Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray For The 2015 Australian Open Title, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | January 31st, 2015, 11:38 am
  • 129 Comments

For the third time this decade Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray meet in the Australian Open final. Djokovic leads his childhood rival – they were born just seven days apart – by a hefty margin of 15-8. And the Serb has won the last four and seven of the last eight meetings. Murray’s lone win came on Novak’s least favorite surface, that being on the grass at 2013 Wimbledon.

Unfortunately for Murray, the Australian Open is no longer played on grass. That changed years ago. Now it’s of course on the easier-to-maintain hardcourts, a surface Murray hasn’t beaten Djokovic on since his 5-set victory over years ago at the 2012 US Open.

So the Serb leads in their overall head-to-head and on hardcourts at 13-6.

And the numbers go on in favor of Novak. But enough with the numbers. On paper we know Novak has the edge. The data backs it up. But it doesn’t tell the whole story.

That’s because this is probably the best Murray has looked since that 2013 Wimbledon run when he beat Novak. He got over on Grigor Dimitrov a week ago. Then dismantled Nick Kyrgios before basically bullying Tomas Berdych, feeding the Czech bagel in the second set of their match.

Murray also has something to prove. Many credited Ivan Lendl with steering him to glory. “Murray can’t win without him,” said the critics when the two split.

Now under Amelie Mauresmo he’s out to show that it’s more than just about the coach. It wasn’t all Ivan. And after a rough start to the partnership last summer, the results are on the upswing.

This week Murray’s been the aggressor, taking the ball early and attacking off both sides. He still has the wheels to play defense when he needs to, but I like that he’s going after it more and more. And I like the fiery attitude he brings on the court.

But here’s the problem: Djokovic is just better than Andy in just about every department. Maybe Andy has a little more variety, however Novak has all the shots, the complete package. He’s like a video game. We know.

Yet I wonder if his confidence was maybe cracked after that uninspiring performance over Stan last night. Maybe. And if so, can he hit that backhand down the line? Can he serve well? And will he go after Andy’s second serve? That’s what he’ll need to do because after losing three previous Australian Open finals, I really think Murray is going to come out with a first-ball offensive game plan.

Too bad for Murray, I just don’t think it will be enough. If Novak can find his “A” game when he needs it – I don’t think he can have it for the whole match – he’ll get through this.

The key for me will be Murray’s weak second serve against Novak’s top-notch return. If Murray doesn’t serve well he’s going to be in trouble. And I think eventually that second serve catches up with him.
The pick: Djokovic in five

ESPN again has the coverage live at 3:30am ET. It’s a great way to start Super Bowl Sunday.


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129 Comments for Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray For The 2015 Australian Open Title, Who’s The Pick?

jane Says:

sean, stats-wise, throughout the tournament murray has won 58% of his second serves; nole has won 65%. so actually it’s been very close. neither has faced a great returner though. i don’t know but i kind of feel like intangibles will swing this andy’s way. you already stated most of them. even the weather is iffy. will they close the roof, and if so, how will that change things? or will it at all? i don’t think either have played under the dome this event. stan was saying he found the night conditions in the semi to be tougher to play in / adjust to.


brando Says:

Agree Djokovic is the obvious, heavy and clear favourite. His semi final will not factor into how he plays the final since that’s a one off kind of awful performance. I agree this match pretty much traffics towards one thing: muzza’s 2nd serve. Personally: I have not been too impressed with and I think Novak will butcher it once again. Novak in 3 tight sets or maybe 4.


django Says:

Berdych and Dimitrov are not Djokovic. Brandon I agree with you and sean. I don’t think novak will be asleep tonight.


brando Says:

@Django: I agree. I think Andy’s form is being way overhyped. Who has he beat of real note this season? Dimitrov and berdych. That’s it. We know the story with those 2: good in patches, on top for a while and then the big collapse. And that’s what they gave Andy. Novak though faced superior players-at least- ranking wise in wawrinka and raonic. He dropped 2 sets like Andy but completely schooled milos, and toughed out a fight with the defending champion wawrinka. So for me he’s in better shape. His serve is better than Andy’s, his return is demonically good, he’s much more experienced at handling the grand slam final pressure and 9/10: he’s just a more consistent tennis player than Andy. And the big thing I don’t get is: what is Andy’s edge in this match? What stroke has he got, or tactic that can see him hurt novak? I just don’t see it. Wawrinka had his power and aggression, hence he’s a tough match but Andy really has neither of those qualities or nowhere at that level, or as consistently. So for me: in order for Andy to win he has to be incredibly solid on all fronts AND also hope Novak is below par. One is tough enough but getting both is requiring a miracle to be honest.


