saying Murray is the best ever British player and Fred Perry wouldn’t get in the top 100 today. This fool makes the mistake, so common in comparing players of different eras, of saying simply “Suppose Perry got in a time machine and came to today” but of course that’s stupid. The right thing to say is “Suppose Perry had been born twenty something years ago”. Had that been the case, he’d beup there with Federer and Nadal, because he was that kind of person. Ruthlessly professional (to a point that made him disliked by many); a natural athlete with a good eye (world class table tennis player);plus, of course, he’d have all the benefits of present day training, diet and equipment. To make any sense, comparisons have to be made intelligently.
Meanwhile, I’m clinging to the thought of Murray’s unpredictability – he could perfectly well play the game of his life today. For that matter, Nole’s level could drop. Que sera, sera. Anyone remember that boring song?


dAri Says:

Buckle up, chumps! Let’s go andYM!


Polo Says:

Good morning!


margot Says:

ooh, Nole looking very strong and confident and Andy looking tentative…ooh back under duvet..:(


Polo Says:

What a nice way to wake up in the morning and see the beautiful face of Ana Ivanovic.


kes Says:

finally, a second game has been won, LOL


dAri Says:

Ooh, nice second serve from Andy to hold that long game. A good thing about a game like that- maybe he got to work out some kinks all contained in one game.


dAri Says:

Polo- the commentators seemed to like seeing her face, too!


contador Says:

ohhhh this is not disappointing! great match so far!


stu Says:

both very very tense right now


stu Says:

this is exactly what i was dreading – a passive Murray and a Nole who goes for too much. maybe they just need to settle into it…


contador Says:

woz in andy’s box?


contador Says:

only seems fair if ana is in nole’s box


margot Says:

Phew, Andy’s settled :)


Polo Says:

Nole is playing slightly better right now. This looks like a long match.

I have not seen Andy’s box yet. Always Nole’s. Can’t blame the cameramen the way Ana looks today (all the time, really).


Polo Says:

Oops, Conty already said the same thing about the box focus.


contador Says:

OMG…on that return. the 2nd cartwheel nole’s done


contador Says:

Pace yourself nole.


Nona Says:

Amazing depth on Djoko’s shots. These guys are so incredibly talented.


dAri Says:

Yeah Andy that shot did deserve your potty mouth. Shake it off


stu Says:

exactly, save some energy…


contador Says:

LOL!!!!


margot Says:

Am just relieved Andy has not started by playing c**p! It’s gonna be a long one…


Nona Says:

Oh c’mon Andy, add some pop to your shots. You have got the power, why not use it.


contador Says:

murray serving 1st serves…if he gets that 1st serve in…..nole doing a cartwheel attempts to return 2x now

wowowow! nole ripped that cc


dAri Says:

Wow, novAk. Do you see these fh’s from the former bh king?


stu Says:

can’t enjoy this match with my heart in my mouth


Nona Says:

@dari

Novak can really flatten his fh, can’t he? So accurate and powerful.


contador Says:

hahahahha…..loved that rally!


stu Says:

2 bad, bad misses from NOle


kes Says:

was that Brad who said not buying the buddy relationship? LOL


stu Says:

i’d say Andy’s brought the game plan…Nole seems to be getting frustrated already…


contador Says:

yeah …patience Nole


Polo Says:

5-4 Djokovic now. Time to see how Andy’s nerves are holding up. He could really use a little bit more sting in his shots. Saving energy perhaps?


margot Says:

Polo so agree, Andy is too passive at the mo. Now has re-strung racquets, perhaps that’ll help.


Gannu Says:

when will murray stop being defensive.. come on Murray u need to win ur first gslam!!
Danger time…15-30


stu Says:

oooh what an excellent 38-shot point!


contador Says:

yessss, this is great!!!!! Huge rally hahahahahaha

38 shots….


Gannu Says:

there goes the first set to Djoko!!! Murray loses the 1st set!! come on muzaa… u need to believe that u can take it from here… fight tooth and nail and take ur 1st Gslam..


Duro Says:

In Novak we trust!!!


contador Says:

1st set to nole but i fear murray wearing down nole…59 minutes…


margot Says:

Yikes! Andy blinked first! Set to Nole! Come on Andy! Lloyd saying both players exhausted after 38 stroke rally! Andy has met another, better brick wall!


thark Says:

slug

fest.


Colin Says:

I’m not too devastated about the first set, because though Murray’s serve has been absent, the set was by no means one-sided. If Andy can tighten up his game (but not his nerves!)just a bit, he can certainly get back in this match.


dAri Says:

well, shux Andy. yes, polo Andy will need to get his shots a bit deeper and more powerful. not fearful yet for Murray. so early, yet. hope he will make the swing towards more aggressive. c’Mon muzza!


stu Says:

Hate to agree with Bollitieri but if Nole’s going to do this he will have to do it in 3 or short 4. His expression (not his tennis) give me the impression he’s fading fast…


Nona Says:

@margot

Andy has met a brick wall that has an aggressive game plan. C’mon Andy, be the aggressor for a change, if your performance last year was anything to go by! Play defensive and you will lose. Novak is too good and not missing much.


Polo Says:

I don’t feel too good for Andy. Djokovic appears to really have a plan and is determined to pull out a win. Andy’s strategy should be to win at least one of the first two sets (now only the second set)to make Djokovic worry if he can have the energy to play a long tough match. If Djokovic wins the second set, I am afraid it will all be over, quickly.


Gannu Says:

deosnt look good for murray..he looks very tired!


dAri Says:

Andy could use a more efficient serve game… good start!


thark Says:

@stu – i think nole always kinda looks that way – sorta mouth breathing and such. i think he has plenty in the tank actually.


contador Says:

the quick points must commence. get those aces cranked up or faint


stu Says:

muzz’s thumbs up to the box? sarcastic or “i’m okay” or “i figured out a way to get him”


margot Says:

agree folks, in spite of Stu’s trepidation ;) Nole looks to me as if he’s getting his second grand slam.
Andy looks exhausted already :( Gotta try different play, drop shots, lobs, volleys :(


Ike Says:

This is the final I dreamt of…
I correctly guessed it last weekend


stu Says:

djokovic is creating every point. most times it works, some times it fails really badly.


Ike Says:

contador, margot,
belated Happy New Year!


Huh Says:

Sadly, Murray won’t win this in my opinion. I m so upset after d first set, he shoulda won the 1st set. Nole wouldn’t relinquish, it’s deal finished for Murray. Too Bad, I lov Murray so much, but he mayn’t win this. I realy saw the first set and it seems clearly to me dat Nole is not only more determined n fearles than Muzza, but also more on form n unafraid. Nole is hitting insane shots, running like tornado, giving everything back to Muzza forcing errors on him. Not looking gud 4 Muzza. Novak wud win this. Hope som miracle happens n Muzza just is somhow abl to pull this off, but m not betting my house on it.


contador Says:

another nole cartwheel


contador Says:

Hi ike! and to you.


dAri Says:

Whoops, Andy. And the jaw stretching starts in Murray- did we list that in the nervous ticks from the other day?


Huh Says:

I hate sports.


stu Says:

the match is far from over, Huh!


contador Says:

OUCH! the splitz…..nole. and the cartwheel returns!


margot Says:

Oh well, I offer my congratulations to Nole and his fans. Off to do some gardening …..
Ike: thanx but Happy New Year with Andy visibly wilting :(


madmax Says:

too much pressure on murray. the british media need to leave him alone. Not say anything. But that is not going to happen.

He has the pressure, more than nole. Nole to me, just seems really hungry. Too much power behind those shots. I hope this goes to 5 sets.

Shoulders up Andy.


stu Says:

okay Andy, take some time to regroup in the next break instead of making angry faces at your box…


Ike Says:

for some reason I LOVE this final!
no pressure to watch…
i won’t write off Murray yet…he will come back and make it 4 or 5 set match..


Huh Says:

Hi stu! :)

I think it’s your day today, I think Nole would surely win this althou I badly wat Muzza to win this, it’s that much vital for him. If he doesn’t win today, he would not win a slam another day, he’d go slamless. It’s almost written on stone for Muzza: It’s now or never.


dAri Says:

margot, we will hold down the fort. There’s still time for Andy!


madmax Says:

time for a switched game plan.


