Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray In The 2015 Miami Open Final, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | April 4th, 2015, 5:09 pm
  • 306 Comments

I’m having a really hard time finding any reason to pick Andy Murray to upset Novak Djokovic Sunday in the Miami Open final. I’ve been digging through their head-to-head numbers, watching tape, eating right and going to the gym, but nothing has jumped out and screamed, “Pick Andy!”

Since returning from back surgery, the Scot has been Dominated (with a capital D) by Djokovic who has won their last six meetings including a blow out last month in Indian Wells.

Murray doesn’t care much for that court in Indian Wells where he has never won – the balls fly a lot, he says. He prefers the heavier, slower, lower-bouncing conditions in Miami, where he also calls his second home and often trains in those commercials. So there’s added familiarity.

“There are little things in the court that maybe players that haven’t played on it that much won’t really know,” Murray said of the Stadium Court. “Because I practice on it all the time, I know how the ball bounces in certain areas and which serves work into certain spots on the court and how the ball responds off different spins.
So that’s why I feel comfortable on it.’

Problem is, Djokovic likes Miami more than Indian Wells, also. The Serb, who just won Indian Wells, has won the Miami three of the last four years, losing only to Tommy Haas in 2013 (Murray went on to win the title that year).

And going bigger picture, he leads Murray 17-8 winning nine straight on hardcourts. And outside of Slams he’s been razor-sharp in finals.

That said, Murray did play really well at the Australian Open for about 2.5 sets. But geez, what happened at Indian Wells? Maybe Andy will be motivated to make up for that humiliating loss and end the skid?

“The fact that I won I think last six, seven matches that we played against each other, especially the one just recently in Indian Wells, gives me confidence and maybe a slight mental advantage,” said Djokovic. “But we’re talking about small margins. That’s always the case when we play against each other. Very few points, details can decide a winner. We have very similar games. We already played twice this year, and of course in a big match in Australian Open final which was very, very physical, very close.

“I expect a battle, long rallies, and I know what is expecting me on the court. I know his game pretty well, as well as he knows mine.”

If there anything Murray’s can focus on it’s the fact Djokovic isn’t playing his best like he was in Australia. John Isner was exhausted last night. David Ferrer had him earl on and both Martin Klizan and Alexandr Dolgopolov took sets with Alex just a few games from victory.

Then again, Murray hasn’t exactly been tearing up his Miami court either. But if both are a bit sloppy, that should help Andy who by nature is a little sloppy.

The key for Andy – and for the match, I think – will be his second serve. Maybe Andy has lost some zip on it since the surgery. And he’ll – as always against the top guys – have to be offensive. Hanging back and hoping won’t work against the World No. 1.

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t pick Novak. Yeah, he’s let me down before and he’ll surely do it again. I just don’t think that happens Sunday.
The pick: Djokovic in two

ESPN2 has live coverage of the men’s final starting at 1pm. Happy Easter everyone.


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306 Comments for Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray In The 2015 Miami Open Final, Who’s The Pick?

brando Says:

“but nothing has jumped out and screamed, “Pick Andy!”: I’m with you there Sean. I just cannot see an edge that Andy has over Novak right now. I agree with the Novak in 2 sets. There is no shame in that, nole-put simply- is the better player. Facing him on a slow HC- the very court on which he had his first big success- is akin to facing Rafa on clay, Federer on grass: you’re facing the GOAT of the surface. That said: he can still win but it has to be a combination of Andy’s absolute best and something less than Novaks best. I’ll post in a few hours more elaborately on what I think Andy should do in this one tactically, but needless to say: its a big challenge, but one he should accept with relish, calm and determination to put his best on show as the last thing anyone wants is a repeat of a IW performance with the victorious Novak just commenting on how below par Andy was. No one wants that.


jane Says:

“eating right and going to the gym” lol, sean: not quite clear on how or why this would help you make a choice. :)


Colin Says:

This is the same old argument that was put forward back in the day by those who said Andy would never win a slam: “He can’t do it because he never has.” The difference is that “never” must give way to “recently”.

If Nole does lose (he probably won’t,)I wonder what excuses we’ll hear this time from his supporters.


jalep Says:

Andy was absolutely superb in his semi-final match!…oh wait…he was playing Berdych. Nother enough evidence to pick Murray.


danica Says:

I disagree that Nole was playing great in Australia and that he is now somewhat worse. Remember, he came to Australia still suffering from mild flu/cold and it showed big time. He is surely motivated here but… A big disadvantage for him will be the time of the final. He player all his matches later in the day or in the evening which suits him fine. Playing at almost noon is not his cup of tea.