Margot Says:

Yeah, well Brando you predicted Berd would beat Andy so maybe your crystal ball has misted up a tad.


jane Says:

django, i do trust nole to raise his game. for example, he didn’t play well versus dimitrov at wimbledon in the semis, but he played very well versus roger in the finals, except maybe in the 4th set where he had a bit of a letdown and fed raised his game to match. so there is hope, as some of you have said, that he’ll wake up after the semi and play better. these two are 2-2 in grand slam finals; that’s as even as you can get. obviously nole’s success at the AO is a notch in his favour, but andy’s into his 4th final; he also plays very well here. it’s going to be close i suspect. even the us open match last year was relatively close.

it may come down to who plays the bigger points better.

i noticed navratilova says andy is the favourite based on their form here thus far.


brando Says:

@Margot: I predicted berdych would win should he give a repeat performance of being in the zone as he did mentally v Rafael. He didn’t, he lost. Hardly a surprise. But novak is a different kettle of fish altogether. He does not need to repeat a once in a age performance Tomas did v Rafael. He just needs to do is his usual MO for a long while and he’ll beat Andy here. My Crystal ball says: Djokovic win. Likely in 3 tight sets but possibly 4. His greater consistency will overcome a player sporting a poor 2nd serve and a weaker mentality on the big stage.


calmdownplease Says:

`but he played very well versus roger in the finals, except maybe in the 4th set where he had a bit of a letdown and fed raised his game to match..`

Now that I don’t agree with.
It took 5 sets to beat Roger and even he was surprised about it.


django Says:

Brando
His edge is amelie.


calmdownplease Says:

` I predicted berdych would win should he give a repeat performance of being in the zone as he did mentally v Rafael. He didn’t, he lost. Hardly a surprise..`

You are a terrible analyser of matches and a hideous suck up to boot.


brando Says:

@django: Amelie? For what reason?


Margot Says:

@brando
At the end of the day tennis is about form. Rafa is the biggest competitor with a terrific never say die attitude and that didn’t help him a jot against Berd because on the day his form was right off.
Andy’s form has been good at the AO and I can assure you that if his first serve is cooking we won’t see this “weak mentality” you keep talking about. If his form is “on” he’ll be confident and calmness.
Of course Nole may have a super in form match and win. But, if Andy loses, it will be because his game is not clicking and not for any other reason.
Where’s MMT when you need him?


calmdownplease Says:

@Margot

Has this condescending bozo `brando` ever predicted Andy would win against anybody, like ever?
With sneaky `Nadal fans that support Andy`tm like this who needs enemies?


jane Says:

cdp, what don’t you agree with, that there was a letdown/raise or that nole played well versus roger in the wimbledon final? if it’s the latter, then i totally disagree with you. it was almost unanimously picked as match of the year last year for a reason: high quality. nole hit 68 winners to 27 errors, fed 75 to 29. nole should’ve closed out the 4th set, and won in 4, but other than that, it was excellent imo.


calmdownplease Says:

Well, it was high quality but he really should have closed it off in 3
That’s my point.
But this was in the down period when i think his confidence was down from its previous highs
Was that really the `match of the year` last year?


jane Says:

margot, “At the end of the day tennis is about form.” largely i agree with you; i do think sometimes other issues come into play that can affect form – doubts in big moments, external issues, etc – but overall it’s about who plays best on the day.


jane Says:

cdp, for me it was definitely match of the year. :) this could be a subjective matter, however. i don’t know if he could’ve closed it in 3; i don’t think there was a bp in set 1, so it came down to the tiebreaker which was nail-bitter close and so can’t really fault nole for the way that set went. but he definitely should have served out the 4th.


skeezer Says:

If both players are “in form” then what does it come down to?


jane Says:

^ good question skeezer! how would you answer it? :)


Margot Says:

@CDP
Brando does tend to begin every piece with:
“I like Andy BUT etc etc” ;)


calmdownplease Says:

Look at the end of the day there are some really creepy interlopers here that aren’t Novak fans at all, but for whatever reason blow smoke up his a** whenever possible.
If I appear a bit too critical of Novak I do apologise Jane, because I do ACTUALLY like him.


the DA Says:

@Margot – He used to be more reasonable. Personally, I can’t wait for Rafa to return to form and start winning tournaments again. Brando has become so crabby lately. A happy Rafa = a happy Brando ;)


Brando Says:

@Margot:

- ‘Rafa is the biggest competitor with a terrific never say die attitude and that didn’t help him a jot ‘:

Actually Nadal’s attitude- a poor one- was a the contributing factor for his loss in that one.

See his excellent presser.

Rafa said that he was disgusted with his attitude in the first 2 sets since he felt all he was doing was assisting Tomas in his cause.