Huh Says:

Mra. Margot:

It’s quite painful. :(


kes Says:

Really, Ike? I don’t know anymore… :(


Ike Says:

when was the last time Andy broke a racquet? does anyone remember?


contador Says:

no, no margot. i don’t think this is over. i can watch this fairly neutrally….it’s a great match. muzz will get in gear.

nole… don’t confuse the lenses!


Huh Says:

I must quit watching tennis, one after another heartbreak.


stu Says:

oh no, what’s going on…


contador Says:

stop it andy! let’s go muzz…get a set dude! take a toilet break.


Huh Says:

Muzza is unnecessarily nervous n unnecessarily angry.


Nona Says:

I really thought Andy figured Nole out towards the end of set 1. He was dominating rallies and Nole made some forced errors. Now the second set is slipping away, fast. C’mon Andy, fat lady ain’t singing yet.


kes Says:

Murray!!!!! What the heck is going on!!??


Polo Says:

I was hoping Andy will win his first major but it does not look that way. Wasn’t this what Federer commented before about his game? Too defensive! He reminds me of Wozniacki. A defensive player will always be at the mercy of an offensive player. If both play their best, offensive beats defensive, most of, if not all the time.


thark Says:

dag muzza.


Gannu Says:

Murray fans..the wait continues..and I am the ultra jinx person.. all my picks favorites are badly losing.. wll stop posting from nowonwards on tennis-x


contador Says:

hahaha did u see that rocket fh winner from muzz?


Huh Says:

Polo:

Cant agree more.


Ike Says:

Huh,
don’t be so negative on Andy..
there is no reason why Andy can’t win a grandslam…everyone (including him) knows that he has the game to win it…Fed will retire in 2-3 years, Rafa has too many “tennis mileage” gets injured quite often, thus Andy has “excellent” chance of winning not just one but many grandslams!


Huh Says:

Hi Gannu:

I can feel ur pain. Luck ain’t wid us. :(


kes Says:

Why didn’t Murray just hit that overhead!!? Boy, disaster…please don’t let this match finish in an hour


stu Says:

conty, that rocket was when he let himself go and stopped overthinking it. shouldnt that have shown him he needs to do that more?

come on Muzz, you can’t lose without trying…


dAri Says:

:/
What’s up, muzza?


contador Says:

okay…..c’mon muzz. he has to get aggressive and play like he has nothing to lose this next set.

why not? c’mon get a set already!!


Nona Says:

This match is so one sided. Nole is taking centre stage and Andy relegated to nothing more than supporting cast.


thark Says:

nole is preheating the oven. i thought he’d have the edge but i never envisioned the possibility of a bagel.


Polo Says:

Has Andy ever won a set in a major final?


Ike Says:

does anyone remember the if anyone has won the grandslam final after losing first two sets since the FO final in 2004?


contador Says:

stu, u r right. i think muzz needs a toilet break and rethink.

a fighter doesn’t give up, even 2 sets down.


Huh Says:

Ike:

It’s tough lov speaking, I am feelin devastatd at d moment, only I know how much. And if Andy cant win a slam now, I am sure he wont win it later after two orn three years, he simply wont be allowed to. That I m sure of. However, if I am proved wrong with regards to this, I would be one of the happiest persons in the world.


stu Says:

his other 2 finals were straight set losses, and not even close…


Polo Says:

I think I am having more fun blogging than watching this match.


thark Says:

@ ike – 1965 roy emerson v fred stolley per the eurosport announcer


Huh Says:

Polo, Andy has never won a set even in a major final.


stu Says:

i dont think anyone envisioned a bagel or breadstick, thark…


thark Says:

oh sorry you asked since 2004 only…


contador Says:

i actually had a dream muzza won. hmm…

dtl winner!! get agressive!


Huh Says:

“Polo Says:
I think I am having more fun blogging than watching this match.”

Same here.


Polo Says:

Thanks Stu. That’s an embarrassing major final streak.


kes Says:

Oh look, y’all, Murray won a game. Let’s see if he can win two.


contador Says:

muzz gonna break back here


Ike Says:

Huh,
Lendl didn’t win a grandslam till he was 23…
eventually Murray will have good coach, he will tweak his game and mentality a little bit and he will win about 5-6 grandslams!


Huh Says:

The most painful part isn’t that Andy is slamless, but that though he has the ability to win slams, he hasn’t even won a set in a slam final.


contador Says:

0-30……turnaround for set 3


Polo Says:

Huh, Andy is playing so poorly that I have forgotten how bad I felf after Federer lost. I just feel numb. The forecast will remain dark and gloomy until after the French.


Huh Says:

Ike:

May your words be true and Andy start winning slams. That’d be so good! Thanks for ur suport 4 Andy.


stu Says:

seriously, Nole?

bah, terrible match


Ike Says:

thark
that’s ok…


Huh Says:

Exactly my thoughts Polo.


dAri Says:

What’s up with Murray’s eyes? Murray can fight, I’m not ready for this to be over. Get some eye drops, etc and get back in this!


Ike Says:

does anyone see a hope here for Andy…is it just me?


kes Says:

Good Murray now won two. Here’s hoping there could be three…


Ike Says:

Andy will win this final!


Ike Says:

btw, i m Nole fan! but i also like Andy…


Nona Says:

Andy can break Nole but can’t hold his own service game….


Huh Says:

“Ike Says:
Andy will win this final!”

MAY IT SO HAPPEN INDEED!


contador Says:

i do. but…he has to hold here, muzz..it’s a confidence thing for set 3.


dAri Says:

I’ll be hopeful with you one!
Yay fh winner Andy!


stu Says:

yeah, squeaky’s awake now…


stu Says:

Nole’s gotten lucky on lobs 3 times so far…


Huh Says:

Ike:

Nole is playing amazing tennis, he deserves to win indeed. However I just want Muzza to win his 1st slam, it’s a sentimental thing wid Muzza.


contador Says:

too good from nole….geeez


Ike Says:

Huh,
if i remember correctly, u r chinese, right?
great fight by Li Na yesterday? it’s just matter of time before a chinese (woman) and Murray wins a grandslam…


Duro Says:

In Novak we trust double!!!


Nona Says:

Andy down 2 sets to love. Can he at least win one set and take it from there?


Ike Says:

contador, margot, huh,
Andy will win next set!


Huh Says:

Yes Ike, m chinese. Was upset yesterday on the loss of our lady. Wanted her to win the first slam for us (as for herself) badly, it woulda been glorios if she did, but destiny had othr plans.

Hope your good wishes work for Muzza and our chinese ladies. :)


contador Says:

right now i want muzz to get it together and win a set…at least take this to 4 sets

ike – been leaning toward nole but i don’t want muzz to get wiped.


kes Says:

Novak is probably thinking “this is much less difficult than I thought it would be.” Yeah, that’s what we are all thinking :(


Gannu Says:

All over… bye bye… boring match.. thats why fedex shoudl have been there on the final against novak.. he would have whipped him coz it was a final ;-) Bye guys…congrats to novak fans.. ur man truly deserve dto win this aussie open.. he is in awesome form and fed clearly said novak playd lights out an dwas the better man this entire tourney…

commiserations to mandy fans.. cant helpt it.. the wait continues… poor guy… has to face the music of those vultures known as British media


stu Says:

I think Andy will take the 3rd too. He’d better show some signs of life. I’m sure Novak’s having no fun winning this way…


SRM Says:

I think Murray is a defensive player by his nature. It would be very difficult to win a grand slam final against a very good offensive player.


dAri Says:

Haha, BG thinks Andy needs some visine and an “eXPresso”
Wake up, Andy, win a set!


Ike Says:

how about Wilander coach Andy?


Polo Says:

Yes, indeed. Nole deserves to win this match and his second major title. It will be more devastating for him to lose now than it will be for Andy to recover and win. Honestly, I don’t see any way out for Murray. I don’t know if at 23 you can still refashion your game to change into an offensive player. His nature will always drive him back to what he has always been used to, defensive play. Not only is Andy in trouble now but maybe for the rest of his majors career. He could always hope to be lucky someday. Sometimes, lucky wins, too.