I am not sure why Nole is picked as the absolute favorite. He is not just polite when he says that margins are small. He knows very well that Andy is a great player. So, I won’t be so optimistic and pick Nole as a given winner. Andy will have his chances to win and so will Nole. In any case, the better player will win.

PS:
Colin, you’ll not hear any excuses from me as I believe that whoever wins (any match) was better in that match.


Margot Says:

@danica
Just hoping it’s bloody competitive this time!


jane Says:

“He is not just polite when he says that margins are small. ”

danica, i agree with your post, but especially the above. nole – and many of his fans – are fully aware that andy is a main rival and that things can always swing one way or another.

in fact, i find it funny that sean starts this preview saying he can’t think of a reason to pick andy and yet he goes on to list a number of possible reasons. :)


Bob Lewis Says:

Will be routine win for Novak. Can’t wait. :)


KatH Says:

The question of can Andy beat Nole never existed before Andy’s back surgery. It was always very close – yes, Nole had the edge – but it wasn’t a given that he would always win. Now it is. The poll shows approx. 75% votes for Nole and this is reflected by other predictions.

It’s not that Andy can’t play as well (and sometimes better) than Nole – it’s because he’s lost the match mentally before he steps on to the Court.

So why am I bothering telling you something you already know? Because there are certain tiny positive elements for Andy that will affect the outcome today. (a) Coach is present; (b) Wants it as a “wedding” gift to himself and Kim; (c) it is a day match and he handles weather elements pretty darned well (d) he’ indicated he knows the Court’s little idiocyrancies (sp.?); and (e) he beat Berdych convincingly and laid that irritation to rest.

SO I SAY ANDY IS READY TO BEAT NOVAK TODAY.

PS: Did anyone notice Novak grabbed his hip in his Isner matvch?


chris ford1 Says:

I think in the last few years, Djokovic has worked hard to improve his serve and netplay. I think that Andy is a genius and all, and as talented in his own way as Djokovic. But Murray hasn’t seemed to have worked to improve as much since 2013, and Nole has pulled away from him a bit as the more dominant.

Andy could of course win. Wants a win bad. Needs a win bad. Hasn’t won a 500, 1000, or Slam since Wimbledon 2013


Klaas Says:

I disagree with Seans notion that Murray is playing so-so in Miami. I think he is playing really well. He makes few unforced errors, his first serve percent is up, his balance between defence and offence is improving, only wish he would start coming in more to the net, he has wonderful skills there, and his concentration holds up. Nole wil have to play well to beat him.

One thing on Noles side, must be his monster confidence at the moment, which helps him through shaky spells.

I expect en exciting 3-setter.


mat4 Says:

Compared to 2013, the situation has changed. Just like CF 1 noted, Novak has improved, Andy didn’t. After an injury, or a change, sometimes it is difficult to get back to the previous level. Just to go back where you were, to play as well as you did.

Hopefully, Andy is slowly going there. It all goes with a change of mindset, too. He was very aggressive against Berdych — although, if he wants to win against Tomas, he has to be the attacking player. Berdych is far too powerful to defend and wait an error against him.

This aggressive mindset is very important — because it is the key difference between Novak and Andy, and an aggressive Murray is a Murray who wins slams. We had a taste of this kind of mindset at the Abu Dhabi exhibition, where he played freely and rolled all over Rafa. That’s why, for me, exos are important — they reveal very often the kind of game a player wants to play.

I won’t take the AO final as an example here, although there, too, until Novak hurt his thumb, the difference in aggressiveness lead to a difference in result. But at the USO, the second set (if I remember well) was a good example of Andy at his finest, flattening his shots, accelerating suddenly, using the court symmetry and depth with an exquisite sense.

His problem, beside the injury (he had problems with his kick serve), is that Lendl left to soon, when it was time to improve the patterns of that kind of attacking tennis, to put all the little pieces together.

I have my opinion why Lendl left — the anglo-saxon and slavic mentality don’t go well together, they are words apart — but he left when Murray was on the verge of a qualitative jump, a shift he prepared. Lendl’s work, in a sense, continues in this moment: that’s the reason why Andy hired Mauresmo, to help him implement the kind of game he was working on with Ivan Lendl. He chose Mauresmo because she had the right profile, and because she won’t have any authority. She’s just there to continue a previous job, to replace a temporary absent coach.