He said he was pleased with his attitude in the 3rd set, and he felt that gave him chances, made him competitive but it was too late since when someone is 0-2 down they have virtually no room for error. Whereas the one in the lead can afford to take greater risks.

So he lost all 3, yet was dismayed with 2 and happy with 1 for one sole reason:

Attitude.

So mentality matters alot: they do not say mind over matter for nothing.

-’If his form is “on” he’ll be confident and calmness.’:

I’d LOVE to see this. Bring it Andy I am more than down to see that!

-’if Andy loses, it will be because his game is not clicking and not for any other reason.’:

True. But mindset plays a real part in this.

BOTH players will have their chances on Sunday. It’s all about whether they can step up and take them at the time.

And on this front it’s the mental element that plays the biggest part: the quick decision making to play the right shot, the level of aggression, stepping up in intensity, keeping a cooler head than the opponent in the very key moments of the match etc.

Novak said it best:

The game may look like it’s being played between the lines but really alot of it is in between the ears.

Ditto Rafa. He’s embarking on a comeback right now and hear him talk you’ll see him frequently talk of: confidence, right attitude, mindset, playing with clam etc all which inform the tennis.

These guys are not going to hit a single shot they have not played for a 1,000 times in their career nor are they unable to play them.

It’s ALL about having the mental capacity to navigate through the situation, the pressure on Sunday which shall aide them in doing what they fully well know that they can do, which they have done for a majority of their lifetime:

Play high level tennis.

It’s the decisions, choices that they make mentally that inform their tennis and result.

Will Andy:

A- Choice to hit a strong 85MPH 2nd serve?

or

B- A slice serve that is in the late 70′s MPH and rather easily returnable?

All these are decisions: vital ones that are made by the mind, and will dictate how far he goes in the match.

My 2 cents.


Margot Says:

@Skeeze
Who wants it more, who prepared to leave blood in the sand etc? And its nothing to do with weak mentality either. If anything Andy has an immensely strong will, playing through pain for 18 months, forcing himself back to 4 after a potentially career ending op. etc
@ jane
It’s a bit chicken and egg IMHO. If a player’s game is clicking I doubt much “weak mentality” will show. And ALL players get tight at key moments. I watch a lot of tennis and I see it all the time and the numbers of players who serve perfectly throughout sets and then serve up a double in the tie……..


jane Says:

agree margot, although some definitely “crack” more than others.

cdp, i know; no worries.


calmdownplease Says:

@Margot

Everytime I’m on here…there’s BRANDO!
With his endless, voluminous posts.
He is clearly unemployed and probably morbidly obese as well, with a tennis blog serving as his only probable outlet for self expression (people in the real world can be SO cutting).
And let’s face it, he’s completely in Luuuurrrrve with Rafa!
Because it’s all about Rafa of course.
Even when it’s about Novak.


skeezer Says:

@jane
It comes down to the mental side of things, just like I had mentioned before.
toot toot toot! What’s that?
Just tooted my own horn :)

Who’s mentally stronger? Who can figure out a way to build a point that wins against an opponent? At this level, sometimes it cannot be seen, but it is a chess match out there. These guys ( especially the Top 4 ) know each others patterns of play by heart so if both games are on, its what goes on in the head. Who has the better resolve, who has the better nerves, who has the better confidence, who has the better determination. This translates into your Tennis game.
It’s true if one’s form is better than the other the one with the better form usually wins. But not all the time. Some players can bring their “B” game and still beat another player who brought their “A” game. You’ve all seen it from time to time.


Brando Says:

PS:

It may look like I am being mean, tough on Andy but really it’s just honest thinking that the man himself likely will not disagree with.

Andy’s known and applauded for his honesty and he says this about the final:

“He has a fantastic record here,” said Murray. “He loves the court and the conditions. It would be a BIG UPSET if I manage to win.”

That’s the words of the man himself pre-final!

He’s not being underhand, shady, playing the game but being forthright and honest.

Ditto I.

Would love to talk differently but at the end of the day: this is a AO final, and we all know about Novak here.

Had this been Muzza v Novak at Wimbledon or USO, trust me: I would be singing a different tune.

Had Rafael Nadal- a 14 Grand Slam Champion who knows how to beat Novak in big ones- been the finalist even I still would be favouring Novak to win in 4.

You gotta to respect Novak’s beastily record here. Period.

All that said:

Andy will definitely do his best to win.

Likewise i’ll be rooting hard for him also in this very, very tough challenge he faces!


skeezer Says:

@Brando
Lay off the wasteful spacing will ya? Geez already.


jane Says:

“Some players can bring their “B” game and still beat another player who brought their “A” game.”

this is true. just to complicate matters, is this mentality, then, or because player x’s “b game” is better than player y’s “a game”? ;)


wilfried Says:

To me Murray is the pick, because he has impressed me more than Novak sofar, at least in this edition of the Australian Open.


skeezer Says:

@Margot,
Careful there, I never said Andy was mentally weak.