Huh Says:

If Andy doesn’t win a set here, I would scold him goin to his official website.

Ike:

I hope so, that Muzza wins at least this set and spare himself the agony of ignominous defeat at the hands of the same aged Nole. Muzza must make Fed his coach I think, may be dats d solution to his problem, who knows.


stu Says:

wow I need a nap…a nap was the farthest thing on my mind during the Nole-Fed match! And that was a weekday too!


kes Says:

“I think Andy will take the 3rd too. He’d better show some signs of life. I’m sure Novak’s having no fun winning this way…”

We are having no fun watch this…meltdown, nervous breakdown, vision disappearing, energy lacking, or whatever motions this kid is going through. Geez, man


Huh Says:

“thats why fedex shoudl have been there on the final against novak.. he would have whipped him coz it was a final ;-) ”

Gannu:

Exactly my thoughts! ;)


thark Says:

starting to wish tigger had made the final…


Thangs Says:

Congrats Nole! He deserves this title…He couldn’t control his smile as the match progesses knowing he will be the winner..


kes Says:

Yea dammit! That’s how you should play Murray!! Come on!


Ike Says:

yes, come on Andy!


dAri Says:

YES! now hold muzza, hold!


Huh Says:

Stupid match


stu Says:

haha yes, come to think of it, thark!


thark Says:

am i the only one who’s a little bit scared of muzza’s mom?


Huh Says:

Fed at least made d match competitive vs Nole.


Huh Says:

Goddamn the defensiv play of Andy.


Polo Says:

Stupid match. Stupid me for waking up too early for this.


kes Says:

WHHHHHYYYYYYYY!!!!!!???? WHY!!!?? WHY WHY WHY BOO!


thark Says:

it’s painful to watch murray be this negative.


Thangs Says:

Also, Murray is painful to watch when he loose the point..always showing up negative body language..that makes the viewers feeling negative..anyone else felt the same???


Huh Says:

Muzza, come on, for ur mom’s sake at least win this set, put up som fight, make Nole earn the titl, dont gift it to him.


Polo Says:

I should not have drunk that whole pot of coffee. Now I am too awake and twitchy to go back to bed. Maybe if i stopped blogging and concentrate on the match, I can fall asleep.


Ike Says:

this is exactly why i think on-court coaching should be allowed in tennis! it will elevate the quality!


Huh Says:

The match aint stupid, it’s rather we who support Muzza. Too bad.


Ike Says:

Polo

very funny LOL


kes Says:

“Also, Murray is painful to watch when he loose the point..always showing up negative body language..that makes the viewers feeling negative..anyone else felt the same???”

I Just don’t think I have been this disappointed in a match before, just because I was so excited for it. *cries*


Ike Says:

Huh
sorry to say this…but u r acting as negative as Andy!
give the guy a break!


Thangs Says:

Seems Murray attained the mindset of Nole at US Open 2010 4th set…started giving up the match…Pity Murray..


Huh Says:

Polo:

Try a bucket of wine then, may b dat wud help u sleep again.


Ike Says:

i mean literally Andy needs a “break”


contador Says:

novak djokovic is playing absolutely fabulous. all credit to him.


Huh Says:

Ike:

Sorry. :( Thanx for remindin me to try to be positiv, I need it most at d moment.


kes Says:

“this is exactly why i think on-court coaching should be allowed in tennis! it will elevate the quality!” At this rate, it will be greatly appreciated. I mean, they allow on-court coaching in other sports, right? Hockey, basketball… heh


Huh Says:

Nole no doubt is playin great, but Andy’s negativ body languag n nervos play is not helpin hi caus eithr.


kes Says:

ouch indeed Murray!


Nona Says:

@kes

Don’t be disheartened. Firstly, the match isn’t over yet. Secondly, Murray is still young and will always be a slam contender. It isn’t the end of the world.


Huh Says:

Just came to mind the doggd n spirited fight dat JMDP put up against Fed at FO 09 n USO 09. How I miss JMDP. :(


kes Says:

I mean, I’m even forgetting Novak is in this match because Andy is taking centre stage for playing so terribly.


Ike Says:

i tried my best to watch the match for 5 minutes, it’s really hard to watch! so many unforced errors…


Huh Says:

WHY ANDY WHY??? :(


stu Says:

can’t sleep, can’t watch, will eat.

Muzz is playing like an immature, inexperienced 12 year old. Djoko bringing back memories of the past maybe?


Polo Says:

I just had an epiphany so I can enjoy this match. I decided to switch allegiance. Now I am rooting for Novak. I feel very good right now!


contador Says:

murray ace…..he needs the aces that helped him vs ferrer.


Huh Says:

Andy mighta spared himself d embarasment by losin to Ferrer.


kes Says:

@Nona
I’m just sad this match up is not as…fierce, as I wold hope to be. I just want one of these players to prove it can be a great grand slam final without both Nadal and Federer there, ya know?


contador Says:

turkey sandwich time.


Ike Says:

kes

thanks for agreeing with me re. on-court coaching…i think it’s time for the conservative people (who typically govern the ATP / WTA) to give up and have some changes in the rules re. coaching in tennis


The fighter Says:

Bring that Andy the Super hyped guy down…


Ike Says:

come on Andy! be positive, come to the net…


Huh Says:

M loggin off, it’s much bete to read the boring subject of jurisprudenc dan express my own desperation n frustration here or to write about how to learn poor play from Murray.


stu Says:

Polo, I’ve been rooting for Novak all along but it just isn’t fun to see him win this way…


Nona Says:

@kes

I live in hope that Murray will take the 3rd set, then we will have the privilege of witnessing a real match between two young, talented players.


Ike Says:

huh

can’t wait for JMDP come back, great positive player.


stu Says:

maybe his thigh is bothering him?


Huh Says:

I mean “much beter” in my previos post


thark Says:

contador, “turkey sandwich” is not necessarily the term i would have chosen, but i admit that murray is not looking too strong right now…


stu Says:

wow i actually clapped for that backhand DTL!


dAri Says:

Holy Moses, novak djokovic. I can’t believe he had every answer in that point! I’ll say it now, that mighta been it.


Huh Says:

Exactly Ike, JMDP a postitiv, fearles, agresiv guy n player.


kes Says:

Oh wait, Novak is still there? Boy, he has been so out of the picture because he has been so good. Does that make sense? LOL


contador Says:

un freaking believable by novak djokovic…..he has the magic tonight….cartwheel returns….splitz… to get that break.

can he hold?

0-15


Nona Says:

Incredible bh pass from Djoko! OMG. C’mon Andy, break back. FIGHT!


Ike Says:

The Last King of Scotland

has anyone watched that movie? where the Scottish actor says “put that animal out of it’s misery” when the cow was struck by the vehicle…i think Nole needs to put Andy out of misery…i tried to be positive…can’t do it


kriket Says:

Is this gonna be “straight sets”?


kes Says:

LOL HAHAHAHAHA! Ike, you’re funny!


Huh Says:

Murray is makin Nole look like Rafael Nadal of FO 08.


contador Says:

hahaha thark. turkey sandwich helped murray last match


Nona Says:

@Ike
It’s hard to be positive because Nole is so comprehensively outplaying Andy. There’s a glimmer of hope, however. Andy is playing more aggressive now, not that he has a choice. He got the break back!


Huh Says:

Hehehe Ike, super funny post @ 5.53 am, som reason to laugh for at last! :D


Ike Says:

challenge system was the major tennis revolution since i guess they switched from wooden rackets to metal…i think on-court coaching would be the next one


Ike Says:

lifeline indeed!


SRM Says:

If Andy can win the third set then I guess Novak might loosen up his first serve percentage and we might have a match.


contador Says:

see? murray broke back. had to eat some turkey for muzz.

i thought this last year….if muzz coulda taken fed to 4….won that tie break…he would have won the match.


kes Says:

Poor JMDP is still mending his injury. The way he lost made me sad. The gentle giant LOL


stu Says:

oh is Muzz winning this set?