In this regard, it is very interesting to compare Vajda and Lendl, Djokovic and Murray. Djokovic, who has an authoritative father, needed a congenial coach, somebody he could be close to, while Andy needed somebody to trust, with authority. Although Vajda’s step by step approach worked well with Andy, the two weeks he was working under his supervision — before the AO 2011 — he made the final of that tournament and played great even in the final (although the result is somewhat misleading, especially when we don’t take in account that Andy made the wrong choice of strings).

I guess that Murray is just there, now. He has Lendl’s general direction, and needs a friendly leading, perhaps the way Vajda does, a step by step approach, and Amélie was just good in the compartments where he wants to improve: serve, transition game, net game, attack. She is here to simplify his game, and change his nature: he already knows all that he has to know, he has to make choices, and she was the kind of player playing a kind of game he needs to play, to make full use of his power and dexterity.

For me, today, two things will be important. Who is in better form, more able to implement the aggressive kind of play needed to win. Novak is slowly improving his FH and his serve, he works on his transition game and volley. Will he find his shots? He mostly didn’t in this tournament, except for a stretch against Ferrer. His serve % is low, his placement not always the best, his flat FH, played from an open stance just isn’t there, although the rebound seems high enough to bang the ball.

Andy, on his side, is also trying to play a “clean match”, the right mix of defence and offence. Both are on a roller-coaster, but with the age, the coming of new stars, their future depends of the tennis they try to implement: to add to their defensive abilities the so needed aggressiveness and attacking mindset.


Margot Says:

@KatH
I like your style! Go Kat! Go Andy!
@klaas
Like yours too ;)
@chris ford
Andy has had a BACK OPERATION, or have you forgotten? While he’s been recovering from that and trying to adjust his game AND get back to the top, which he’s achieved btw, Nole has obviously been improving his game, and good for him.But Andy has effectively “lost” a year.
Andy also lost his coach. Maresmo has talked about the bad place Andy was in this time last year. With her help, Andy has recovered and is making steady progress.
Of course it seems at times, one step forward, two steps back, but that’s life.
I am fed up with people on here knocking Andy when, in fact, they should be praising his courage!


Margot Says:

@Mat4
Hadn’t read yours, b4 I posted mine and agree with you mostly. Except, as I understand it, it was Lendl’s decision to quit not Andy’s. Andy had said on many occasions that he thought he and Lendl would be together till the end of his career. He must’ve been devastated when Lendl quit.
I have read many reasons for this decision, from the most uncharitable, which I wont repeat, to the most prosaic- Ivan hates airports!


sienna Says:

well novak is full of confidence but he makes the same mistake like last few years.
trying to win everything leading up to Garros. hè is playing tijd much.
MC, Madrid Rome if he wants to win all of those he will get let down when it really matters.

Hè wants the channel to set him up for Grandslam.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

From the post, I thought it was clear that I believed that Lendl was the one who left.

My opinion about why he did it is pure conjecture, so I didn’t write extensively about it. What troubles me here is that Lendl didn’t develop a real bond with Murray. While Novak and Marian are in contact, phone each other even when Marian is at home, I got the impression that all the links between Murray and Lendl were cut.

Also, about the Novak-Andy friendship. There is none, I can assure you that, and it is not conjecture. It is all PR. Trust me on this point, since I am absolutely certain of that.


Margot Says:

@Mat4
Andy and Nole played doubles together once. I believe it was at IW. But I guess life was less serious in those days.
But don’t quite know what you mean in your last paragraph.


Giles Says:

“Has t won a 500 ……. ” since Wimbledon 2013 (referring to Andy). Really? Who won Valencia in 2014 which is a 500 event???


Giles Says:

*Hasn’t*


Markus Says:

It’s always exciting to predict who will win in a Djokovic/Murray match…until the match begins.


the DA Says:

Margot- Mat4 has long had his theories, some reasonable and quite a few outlandish (the last paragraph is a prime example). Andy & Nole have known each other since they were kids. The families are close (Judy used to drive them to junior tournaments, Nole’s father spoke highly of them in that controversial interview). Both Andy & Nole have talked about how their teams get along and have a lot of friendly banter. Are they bosom buddies? No. But there’s nothing fake or made up about their amicable connection. In my opinion of course.

As for Lendl & Andy – again it’s pure conjecture to talk of some slavic-anglo saxon clash. All the evidence contradicts such a theory. They got along extremely well – their personalities were well matched. It was close to a father-son relationship. Dani, Jez and Matt bonded very well with Ivan. The only clash came when Andy announced he wanted to have back surgery. Ivan was strongly against it and thought it would harm his career. In the time during the surgery & rehabilitation Ivan had to time to reflect on what they’d achieved and lost the desire to continue travel 25 weeks a year.