Brando Says:

@Skeezer:

W

H

Y

?

:-)


the DA Says:

FWIW the way I see it is, yes, Nole is the huge favorite and it’s practically his turf. It could well be a drubbing like 2011 or it could be a closely fought epic like 2012. I just remember this: the last time he pushed Nole so hard at the AO was just after he had hired Lendl. Andy said afterwards that he wanted to impress Ivan. Now he’s in his first slam final with Amelie. He probably wants to impress her too. He also loves proving naysayers wrong as we heard after the Berdych match. I think this will be the intangible factor tomorrow. Just my $0.02


Eric Says:

Look, we all do it, but when you catch yourself talking about a player (positively or negatively) as if their opponent didn’t have anything to do with the way they played a match, just stop. Good days and bad days don’t just magically happen. There’s no button that someone presses that says “today, Bob shall play in the zone and Jill shan’t.” Yes, there are on days and off days, but tennis isn’t played against a backboard. The reason Rafa looked so bad against Berdych is because he’s struggling with his game overall — has been for a little while — but mainly because Berdych simply took it to him. The same way Berdych made Federer look helpless when he crushed him a few years at the US Open, by having an aggressive game plan and executing it ruthlessly. And when Andy beat him in the semi, it wasn’t because someone pressed a button giving Andy a good day and Tomas a poor one, it’s because Andy took away Berdych’s best weapon by returning well and practicing tactical ball placement that kept Berdych from getting into a rhythm. (When Berdych beat Federer a few years ago, his game plan was basically just “serve really hard, then go crosscourt on the inevitable short return from Roger.” That’s literally it. That’s how Berdych won; because Fed couldn’t get deep returns on serve and didn’t have the footspeed to keep the ball alive beyond two strokes given his starting position and momentum on those points. I didn’t see the Rafa match the other day, unfortunately, but in Andy’s win, Tomas never really got anything going because Andy eventually starting crushing his serves, at least in the first two sets before I went to sleep…)


calmdownplease Says:

Everyone knows Andy was the weakest mentally of the big 4, there’s no discussion about that.
Here’s the thing however, in this tournament at this time to me he appears the stronger of the two in all departments, could he still crumble, yes.
Will he?
No way, someone who can take their home slam under a pressure that no other player on the tour has even come close to experiencing is not going to be crumbling again for anything.
Nor do I feel Novak will be brimming with confidence about tomorrow, and that is something he has had issues with as well.
Andy passed his many tests with flying colours and now everything must seem like a bonus.
If the court was slower I’d still give the slight edge to Novak, but its playing faster so the edge now goes to Andy in my opinion, but pretty soon we’re going to know either way


jane Says:

totally the DA: i was thinking the same about coaches/intangibles when i put my first post on this thread. andy was VERY close to winning in 2012; he was up in the 5th set. people underestimate how good his record is here. there is no slam where he’s reached more finals is there? he’s been in 2 at wimbledon and 2 at the us open, but 4 (now) here. this is his 8th slam final right?


Eric Says:

And I have no prediction for the final. I think I’ve been wrong just about every time I’ve called an Andy-Novak match. Except maybe Wimbledon 2013.

I will say that Stan was playing very well in the semifinal, and the consensus seems to be that Djokovic was terrible… and yet he won. So there’s that.


Okiegal Says:

In ALL sports the pressure is on the player at tense times….shooting a game winning free throw…..the birdie in golf etc. If you can remain mentally tough through those times, you will be the victor. An example of that was yesterday when Serena reeled off another ace after the let. She was 0-30 and did it again before that. Does she do it every time, no. That would be impossible. The mental aspect of the game has a lot to do with the outcome imo.


Margot Says:

@Skeeze
Sorry to have implied that in which case. It’s just I’m so sick of this “Murray’s weak” narrative that seems to be doing the rounds.
Lol the pressure to win Wimbledon that Andy was subjected to, and in the end overcame, beggars belief for starters. Top 4 for God knows how many years. Yeah obviously got there by just giving up in every match. Grrrrrr!


jane Says:

cdp “If the court was slower I’d still give the slight edge to Novak, but its playing faster” – same here. also lower bounce, and possibly inclement weather which andy usually handles better than nole. i still think nole might raise his game tomorrow, and if the roof is closed that might help him too (not sure?), so i am not out-and-out calling the match. it just feels like things are pointing andy’s way when considering everything: great form (including serving well, esp his second), something to prove, court conditions, and nole maybe not at his best (not sure which nole will turn up though). then there’s daniel’s theory, about every time fed and nadal lose, andy wins. ;)