Ike Says:

Huh
i m back into positive mode, sorry Andy even I the “eternal optimist” gave up on you..


Polo Says:

Andy fans should not feel so bad. They should still be proud of him. He has made it to his third major final. There have only been so few to achieve that in this era of Federer-Nadal. I know you wish a better result for him. It could still happen. Continue loving and supporting him so he will keep working hard until it finally happens.


Ike Says:

contador

how is weather in Wyoming? looks like you guys gifted us this cold weather this year here in New England!


thark Says:

conty i hope you’ve got lots of room – i think murray’s gonna need you to eat the whole bird…


kes Says:

Novak, what ya mad about? Lose temper, and you may…well…


Ike Says:

Polo

great words about Andy, he needs it, i think Andy should read this blog after the match is over.


kes Says:

Yes Murray, that is how you play!


Ike Says:

he holds! it’s not over yet!
Andy is fitter of the two, it it goes into 5, he should win it.


stu Says:

come on Andy, grow up dude!


contador Says:

nope, i am stuffed. had all the turkey for the night.


Ike Says:

guys
here is one coaching tip from me if you play tennis

when you are losing a match, are playing negative, just remind yourself “don’t be Andy!”


stu Says:

Muzz madness aside, this match is showing me how much Nole has grown. He seems, for the most part, unaffected by Muzz’s antics. Calm, self assured, positive, patient. Mature and experienced. Say hello to a new Nole, world.


thark Says:

agreed – nole is making a fan of me tonight – definitely more mature.


Ike Says:

stu

no offense, but anyone can look “Calm, self assured, positive, patient. Mature and experienced.”…when they are winning


Polo Says:

Nole looks very mature in this match. No chest thumping, no mumbling, no angy look. All his energy has been directed solely to the game. I like this version of Novak, the new Nole, as stu said.


stu Says:

i didnt realize how close we could be to the end! if nole breaks here, he could be serving for the title!


contador Says:

yep. spanked another winner, novak


Nona Says:

Both guys looking utterly exhausted. What a contrast to Fed and Nadal who seem to be able to go on and on and on….without breaking a sweat.


contador Says:

stu!!


Nona Says:

Nole to serve out match.


stu Says:

not really, Ike…I mean he’s not over-celebrating his shots or getting dragged down by Muzz…compared to the way he used to be he’s very composed IMO


kriket Says:

Exausted? I see Novak gitting that ball pretty hard.


kes Says:

Pathetic!


stu Says:

all of a sudden im so excited for Nole!


contador Says:

i tried to will muzz a set.


kes Says:

Hence why I’ve been forgetting he is in this match


kriket Says:

Exausted? I see Novak hitting that ball pretty hard.


contador Says:

goosebumps


Nona Says:

@kriket

You are right, both are belting the ball pretty hard. But they look tired and spent, I think.


kes Says:

Match point *sigh* can’t believe it is over


contador Says:

OMG!!! nole……..he’s stripping


kes Says:

Forgot who said it here, but your right, anti-climatic this match was.


thark Says:

congrats nole!


Polo Says:

Well deserved, Novak. Congratulations. Really showed maturity today. Even after the win, he showed class in not showing excessive celebration which is very respectful to Murray.


Ike Says:

congrats Nole!

(and thanks for putting Andy out of misery…i know you feel bad for Andy)…sorry Andy, hope you will play better in next grandslam final!


stu Says:

Well deserved, Nole. Well done. Sorry Muzz, I hope you learned something and get a chance to put it in practice soon!


kes Says:

I guess third time is not a charm for Murray. Good luck next time Andy.


kriket Says:

Well, at last Đoković on the court seems like a man, whereas Murray still looks like a boy.

This just goes to show that all those lame statistics about which player won the finals based on which one played the second semi-final mean absolutelty nothing, and have more to do with “convenient alignment of the stars”.

Also, jane’s feeling that Murray would win betrayed her.


Daniel Says:

Congrats Djoko and his fans! Almost won without losing a set. Beating Fed and Murray convincingly! He played the best Tennis all two weeks. RG his os top 3, wimby no agacho and US open top 3 favorite as well.


stu Says:

Exactly Polo, I was cringing at matchpoint coz I thought he would fall to the ground in celebration and Muzz would have to wait at the net. Very classy of him


dAri Says:

Pmac picked it right! IMPRESSIVE novak! disappointing for Murray. Novak showed the cajones this tournament, and backed it up with amazing penetrating offense. His defense was offensive, man. Hard to beat that.
Wish the match was higher quality and that andy had showed more aggression and positivity.
Congrats, nole!


The fighter Says:

Wow !!! a straight sets demolition of Murray…..mmmm I m luving it


Ike Says:

Nole will be No.2 next week! congrats Nole!


Nona Says:

Congrats Nole! Great match and almost flawless play. As for Murray, it’s disappointing but work harder and come back next year. This time to win the damn thing!


Polo Says:

I am so bad with statistics, did Djokovic drop any set in this tournament?


Colin Says:

That’s it. I give up.


dAri Says:

Djoko dropped set against dodig


thark Says:

novak was getting to amazing balls tonight with those sliding splitsters! he was getting balls that nadal couldn’t chase down! i was so focused on muzza’s negativity that i didn’t really appreciate it in the moment, but thinking back on those points i’m thoroughly impressed.


Ike Says:

Kia motors COO is embarrassing everyone!


Polo Says:

Oh, that’s right, dAri. He dropped a set from a guy you least expect it from. Overall, he had tougher opponents (including the toughest one, at least on paper).


madmax Says:

Ike he won’t be number 2. He will be 85 points short checking the atp website.

In next Monday’s rankings, Nadal should have around 12,390 points (7,765 plus 4,670 minus 45 from non-countable tournaments); Federer should have around 7,965 points (1,705 plus 6,500 minus 240 from non-countable tournaments); and Djokovic around 7,080 or 7,880 points (2,465 plus either 5,095 or 5,895, depending if he loses or wins the AO final minus 480 from non-countable tournaments).

I really thought this would go to a 5 setter.

Boring.

Now see the press write murray off as a bridesmaid once again.


Nona Says:

@Ike

I think Roger will still be no.2 next week, albeit by a wafer thin margin?


Ike Says:

1hr 40min match…grandslam final! this is what i got up at 4 in the morning? Andy please don’t do this every year to us!


Polo Says:

Djokovic is an all-court player. Wouldn’t be amazing if all of a sudden he wins the Grand Slam when all the while everybody has been predicting either Federer or Nadal to do it. But that is really jumping far ahead. He should enjoy his well-deserved 2nd major.


madmax Says:

Poor Andy. Horrible time for him. Nothing to be ashamed of. Nole was supreme this tournament.

Congratulations Duro and all nole fans.

Disappointing final compared to last year.


contador Says:

ah, so sorry for muzz….really. his voice is shaky. but he’s holding it together…good job andy.


dAri Says:

Congrats to Andy for not crying. That must have bewn tough :(


Nona Says:

Ahhh, the disappointment for Andy. It burns. It burns.


Ike Says:

Nona
you are right i didn’t do the math before posting that comment…here it is… Nole will gain 1640 points (thus his total will be 7880) while Fed will lose 1280 (thus his total will be 7965), thus Fed will have 85 points more than Nole


dAri Says:

Aww, really nice speech from novak. especially the parts about the flood victims and for his country. I think we are seeing a man and a tennis player grow. Thats nice.
Great job, novak!


Polo Says:

As long as I can see that beautiful face of Ana Ivanovic, waking up this early in the morning is not a waste after all.


jane Says:

Congrats to Nole for his second AO title!!! :). I think that Davis Cup win helped him turn a corner because he is playing high quality tennis again. The run to the USO final might’ve got the ball rolling. Good job!

Maybe this second run to the final here can get Murray rolling too?! margot. virtual hankies & hugs if you are still there. Sad for Andy. The errors got to him, maybe that thigh. :( Hoping the gardening makes you feel better. But all this experience can help him, I believe that. Commiserations Andy.


