This seems to be a hot topic of debate, so I’ll weigh in with a quick note here.
Yes, during the final Sunday against Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic may have taken some extra liberties with his alleged ailments.
Djokovic fell early on and appeared to injure his right thumb. A trainer was called and the injury was attended to. There’s no real dispute there. But late in the second and into third set, Djokovic was visibly seen stumbling around, losing his balance, falling to the court and in some sort of constant distress in his lower body for a brief period of time. Then, just as Murray seized a lead in the third, it miraculously cleared up.
Here’s how Murray saw it: “I have no idea what the issue was. He obviously looked like he was in quite a bad way at the beginning of the third set and came back unbelievable at the end of that set.
“Then the way he was hitting the ball in the fourth and moving was impressive. So, yeah, I don’t know exactly what the issue was for him.
“The third set was frustrating because I got a bit distracted when he fell on the ground after a couple of shots. It appeared that he was cramping and I let that distract me a little bit.”
Djokovic said it wasn’t cramps but gave a rather vague explanation which didn’t help matters. “I was just weak. I went through the physical crisis in the matter of 20 minutes. And, honestly, didn’t feel that too many times in my career.”
The end result was Djokovic winning 12 of the last 13 games to race to his fifth Australian Open title. And left Murray and his fans more than a little disgruntled over how Djokovic acted on the court.
And Novak wasn’t a model man. Let’s be honest. But here’s the problem for Murray and his supporters:
ANDY MURRAY PULLS THIS FAKE INJURY ACT ALL THE TIME!
So pot meet kettle. Sorry, Andy, you don’t have the right to question the legitimacy of an opponent’s injury WHEN YOU DO IT ALL THE TIME!!
Granted, this was a final of a Grand Slam and Andy and Novak are apparently good buddies, so it wasn’t in good taste if Novak was indeed doing it for gamesmanship, but bottom line, this is on Murray who cannot let an opponent’s antics get in his head during a major match like this. And unfortunately for Murray in the end he got a taste of his own medicine.
Instead of being distracted by Djokovic’s injury, Murray should have taken a page from his old coach Ivan Lendl’s playbook and tried to further injure Novak. But Murray isn’t Lendl and Lendl decided to leave Andy a year ago. Maybe this is more evidence why he left.
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