Patson Says:

What I find perplexing is the fact that Nole is just a different beast in the Australian Open but ends up playing a level below in the US Open. Courts ? Time of the season when the two events are held ? Wind in Arthur Ashe ? I mean what is it ?


the DA Says:

@jane – Yep. It’s the 4th at AO and 8th overall. If I recall he wasn’t ahead in the 5th set of the 2012 match. he was down 2-5 and broke back to level. He had 2 BPs to go up 6-5 but he flubbed one BH into the net and then Nole hit an amazing flat FH which skidded on the line. It’s all burned into my memory ;)


calmdownplease Says:

I think immaturity was the issue more than weakness really.
But you experience things grow and inevitably change
Andy looks to me like a very capable and in control man now.
Way more composed and relaxed, and plays more aggressively too.
Whatever happens tomorrow, we are going to see another side of him in 2015.


Patson Says:

@Margot

What I see is a changed Murray who is capable of beating Nole. But, I’m hedging on the fact that Nole will have that slightest of slight edges, the confidence that when push comes to shove, he’ll be able to push through the way he did against Nadal in AO 2012. But, wouldn’t be surprised if Andy wins because it’s too close to call, and he’s playing pretty darn well.


jane Says:

the DA, maybe it was rafa who was up in the 5th. i’ve just blurred it out of my memory. ;) (…too tense!)


calmdownplease Says:

@Jane

you seemed to have made the intangibles..tangible
lol
I don’t buy the Fedal not making it however, that’s just superstition.


jane Says:

lol, cdp. but analysts usually count tangibles like serve, forehand, volley, etc and then they lump everything else – court, weather, motivation – under intangibles. hence i was doing same. but concrete is, after all, concrete.


django Says:

Brando
Just sarcastic of me to say that about amelie. The US women commentators like McKendree are calling Andy the “feminist ” player. I suspect Martina is like-minded. Andy’s mention of Madison Keye and her female coach during the on-court interview pleased the ladies.
I can’t wait for a healthy and fit Rafa to give us some pleasure.


Margot Says:

@Patson
I really like Nole too…but in this case wont be cheering for him, surprisingly enough…;)


Hippy Chick Says:

Rafa was a break up in the 5th set in 2012,but Novak shouldve actually won the match in the 4th….


django Says:

Erik
Novak won with his B game over the AO defender. Stan told Rinaldi the interviewer that he wanted Novak in the semi so he got his wish.The last set was a bagel. So he found a way to win playing sub-par.


Patson Says:

The AO 2012. Novak let the cat out of the bag after the 4th. I remember, it was 4-2 on Nadal’s serve, he gets an easy ball to put away, Novak’s on the net, there is so much space on either side, and he goes to Novak’s left, and and and and , well the ball lands on the other side of the sideline. It’s Novak’s point. We’re at 30-30 now.

Novak breaks. It’s 4-3, and then Novak wins 7-5. That break and THAT point for me, in hindsight, meant that Novak’s going to win the match, which he did.


James Says:

Andy Murray…..I think he’s out to prove himself again, and has nothing to lose. All the pressures on Novak since he has never lost AO final before and is going for his 5th AO title, the most in Open Era?
From what I saw of Andy, he took everything Dimitrov, Kyrgios and Berdych threw at him and took them apart one by one. He looked the best player of the tournament to me. But then we all know how good Novak is on this court. He’s the favorite for many and rightly so. But come the final this Sunday I think Novak will be the first to wilt under pressure simply because Andy has nothing to lose and everything to fight for. Andy Murray….in 4.


brando Says:

@James: how dare you suggest a player will ‘Wilt’ under the pressure. Didn’t you know it’s a simple case of whoever plays the better tennis wins? Pressure and mentality has nothing to do with it no matter how much the top players go on about it since the wise counsel of some on tennis x (more like a kiss butt society between feeble minds) has told us: nay the mind matter not! Lol: for what it’s worth the same exact is why I expect Andy to lose: I think novak can handle the pressure better.


madmax Says:

Wanted to wish every supporting fan of both Novak and Murray (Jane and Margot in particular), the very best for tomorrow.

Hope we are in for a good match.

Just glad see Murray at his best and fighting for the title once again. It’s where he belongs – at the top.

Amazing match from Novak yesterday against Stan, a real thriller.

Two of the best for the final.


brando Says:

@django: completely agree ‘re Nadal: can’t wait for him to bring the heat on court. ‘re mauresmo: lol I agree. Seems like Andy has taken on the role of martyr for this cause. If it pushes him to greater heights: let it be.


django Says:

Brando ;-)


the DA Says:

In the absence of our dear psychic friend Jamie I thought I’d throw out some more intangibles. The parallels with Wimbledon 2013 for example:

1) Rafa & Fed in Andy’s section of the draw – both knocked out before meeting him.