Nona Says:

Off to clay!!


stu Says:

sorry margot et al… something was not quite right with Andy today…i guess we’ll find out soon..

nice, warm hug at the net…


Polo Says:

I was happy that Andy did not look shattered after the loss. Now that he has faced a player other than Federer in a major final, I believe he must have learned a lesson on how to do it next time he gets into another final. I am sure he will have more chances in the future. This loss could only help his game. There is no need to shed a tear for him.


Ike Says:

it still feels like a bad dream…
Andy needs a great coach!

have a nice day guys, bye…


stu Says:

Muzz was a very gracious loser I thought. Although he had a hard time keeping up the act, at least he tried really hard. Good luck for Wimby, kid!


Polo Says:

Andy needs to get Brad Gilbert back. Anyone, for that matter as long as he gets rid of Corretja. Andy is too talented and has a lot of potentials which Corretja has failed to tap. Corretja, when he played, was a very defensive player who could not win big major matches. I think he is creating Murray in his image.


dAri Says:

Congrats Pmac for the nole pick! Haaaaaa! Ok that was just delirious all-nighter speaking. Happy Australian Open, tennis-x’ers!


jane Says:

Agree Polo that Andy M could use a coach, any coach, who will encourage him to come in more to the net to use his natural skills, beautiful hands, who will help him make his second serve just a bit more reliable.


Fuzzy Green Ones Says:

The future of tennis is dim if these guys are meant to be the successors to Fed and Nadal. This might be the first year the women’s final kicked the men’s final’s ass at the AO since Agassi waxed Scheuttler.

*yawwwwwwwn*


The fighter Says:

@Gannu,
All over… bye bye… boring match.. thats why fedex shoudl have been there on the final against novak.. he would have whipped him coz it was a final ;-)

@Huh,

thats why fedex shoudl have been there on the final against novak.. he would have whipped him coz it was a final ;-) ”

Gannu:
Exactly my thoughts! ;)

The most hilarious lines I have ever heard.


Duro Says:

Novak Djoković, thank you. You filled in our hearts. It was worth after all these years to stand by you and believe in you. You’re accomplished fully as a player. Your prime time have just started. You are mature as a person, as well as a player. You did and accomplished everything that people were reproaching you not to: won back to back titles, defended titles, won your second GS, so not to be one slam wonder… You also won Masters Cup title, masters series titles, Davis Cup title, an Olympic medal, doubles title, 19 titles overall and you are only 23. Respect. There is no single competition by sorts in tennis that you didn’t win. Today, you officially became a real champion, completed utterly in every segment of your personality as well as your tennis skills. There are only few players that can play equally well defense and offense in the same time, and on a superb world class level like you do. Keep on going and you’ll fulfill your life dream!

In Novak we trust! Rightfully.


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Djokovic, fantastic tournament. I think he only dropped one set in the whole fortnight. He was always looking to attack and take the initiative. Now that his serve is back to where it was in 2008, he’s much more formidable.

Murray played poorly, though. It was purely mental. I thought not facing Federer would take some pressure off of him, but he seemed even tenser and played worse than he had . Every time he had the momentum he threw it away.

Djokovic played well, but Murray never really pushed him to his limits.

Not a great final quality-wise. If this is the level of tennis we can expect from the endlessly hyped “new post-Federer era,” we’re in for dark days ahead.


mat4 Says:

I noticed Djoko changed his strategy, starting to play a lot of balls down the middle, waiting for Murray to attack and take the initiative. He started to play like this at the end of the first set, and AM just crumble making a lot of unforced errors when he had the responsibility to step up.


Duro Says:

And now, my little personal bragging… Sorry people, but I can’t resist:

Back in November last year I asked a prize question:

“Who’s gonna be the guy with a very very short hair to win the AO 2011?”

The point was (since few of you new about the inside Serbia DC team agreement to shave their heads if they win the Cup) that Nole will win it in December as well as the AO 2011 title in January.

I was right, as well as about the today’s finals outcome and even contenders in it. Here’s my post (the very first in the thread) on January the 13th:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2011-01-13/6013.php

In Novak we trust! That’s why I was right. Cheers all.


jane Says:

steve-o I don’t think we can say one match will define the nature of future matches in the sport. :) Don’t forget Fed and Nadal are still 1 & 2, JMDP is on the mend, and look at all the young guys who broke through at this AO: Dolgo, Raonic, Tomic, and more. Even Dimitrov and Nishikori. Plus you still have Davy, Roddick, Soda and others.

Nole played great this AO as he came in with momentum and renewed motivation, believing in his game. I think two wins against top guys – Berdych and Fed – actually helped him win the final. Murray was cruising through his draw with ease, but then tigger tennis threw him off his rhythm and Ferrer’s tennis wore him down physically. So he wasn’t at his best in this final – be it mental or also a bit physical. Maybe playing and beating Nadal would’ve actually been better for Andy?

Anyhow, a couple more events and then onto the American HC Masters where we had a Ljub and Roddick winning last year!


jane Says:

Good predicting Duro! Woot! Now, who will win the FO, and Wimbledon, and the USO? :D


chrisJ Says:

Novak made me so proud today! First tournament he plays after changing his racquet and he ends up winning a grand slam! There were so many similarities between AO2008 and AO2011 for Novak. Let me list a few I could think off my head.

- US Open Final, Followed by Australian Open Victory
- Losing only one set in the tournament
- Playing Hopman Cup and (technically) making the final without winning the exhibition
- Winning two 6-0 sets before the semi-finals
- Beating Federer in straight sets in the semis

I really think it was a rebirth for Novak, and the future looks very bright!


Hypnos Says:

I think Djokovic felt like the first GS win was a bit of an accident.

This one was no accident. Djokovic was prepared, focused and — most importantly — full of belief.


Dory Says:

PURE DJOKOMAGIC!!!! YOU CAN WIN AT LEAST ONE MORE SLAM THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Polo Says:

I like the Novak that I saw today, mature and classy. Gone were the things I did not like about him before: the chest thumping, the defiance against a crowd that cheers for his opponent, the angy look after a hard fought point. This is how I hope he will continue to play from now on. His fans can truly be proud of him. I could only expect greater things to happen to him.


Huh Says:

Inconsolable


Wheeler Says:

The Djoker will now grow mentally in confidence to have a go at the 3 other slams. How wonderful it would be for him to win some other Slam besides the Australian.


grendel Says:

SRM Says:
“I think Murray is a defensive player by his nature. It would be very difficult to win a grand slam final against a very good offensive player.”
Hard to argue with that, especially given what Thangs says:

“Also, Murray is painful to watch when he loose the point..always showing up negative body language..that makes the viewers feeling negative..anyone else felt the same???”

Counter punchers CAN win big ones, and have done so. But those that do give nothing away mentally. Murray threw his hands up in the air in despair when he was ACED on one occasion – frankly that was ludicrous, or perhaps worse: Murray had just lost it, poor fellow. It’s a horrible feeling to lose it like that, I guess most of us have experienced what that’s like. But it’s not a luxury that a would be champion can afford.

I suspect Murray will feel rather ashamed, so he is unlikely to react as he did to last year’s loss. He’s got something to prove, and I’m sure he’ll come out fighting. But I am a bit sceptical of references to someone like Lendl – slamless till he was 23, and then reeling off seven was it. Lendl always strikes me as a precursor of Djokovic, he was a bit fragile mentally to begin with, but he always had huge offensive weapons and once he was able to harness them and control his mind, success was almost inevitable. The road for Murray will be very much harder.

Meanwhile, as chrisJ says, for Djokovic, “the future looks very bright”. I reckon we can say it’s the top 3 now – neither the top 2 nor the top4 or 5, but the top 3. Maybe within year or so, Djokovic will be challenging Nadal for #1 spot.


Polo Says:

Huh, focus on the next major instead.
Oh! That would be the French. Sorry. OK! Agree. Stay inconsolable. It makes the next good thing to happen to you (or your favorites)feel so much better.


Dory Says:

And btw I saw that Ivan Dodig match while the whole world was watching Federer vs Gilles Simon at that time and Dodig played extremely well to win that set. So Djokovic’s performance is extremely impressive. Yes match was a bit boring because Murray didn’t perform as expected. His mini-comeback was too little too late. Djoko just didn’t let him. I find it rather insulting when people say these guys play boring tennis. Djokovic is a complete player and plays the most exciting tennis.