2) Nobody had ever lost 5 consecutive slam finals (nobody has ever lost 4 consecutive AO finals. Only Edberg has lost 3).

3) the last time a Brit won the AO was 81 years ago (the USO was 74 years, Wimbledon 77 years and now another there’s another 3 year interval. *gasp*)

Spooky….and, yes, purely coincidental. Or is it? :0 hehe.


Wog Boy Says:

This one is Andy’s to lose and he knows that, Nole is not 100% for whatever reason and Andy and his team know that too. To say that pressure is on Nole is …well just wrong. Nole has nothing to prove (lose), he is safe #1 (3,000 points ahead of Roger ATM), won four times and lost few times, though never in the F or SF. Andy never won it, he lost all the finals he played and he has point to prove also to prove that Amelia was right choice. If you listened his interview after Berdych match it is obvious thst he is under pressure, nobody asked him about Amelia, but yet he had an urge to give us short tirade about her, about him beeing critisized for hiring her and about woman rights and place in tennis, he became crusader for women’s rights, it did look like he lecturing all of us about women position in today’s society. That is OK if he feels a need to to tell us that, but that also shows that he is and feels under the pressure for hiring Amelie.
This one is for Andy to lose and if he loses, he is going to dubt himself more than ever, he knows that.
Good luck to both of them and let the better player win.

PS this is not a dig at Andy, I respect the bloke, just my opinion like I have one about my kids or anybody else.


James Says:

But, dear Brando, everyone wilts under pressure ;)
And the way I see it, it will be a big achievement for Novak if he wins this AO. Everyone expects him to win. He’s gonna try to do a Nadal or Sampras: never losing in the finals of his best Grand Slam. He will be playing someone he’s beaten in last 4 or 5 matches in a row. He’s the big favorite this final for a lot of people.
And what if he loses in the final? Think about it for a moment, as HR would say.

Andy, on the other hand is playing this good for the first time in over a year and half. He’s confident in the big tournaments again. If he loses in the final, no one is going to say anything negative about him considering his form last season.
And if he wins the title tomorrow, which I think will happen, Murray fans can thank…guess who? The man who kicked the Muzza’s butt at the O2 last November. Roger Federer. Roger showed Andy how far he had fallen behind the elite of tennis. Sometimes a humiliation like that can help you become better than the most motivational of speech. Sometimes the humiliation of a first round exit at Wimbledon can lead to a perfect North American summer. And sometimes the humiliation of a 6-0, 6-1 beat down in your home tournament can lead to a first AO title ;)

That said, I wouldn’t be too surprised with either player winning it as they are both great players. Good luck to Nole fans and Muzza fans for the final.


jane Says:

madmax, thanks for your comment.

james, if andy wins, i’d say he can thank himself and amelie. he said that prior to the off season he and amelie had no time to work on his game or make any improvements because there were tournaments to play – and lots of them because he played TONS to pick up points and reach the WTF. he was clearly knackered there – but from what i’ve seen at the AO it’s clear that they’ve worked on his second serve.

remember, andy bageled rafa at doha. so there were signs even there.


Brando Says:

@James:

Great post. I see it as following:

- Both want to win the match desperately.
- Both cannot afford to lose the match for a variety of reason.
- Whomever is the favourite or whatever it matters not when they step out on court.

Pre-match it’s all a guessing game and no more as as I am concerned.

I just hope Andy plays his absolute best Tennis and if it means Novak was still better it’s all good.

Just hope he plays his absolute and leaves it all out on court.


jane Says:

“I just hope Andy plays his absolute best Tennis and if it means Novak was still better it’s all good.”

feel same about nole.


Patson Says:

Stefan (not Edberg, the little one) will be watching from home. Dad’s got to win or else Stefan won’t be happy.


Humble Rafa Says:

How many times with Mr. Lady Forehand’s forehand break down at crucial times?

More than 5 times = disaster.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I personally am more of a fan of Novak’s than Murray’s but it seems to me Novak tenses up against Murray and it turns into a moon ball/ error festival. I would love to see aggressive Murray against in-form Novak, but I don’t think that I’ve seen that in a long time.

So all I hope for is some action. And I hope all my friends at Tennis-X, of whom I’m sure I’ve just alienated most, can feel proud of their favourites.


django Says:

Of the two you mention I like Novak too.


Michael Says:

I would say it is a pretty tough call to pick the winner here. Andy is playing some of his best Tennis in recent times and if he continues with a similar kind of form in the finals, then he would bag the honours. But the question is will he be able to do it ? Can he lay off the demons of making three finals here before without yielding a win ? That must be heavily playing on the back of his mind plus facing Novak, a tough competitor, who hates to lose. Novak at the other end is not looking so great – play wise as well as health wise. There are also several question marks about the state of his mental frame work too which he himself brought to focus in that Wawarinka match. Plus, Novak’s stress level will be related to the fact that his conversion rate in slam finals has not been very encouraging to say the least. This should really haunt Novak and the curious question is how he is going to handle this pressure ? So, both the players are having pluses and minuses and it is going to be an interesting match as they pretty much match up well and bring out the best in each of them. I only hope that we see quality tennis quite different from what we have seen in the second semi final and the quarter finals and it is a marathon match filled with anxiety, excitement, fun, frolic, intensity and give the spectators their money’s worth. If you want to know my pick, while my heart says it is Andy, my mind says it is Novak.


Michael Says:

As not much seperates these two players just three or four points would prove to be the ultimate difference. The question is who is going to pull it off ? Waiting with bated breath.


Jeez Says:

Did anybody notice the fact that Sharapova ‘s average speed of 2nd serve was 153 kph!!! [Berdych-159,Wawrinka -152,Djokovic -151,Serena -150]

Way faster than Murray’s @ 134 kph

Ok Murray played 4 SETS with 45 2nd serves & Sharapova played 2 SETS with 30 2nd serves ..

But still !!


T Dawg Says:

These guys are both headcases. Whoever wins the 1st set will win the match, because whoever loses the 1st set will start to lose it.

We wil see a lot of pushing from both players.Murphy can win if he wins the 1st by going for his shots – Nole gets tight easily just like Murphy.


Margot Says:

@ madmax
Thanks for nice comment about Andy.
After the trials and tribulations of the past 18 months, I am thrilled to see him back :)


Colin Says:

Yes, but of the players you cite, Sharapova, Berdych and Wawrinka, all lost, so where did their fast second serves get them? How many double faults did they register while going for a fast second serve? As always, stats can be made to support any number of differing conclusions.


Margot Says:

What’s that quote? “There’s lies, damn lies and then there’s statistics.” Something like that.


KatH Says:

The only caveat that I have against Andy winning is Nole’s ability to win even when it looks like he shouldn’t – he’s the greatest escape artist in tennis.

Lock the fire doors Andy and you will get him.


Daniel Says:

3 second serves, 3 points Djokovic.


Daniel Says:

Djoko in trouble 0-40. Murray with a precise FG DTL winner


Daniel Says:

What a volley for Djoko. Murray went for the runningnpassing shot and Djoko got it. 30-40


Daniel Says:

Great hold by Djoko finishing at the net with a volley. Murray played great apart from missing a second serve in the net on BP. We can see already this is a differente game from semis both not playing as powerfull as Wawa or Berdych but they are solid with almost zero UE so far


Daniel Says:

Now 0-40 Djoko who didn’t made his first UE inna FH out to break. 15-40


Daniel Says:

Djoko BH DTL come to play today.


Daniel Says:

Well, serms the Wawa match was just what the doctor order for Djoko beacuse he isnplaying great offense here.
Apart from the game Murray open 0-40 with Murray neing the agressor it’s all Djoko this match so far.


Daniel Says:

Murray won 1-7 second serves so far. If Djoko ks to attack this shot not much he can do.


Daniel Says:

Awesome return by Murray helped by 2 UE from the Djoko in the net this game and 15-40


Daniel Says:

Murray not playing great BP, now he was in control and send a FH out wide. 40-40


Daniel Says:

Murray break back. Djoko who had only 3 UE made 5 alone in this game. But credit to Murray who pit all returns back in play and all balls in as well.


Daniel Says:

BP Djoko. This could defini first set


Daniel Says:

Second serve and Murray send a BH long. Djoko breaks back and will serve for first set. When he fell seems he hurt his finger somehow, maybe a loosen skin.


Daniel Says:

Djoko couldn’t finish 2 smashes and lost the point. 15-30


Daniel Says:

Awesome BH DTL winner by Murray another set of BP’s.


Daniel Says:

And Murray breaks again unleashing a BH cross court to force an error. He ismdoing everything right a apart from second serve where he knows Djoko will attack and is playing points passivelly. 5-4 and will serve to stay alive this set.


Daniel Says:

Djoko off this game, missing a bunch of net balls. After 4 straight breaks Murray holds 5-5. Let’s see if he breaks Djoko again who is a bit tentative now.


Daniel Says:

Djoko hold with 2 aces. One more chance tk break and avoid a breaker. Murray serving 5-6.


Daniel Says:

Another 40-0 game by Murray, tiebreak


Margot Says:

Lol KatH love your metaphor!Go Andy!