Polo Says:

I would say the match was disappointing, not boring. Everybody expected a tighter match. Djokovic was pure butter today.


alex Says:

@other nole fans, it’s been a long wait! And hoping that’s more to come. :)


David Says:

Jane,

Don’t you think Murray needs to do more with his forehand? I know what you’re saying about getting to the net more. But how can you do that when you’re not hurting the other player enough from the baseline? I think at one point in the third set they put up the net approach winning percentage stat and Murray was like 4 for 11. So that wouldn’t really encourage him to go in more than he was already doing.


jane Says:

Well so happy for Nole but wanted to give a shout out to Nestor for winning yet another slam title with Srebotnik in mixed doubles, and to the Bryans and Dulko Pennetta for the other doubles titles.

David, just think the right coach could help him develop what seem to me to be excellent hands. Yes, maybe his forehand could be more of a weapon.

Speaking of forehands, I think Nole’s has improved!! It was fabulous!


Kimberly Says:

COngrats to Djokovic fans Jane, Sar, Duro, Nina Stu and all others. What a tournament for your guy!

Condolences to Murray fans. From what I heard, Murray Wozniaki and Roddick can do with the same advice. Eventually I’m sure Andy will get the right coach that will set him straight. Too much natural talent not to take it up a notch.

Who wants to bet Murray, Wozniaki, Nadal, Fed and Roddick will headline the “trunk” this week?


Polo Says:

That is it for now. Happy and grateful for the exchanges here today. Until the next one, bye!


Huh Says:

Congrats to Jane, Stu, Sar, Danica, Duro, Nina n rest of the Nole fans! What a performance by their guy! Not only unbelievable but also impressive!!!
FULL CREDIT TO NOVAK DJOKOVIC!
IN NOVAK YOU KEEP TRUSTING.

At least morons like Cindy Brady wont dare to call Novak a journeyman again. Thats’ the only positive I can take from this AUS oPEN. Stars would hopefully align correctly to hand over to Muzza his 1st GS glory soon.
ALLEZ MUZZA!!!


stu Says:

Duro:
“You also won Masters Cup title, masters series titles, Davis Cup title, an Olympic medal, doubles title, 19 titles overall and you are only 23.”

And 2 Slams!

Sigh, when you put it like that, Duro…


Nina Says:

Comments like this: “Not a great final quality-wise. If this is the level of tennis we can expect from the endlessly hyped ‘new post-Federer era’ we’re in for dark days ahead” make me sad.

Why you people, Fed and Nadal lovers, can’t give praise when it’s due?
We have to suffer the insufferable fedal GOAT debate and everything being about fedal, and yet you can say anything productive about the young guns that have outplayed Fedal? It’s very sad really, the attitude of some tennis fans.

I’m absolutely elated that Fedal is not in this final. Yeah, sorry that Andy couldn’t have presented more battle, but somehow finals play like this. Doesn’t mean that Andy is not a worthy contender or that these two guys are not amazing and exciting players to watch.

Cut the crap with the “dark days ahead”. Fedal are not in the final of a grand slam because they were both rightly outplayed. They didn’t handle the trophy, you know?

Novak would have won this final against Nadal or anybody else, you could see it in his eyes. His game and mentality was rock solid. He’s the deserving champion of a second grand slam and hopefully no one will be ignorant enough to write him off again.

Andy has lost three slam finals but getting to those finals is what counts. He has beat Nadal and Federer many times, he can and will do it again. I’m rooting for him to win Wimbledon, I have that much faith in this player. He’s too good not to.

Maybe this final is not the dream final everyone expected, but kudos to both finalists because they were no doubt the better players this time. They outplayed everyone else in this tournament, a grand slam. I hope we will get to see more finals with Nole and Andy in them and other young guns.

And finally, yeah Duro, in Nole we trust. I never stopped believing in him, never. I knew he would win more slams and he has proved it again. And he still has to produce the best in his career. Bright days ahead of us. Ajde!


Dory Says:

Remember Federer himself said to Murray at last year’s Aussie Open speech that he is too good of a player to not win a Slam.


Blah Says:

Congrats to djokovic and his fans. He earned it.


Tennis Fan Says:

boring … neither player has big potential …


sheila Says:

just finished watching djokovic v murray final & in my amateur, humble, opinion, federer might have been outplayed & outpowered by djokovic in the semis but murray was DOA in the finals


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Anyone else wondering about the weird way Murray seemed to resent his box, constantly sniping at them, giving nasty looks, and shouting “Shut the F up!”?

There could be a very strange familial relationship/ motivation here that is giving negative pressure to Murray. Everyone always speaks of how the pressure of his country overwhelms him. I think that misses the target. I have a feeling there’s a family dynamic that he is carrying poorly, and that he will need to grow up and shed to play freely.

Just a theory, but there’s something going on there- I’ve never seen a player disrespect his own people like that, certainly not in a Slam final.

On the tennis: Nole was brilliant against Fed and well, hard to say he was brilliant against Murry because he really wasn’t tested. Murray just flat out did not compete today, but Djokovic more than held up his side of the bargain.

As I said on a previous thread: I believe this is the most important Slam in some years. At the top, I do think the Fedal stranglehold has been broken for good, and in the next level, I think we will see at least a couple of Raonic, Dolgopolov, Tomic, Nishikori, or Dmitroc breaking into the top twenty over the next few months. The second Post New Balls generation is arrived!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Just to not be misconstrued: I am not saying Nadal or Fed are going anywhere, but I think the level of dominance they have held will slip away.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Nina, I will give major props to Novak for this win. He played out of this world tennis, and last round outplayed Federer, staying in control most of that match. He likely would have beaten Rafa, maybe even an in-form, totally healthy Rafa. Murray, however, is another story. I just cannot get behind him at all, mostly for his extreme negativity. He turned to his own box, with his mother there, and told them, “Shut the f**k up,” when they were trying to cheer him on. What kind of a champion is that? There were a few excellent rallies, and a few incredible shots from Andy, but he was mostly so listless out there. He played awesome through most of the tournament, but once Dolgopolov gave him a little bit of a challenge, he started showing negativity.

I’ll admit, I’m totally biased. My fondest tennis dream is for Nadal to win one more major title than Roger Federer. Today I realized that I would rather every final be a Fedal final with Roger WINNING, than to watch Andy Murray continue to play like this in slam finals. If he gets a coach and starts playing like a real champion in these situations, maybe I will revise my opinion. In the meantime, Vamos Rafa, Adje Nole, even Allez Federer!


steve-o Says:

Nina: I praised Djokovic’s play after he beat Federer and after he won the final.

I’ll say it again: this was a dull final to watch, however well Djokovic played (and he did play fantastic, though I don’t feel that Murray tested him very much).

The players seemed to be in agreement on one thing: both wanted Novak Djokovic to hoist the trophy.

One would expect that attitude from Djokovic; it was quite a surprise to see that Murray appeared to share it.

It wasn’t that Djokovic raised his game spectacularly to get a 5-0 lead in the second; it was Murray who came completely unglued.

He was very negative, unable to sustain any momentum at any point.

I wouldn’t mind seeing more finals with the “young guns” if they turned in more entertaining performances. But this was a thoroughly underwhelming final, mostly because of Murray’s poor competitiveness.

I can understand why Djokovic partisans are inclined to hail a great step forward for their man as a great step forward for tennis. But novelty merely for novelty’s sake is not an argument that holds any water with me. There’s no point in demanding “new blood” unless they come up with something entertaining and interesting. That emphatically did not happen here.


jane Says:

“There’s no point in demanding “new blood” unless they come up with something entertaining and interesting.”

But Nole certainly did this in his matches versus Berdych and Federer right? And Murray and Dolgo was also a very interesting match, which another new face. And don’t forget all the other new faces who broke through at this slam. Novelty was not just for the sake of novelty: it showed us that Nole has definitely matured, has become very focused on court; it showed us that Murray still has work to do; it showed us that a lot of young talent is going to soon become well known to tennis fans, and quite a variety at that: from Dolgo’s bouncing and crafty style to the power of Raonic/Tomic, to the varied games of Dimitrov and Nishikori. Of course we would have wished for a more competitive final, but it was not horrible – in both the 1st and 2nd sets Murray played some great tennis, but too many errors and perhaps a tendency not to dictate did hinder his performance. Still, worth watching, thinking about and also, at the same time, new. Maybe Nadal’s straight setters over Berdych and Soda were similar. And certainly Nadal’s straight set win over Fed at the FO also gave people things to think about. So it’s not just “novelty for novelty’s sake” that anyone is interested in, but in seeing what’s around the corner, in seeing more people really challenge, and so forth.


stu Says:

these tennis blogs really need a “like” button. your last post would get one from me, jane!


thark Says:

andy murray played poorly in his final match at the australian open 2011.

anyone using this isolated fact to conclude that the future of men’s tennis is bleak must not be watching much tennis.


stu Says:

anyone using this isolated fact to conclude that the future of men’s tennis is bleak must not have watched the routing of Federer in the semifinal :)


grendel Says:

I’m not sure if Murray was screaming at his box as such. He may have been indulging in a colourful form of self-recrimination. He addresses those close to him because, well, he’s hurting.


steve-o Says:

@jane: I never disputed that Djokovic played extremely well, and he totally deserves this. But I would like to point out that he’s not “new blood.” He’s won this title before.

This was basically a retread of 2008 AO, except with a much less interesting final. In 2008, we had a surprise finalist in Tsonga, who was an unseeded player who had never reached a tournament final of any kind; while Murray is a top-five player and a veteran of two major finals. Yet the inexperienced hotshot Tsonga gave a much tougher battle than the veteran Murray, and I don’t think that was due merely to Djokovic’s improvement.

These guys are supposed to be the flower of their generation, the generation immediately following that of Federer and Nadal, and this was supposed to be a showpiece. This wasn’t their first time at the dance, either; both are highly-ranked veterans by now.

I wasn’t asking for the sublime or the magical; that’s Federer’s province and no one is likely to rival him in that department for several decades at least. Just something competitive and reasonably entertaining, that would convince me that the “new generation” would be worth watching, even if it doesn’t produce the same goosebumps.

But what we got didn’t meet even my already-lowered standards. That was due far, far more to Murray than to Djokovic.

What did we learn: that when Djokovic is confident and serving well, he can win AO; that Murray has a lot of work to do to win a major; that Nadal finds it difficult to sustain his physically taxing style; that Federer is not as dominant as he was in 2004-07. But I’m pretty sure we’ve known all that for a couple years.

I agree, the talented youngsters such as Dolgopolov and Raonic were highly entertaining. Hopefully they can continue making inroads and become regulars on the tour.

But how much of the interest that surrounds them is due solely to their being new and hot, and how much of it is due to their actual quality? It’s far too early to say.

Justin Bieber may be the hot thing now but in five years where will he be? My guess is forgotten. Just another flavor of the month.

That’s going to be the fate of the majority of the young up-and-comers, and no way to tell which ones will become interesting regulars.

Djokovic has certainly proven to have staying power (he was already there after winning AO the first time, in my book). Del Potro is another great player, but he will take a long time to get back to his level.

I don’t know. To me the outcome isn’t some great new blossoming, I don’t see that very much has changed.


thark Says:

i agree – justin bieber plays way too defensively and his backhand is a major liability.


grendel Says:

Why are tennis players so keen on the word “unbelievable”? Even the articulate Andy Murray used it at least 3 times in his short podium speech. Wanton use of any word deprives it of its juice. You hear a tennis player saying some thing is “unbelievable” and you gloomily conclude it must be all too believable.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Justin Bieber will never ever be a Michael Jackson. And no tennis player ever will be a Roger Federer. But today Novak is the best player in the 2011 Australian Open.


Nina Says:

steve-o… while I understand what you’re going through -the federer syndrome- I don’t agree with your views. You’re disenchanted with the current generation of tennis players I suspect because you actually never watched tennis for the sake of tennis but because Federer was in it.

A lot of Federer fans think that they won’t care about tennis after he retires. And they resent guys like Djokovic taking him down in slams and thus making him look vulnerable and in the decline. I’m just quoting what I’ve heard many of his fans say.

I’ve been a tennis fan on and off when I connected with certain players. I was a fan of McEnroe (i was very little), then Bruguera, Agassi… i stopped watching when Sampras came in… and i became a fan again with Djokovic. Djokovic -not Federer and not Nadal. Clearly the guy had something in him that made me want to watch tennis again.

Maybe because of that I don’t have the same nostalgia for Federer’s dominant years -which i think has to be the weakest era in tennis- and I can enjoy the new guns bringing their game to the table.

I enjoyed watching Dolgopolov for example. And I find Djokovic’s and Murray’s style of play scintillating. Maybe you don’t like it because you just like Federer’s style.
Many federer fans I know hate Nadal for the same reason. How he dares to win slams with his brute style of tennis so different from the virtuoso Federer. I have heard them brand Nadal’s style as moonballing or ballbashing. I’ve heard that nonsense time and time again. They’re not willing to give any other player an opportunity. Federer has spoiled them for ever. I pity them.

I can enjoy Federer’s game and at the same time Nadal’s, Djokovic’s, Murray’s and others. There is not one style of game thatn is better than the other. I personally hate serve & volley although a lot of fans miss it greatly. I recommend that you read Steve Tignor’s latest article on Djokovic at tennis.com. I think he analizes his style of game superbly.


jane Says:

steve-o, I understand the final wasn’t great but I think thark sums it up so “unbelievably” (;-)) well that I will quote him:

“andy murray played poorly in his final match at the australian open 2011. anyone using this isolated fact to conclude that the future of men’s tennis is bleak must not be watching much tennis.”

For example, you have the duopoly of Fedal; the two who broke through here and at other slams, Murray & Nole; the other top-tenners who still seriously challenge at slams, Soda & Berdych in slam finals 2010, Roddick the year before that; and then even the newest generation, which, until this slam had not made much noise (Dolgo, et al, at least some of which are and will be the “real thing”). And there are still Delpo, Cilic and even (possibly, maybe, perchance) Gulbis. There is SO MUCH to which to look forward in tennis.

Maybe, it wasn’t a great final. But I already listed 3 relatively uncompetitive -at the least straight setters- finals that featured either Nadal or Fed in them:

Fed & Nadal FO 08
Nadal & Soda FO 10 (6-4, 6-2, 6-4)
Nadal & Berdych Wimb 10 (6-3, 7-5, 6-4)
Fed & Soda FO 09 (6-1, 7-6, 6-4)
Fed & Hewitt USO 04 – two bagels! Hewitt won 6 games, which is less than Murray.
Even Fed’s two slam wins over Murray at the USO 08 and the AO last year – Murray really didn’t find a groove until the 3rd set last year.

Many times, when it’s a first time slam finalist, nerves will come into play. But even withstanding that, many slam finals have been straight-setters with one player not playing as well as the other.

That’s the case we had with this one, but to me it doesn’t necessarily foreshadow that the next encounter between these two might not be better. In fact, the match suggested the opposite to me; you could see how Murray could learn from it and really make it tougher next time.

Anyhow, different strokes. We just see it differently is all.


stu Says:

That’s a great article, Nina. Tignor’s always been a Nole fan.

haha –
“He barked at the ball kids to bring him his towel, please.”


Skeezerweezer Says:

And did Andy play the AO 10 final against Fed any better?

Novak was up for it. Murray was to in the beginning. But when Murray’s plan wasn’t working it was over. And let’s face it, Novak has was in a zone, getting back most of what Murray threw at him and giving it back with some whip cream and a cherry on top.

Was it as exciting as Fed? Hey if your a Novak fan, heck ya!

But disclaimer: I’m a Fed fan. It’s all good :)

Congrats Novak fans!


jane Says:

Skeeezer, thanks. :) That’s sort of what I was trying to say. I don’t think Murray played *that* much differently than last year; in both he started a bit tentatively (last time, shorts; this time perhaps due to those racquet issues), fell into bad habits maybe in the second sets, and then tried to make a last push in the third sets. But Nole, probably knowing that if the match turned in the 3rd set Murray could very well win, kept fighting and breaking back. Just like Fed probably knew that 3rd set tiebreak last year was crucial to win.