Daniel Says:

DF Djoko to open breaker.


Daniel Says:

Murray DF on 4-2, 4-3 2 serves Djoko.


Daniel Says:

Oh Murray, missed a easy FH volley long. 6-5 Djoko and serve.


Daniel Says:

First set is Djoko. Murray is playkng a dangerous game, always behind, it was like this with Berdych and 4set Dimi. His merits is that he is excellent on return putting a lot of pressure on server allowing him to make this come backs. But this was another set that should have ended earlier and is pass 1 h.

Every single match Murray lost first set agaisnt Djoko he lost the match so unless he is too change that, I’ll go with Djoko.

Keys first set, Murray is 7/17 second serve and Djoko is 14/28 (50%) ?!?! That just show how good Murray return is


T Dawg Says:

Nole just got a lil lucky winning the 1st set like that.

There is something different about this match between these two – Murphy is playing more on the baseline, in fact closer than Nole. Nole is obviously aware of the Geometry involved and the uphill battle he will fight if he doesn’t move up like Murphy – so it’s interesting to see Nole get ‘uncomfortable’ as he moves up to the baseline during these incredible rallies.


Daniel Says:

Bizarre game by Djoko where it seema all shots he was of balance. Murray breaks and leads 2-0. Seema a reprint of Berdy match.


Daniel Says:

Djoko more agressive on return this game. BP


Daniel Says:

Break back. This is going to be a long match and who ever hold serve wins:-)
But Murray still has problem with his second serve where Djoko wins 65% of points.


Ron Smith Says:

Novak might win this match even at 60 percent. He’s stumbling around drunk with a hurt thumb and he’s still battling Murphy.


Daniel Says:

Well seems Novak decided to play, break again for love with agressive returns. Leading 3-2 serve.


Daniel Says:

So far Murray served 9 times was broken 4, djoko served 8 broken 3.


Daniel Says:

Djoko won 12 points in a row now. 4-2


Daniel Says:

Great hold by Murray to stop bleeding. Djoko still is pounding his second serve this set but Murray is too great a return so he can still return, is just 1 break.


Daniel Says:

BP Murray after an excellent DTL BH


Daniel Says:

Murray breaks back dictating.


Daniel Says:

At 4-2 Murray was out of sorts and Djoko played a loose gane even at 15-15. Now Murray is pumped up winning 6 straight points and Djoko will serve to stay alive this set.


Daniel Says:

The macth stopped due to invadors hurt Djoko’s game who lost concentration and momentun


Daniel Says:

Jesus Djoko 40-0 and he loses 3 points. Bad choice of volley it is on open court. Now 2 poitns away fromnlosing seocnd set


Daniel Says:

He could lose the match in this game this point, set point Murray


Daniel Says:

Great hold by Djoko saving set point. Now pressure on Murray to serve 5-5.


Daniel Says:

Wow, what a game. BP Djoko after a FH winner on the run


Daniel Says:

Greag hold by Murray saving 3 BP’s. Djoko was smacking second serve so he remove speed from serve saved a BP with an ace and put 2 first serves in to close the game. Now pressure on Djoko to serve down 5-6.

They are having huge problems to confirm serve at ease. A lot of long games that’s whynthematcb is beyond 2 h 20 min and still to finish second serve. Great quality match overall with some awesome points.


Daniel Says:

Another tiebreak. This is it for Murray, if Djoko wins this set can’t see Mureay fighting back to win 3. And Djoko will start serving third.


Daniel Says:

5-2 Murray and 2 serves. This set is his.


Daniel Says:

Murray takes the second set. He is playing dangerously going behind two sets but forcing a breaker. 1-1 and the fittest takes this. Djoko inability to sustain lead is concerning but both had 4 breaks each


metan Says:

Yessssss. Andy. So cool.


Daniel Says:

Djoko seems spent this game. Now looks Murray is the fittest of the two.
Break Murray 1-0


Daniel Says:

Murray with momentun now. Easy hold for 2-0


Daniel Says:

They both have to go for their shots. They won’t handle 1 h sets if this goes the distance.


Daniel Says:

Break back. This is the problem when best returners in the game collide.


Jeez Says:

Are we looking @ another
BAGGLE!!! as final SET?


Sidney Says:

Kudos are in order…

@brando, your pre match analysis and prediction of the outcome were on the spot! Kudos! Youre right. It was about Andy’s second serve and mental strength/weakness.

@skeezer, you were also correct about the mental aspect. Kudos!

The famous Sean jinx didn’t work this time. Good one, Sean! Kudos!

The biggest kudos goes to… drum roll…
NOVAK! :) Thanks champ for winning another tough final.

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