Of course all of this depends on our perspective as fans of particular players, so I can see how someone who is a “Fan” of neither might feel the way they do.

Cheers and shamooon. (I think that’s how you spell it :))


Michael Says:

A third loss at the grand slam, but what will be more hurting is he lost all the finals in straight sets even without giving a whimper of fight. That is cruel which might give no hopes for Murray to win a Grand slam. Ofcourse there are some players like Agassi and Lendl who were able to overcome their losses and become successful in grand slams. Lendl for example was called as a choker in big slam events but he did ultimately suceed. Murray can take a leaf out of that and try even harder. But it is going to be very difficult and take a lot of doing. All credit to Novak, he deserved to win and the way he outplayed Federer and Murray speaks volumes about his percentage game which is improving by the day. He kind of dictated play from the back of the court and neither Federer nor Murray had answers to his onslaughts. From now on, with the inevitable exit of Federer due to his age, it will be Djokovic all the way in hard court slams. May be Nadal will be the one who can stop him now.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Jane,

Just listen to some MJ, whatever it sounds like to you, just type it, it’s all good! :)

Hee hee, ya know it! Who’s Bad?

Can we time warp to FO please? But without aging of course….love these Slams :)

It was a great ride with everyone, and kudos the ones watching the AO live this year, the hard core of tennis x!!!


margot Says:

jane@6.50, that’s exactly the point I would’ve made! There have been many uncompetitive, beat down finals. People have short memories, or don’t mind if it’s their favourite doing the beating down ;)
Nina: I too lost all interest with Pistol Pete!
As for Andy I now really feel he can’t take the pressure. He was such a different person the first week, calm confident relaxed. The old tortured Andy emerged in that final. I think it’s unlikely that he’d get a sports psychologist but he needs a coach who will encourage him to play the way he plays against Rafa, ALL the time.
Am v. v. pessimistic at the mo.
Best tennis: Nole v. Berdych
Best Andy match: Andy v. Meltzer
Best newcomer: Tomic, had heard such bad things about him b4 match, but he was a delight….now where’s he playing next…..always liked younger men……;)


grendel Says:

Nina says (w.r.t.steve-o): “you actually never watched tennis for the sake of tennis but because Federer was in it.” This will be true of some people, but not I am sure steve-o; he obviously has a good knowledge of tennis which will have been acquired before Federer appeared on the scene I imagine.

“We have to suffer the insufferable fedal GOAT debate ” – human nature. Tribalism runs very very deep, and when the opportunity arises, you can expect a fedal type debate to recur.

“for Federer’s dominant years -which i think has to be the weakest era in tennis-” – that’s a standard polemical point, Nina, which has been debated many, many times. One strongly gets the feeling that people line up on either side of this particular debate according to whether they like Federer or not. Can’t prove it, but you can generally tell what a given fan’s opinion will be, though you do get the odd maverick.

“Many federer fans I know hate Nadal for the same reason. How he dares to win slams with his brute style of tennis so different from the virtuoso Federer. I have heard them brand Nadal’s style as moonballing or ballbashing. I’ve heard that nonsense time and time again. They’re not willing to give any other player an opportunity. Federer has spoiled them for ever. I pity them.”

There’s a lot going on here. First of all, this is such an absolute statement, and yet some of it is straying into troll territory (I mean is applicable largely to trolls), and of course all the really big players have their coterie of trolls trailing behind them. If Djokovic becomes successful on a consistent basis, it will be no different for him.

But meanwhile,I think the sentiment is too harsh. If I am not mistaken, all partisanship carries within it an element of the irrational. Very few fans are completely detached in their enjoyment of tennis, they would scarcely be human if they were – which doesn’t stop some people pretending to be above the fray.

Aesthetic tastes vary, that’s obvious. Many people who love Mozart can’t abide Wagner, and the more reasonable Mozartians (who aren’t full of hate for Wagner, plenty are) regret this, but simply cannot find it in themselves to enjoy the music of Wagner even though they have genuinely tried. I don’t think there is something wrong or lacking in these people, and nor do I think there is something wrong or lacking in tennis fans who are unable to enjoy the tennis of a particular great player.

Some people are more catholic in their tastes than others, but I don’t think this is especially a virtue (though it sure helps for peace of mind). It’s like – you spread yourself thinly, or you focus on a very few. This is surely a matter of personality, and we can’t help what we are.

Even so, whilst Nina’s polemical points can be made vis-a-vis players other than Federer, do they nevertheless resonate more strongly in the case of Federer? Undoubtedly. The natural question to ask then is: why? Does Federer simply attract an unstable sort of character? That sounds pretty nonsensical. Actually, you only have to look at this site – most of the Fed fans, imo, have nothing whatever in common with each other except their love of Federer’s tennis. So the answer must lie in Federer. In any sphere of human activity, you get unusual individuals who seem to rise above their peers. Clearly, Federer is perceived to be such a one – rightly or wrongly, is another matter. Such people, though, do generate unusual degrees of passion, not necessarily benevolent. Federer is already a legend, and in the eyes of people who know and care little about tennis – the vast majority – the name Federer is virtually synonmous with greatness not just in tennis but in sport generally. This is bound to affect that small minority of people who are ardent Fed fans. To affect their judgement, I mean.

Meanwhile, I am genuinely conflicted about Djokovic. It’s worth saying this because I doubt if I am alone among Fed fans, but I resolutely rebut the claim that it has anything to do with his being perceived as a threat to Federer. (I was partly motivated by this unworthy emotion where Nadal is concerned I admit, but even here it is complicated – but enough is enough).

The conflict (in my mind) is this; there is something about Djokovic which seems to me clinical or mechanical – I’ve always reacted in this way to him. In this, he seems to me to be the successor of Lendl, another player I couldn’t quite bring myself to get along with. And yet. Lendl’s thrashing of Becker at Queens was one of the most thrilling exhibitions of tennis I have ever seen. I hated it (being a Becker fan) and I loved it. Likewise, Djokovic’s smooth powerful play from the base line can be extraordinarily exhilerating. One shot in particular has me in raptures, when he hits it very hard indeed but at the same time somehow generates a loop as the ball lands on or very close to the line. How is that even possible? How can you hit so hard with such huge top spin? Federer does it, b.t.w., but his version is nowhere near so awesome.

So I greatly admire Djokovic and can enjoy his play. But somehow, it doesn’t do it for me. So what? We’re all different, is all.


Lulu Iberica Says:

Jane,
“Of course all this depends on our perspective as fans of particular players…”

I think this mostly explains it. As a hardcore Rafa fan, I don’t see his one-sided beatdowns at RG as boring, but as a display of his awesome dominance on that surface. Still, I can watch and enjoy Fed when he is at his magical best, even in an uncompetitive match. Basically, if I am watching someone who is not one of my faves, then I’m watching for the sake of the tennis, and hope for an exciting display. Djokovic held up his end of the bargain, but Murray did not. Furthermore, it’s not just that Andy lost in straights, but his attitude that made the match so disappointing IMO. If David Ferrer had gotten past Andy, I’m sure he would’ve lost in straights, too, but with much more fighting spirit!

Still, what got me most worked up about it all was commentators and posters on blogs (not necessarily here) hailing the “changing of the guard,” “so happy it’s not Fedal,” “it’s better for tennis,” etc. I just cannot believe that yesterday’s performance was so great for the sport! If Djokovic proves himself to be a consistent contender for majors, though, that will be a good thing. And of course the rise of Raonic, Tomic, Dolgo, etc, really made the tournament special. It was only the final that was disappointing, though I guess not for major Djoko fans!

Top story: Djokovic, Murray Advance At US Open, Azarenka Survives; Federer, Monfils v Dimitrov Tuesday
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Rankings
ATP - Aug 25 WTA - Aug 25
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
7 Tomas Berdych7 Angelique Kerber
8 Grigor Dimitrov8 Eugenie Bouchard
9 Andy Murray9 Ana Ivanovic
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga10 Jelena Jankovic
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