I will refrain from responding to the Mauresmo comments because I want to enjoy the rest of my Sunday ;) But I will say this: you are quite the contrarian Mat4. I distinctly recall you being critical of Andy’s hiring of Lendl and your opinion that he should’ve stuck with Miles Maclaghan. i disagreed strongly at the time. And look, here were are *still* disagreeing. Some thing never change, eh? ;)


Sidney Says:

Agree with Sean’s pick, although I think the match will be close.

Agree also with some porters. At this point in their careers, Andy needs to play his best AND Novak not so much for Andy to win a close match. Which is probably what’s going to happen. :) Otherwise, this matchup is not that difficult to analyze and predict the outcome.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

I don’t feel the need to explain why I wrote that, but just trust me, I know very well what I am asserting. There is no friendship between them. Respect, probably, and rivalry, certainly. Nothing more.

I didn’t write that it was always the case. Before 2011, I am certain that their relationship was quite different.


Margot Says:

@the DA and Mat4
And anyway, Andy is not an Anglo-Saxon. Like my good self, he is a Celt. We are, of course, the original inhabitants of this fair isle.


mat4 Says:

@the DA:

Of course we are disagreeing, just like usual. Yes, I still maintain that Lendl, as a coach, didn’t bring much to Andy. Just read Brad Gilbert comments on Andy. It wasn’t even a coaching issue, it was an psychological issue. Miles is a good coach, unfortunately, he couldn’t have a father-like function in Andy’s life.

I worked in most European Slavic countries for 27 years, I am married with a Slav, and still live and work there. My sister in law in British, and although it doesn’t make me an expert about Anglo-saxons, I know the Slavs quite well. They are different from country to country, from the north to the south, from east to west, but they have a lot in common.

Basically, it is culture, a psychology you don’t understand at all.


KatH Says:

@Mat4
…”The Slavs are different from country to country, from north to the south, from east to west, but they have a lot in common.”

Don’t disagree as is same within G.B. & Northern Ireland. In fact I’d say the differences here (in UK) are even greater. London v rural Scotland Whew! but even within Scotland Highlanders are way different to Lowlanders …and then you’ve got the central belt Glasgow v Edinburgh. I laughed all day every day when I lived in Glasgow – I was very polite and smiled sweetly in Edinburgh (the city of fur coats and no knickers)where they take themselves very seriously.

And Andy, I don’t think he’s so defined by locale but by culture, a psychology that can be understood i.e. early trauma in childhood.

Apologies if this is OTT.


mat4 Says:

@katH:

Yes, indeed, the tragedy he witnessed and the trauma he had in his childhood certainly had a huge impact on him, like it would on anybody else. I can’t imagine otherwise: 16 children were killed in his school — it had to be a great shock for a child aged about 8.

When you add the split of his parents two years later, it helps to understand a lot of things.


mat4 Says:

Then, it perhaps me confusing the words “friendship” and “amitié”, “friend” and “ami”. Concept and semantic fields are quite different from language to language, from culture to culture.

While “amitié” has a good correlate in most Slavic languages, is it the same as “friendship”. Here I just need some help.


brando Says:

LOL, some crazy back and forths on here. I just hope Andy puts up his best performance, one that he knows at the end of the match he truly left it all out there and can be proud of his performance regardless of the result. Thing is: apparently it’s going to be very windy. If that’s the case,serving will be a real issue. And Andy might struggle because of that since he’s more of a inconsistent player on that front than Novak. I think Andy should do what Verdasco did v Rafa: drop the pace and make certain of a high % first serves in. It creates one less problem to confront with, gives some rhythm and certainty and even if Novak takes a swing at it the wind means control of shot will be difficult. On 2nd serve Andy should go high risk (if he knows he’s getting a very high % first serves in): up the pace to late 80′s mph minimum m, mix it up with kick, body serves with the odd slice serve. NOT OD on slice serves as he has been doing in recent matches. I think that’s the key for the match for Andy: IF he’s a colossal on serve (as he was in Wimbledon final) then all of a sudden it’s a game changer since you know how good his return game is. Between these 2 its as simple as this: the one who serves better shall win. Period. Since they stack up closely in virtually all departments. Right now the better server is Novak, but some have said in the past that Andy actually posses the better first serve. It’s the 2nd serve that lets him down. But it didn’t during his great successes in the past v novak. Reminds one of that saying: if it ain’t broke, then don’t try to fix it. Andy should simply look at Olympics, USO 12′, Wimbledon 13′ and ask himself: what was I doing on 2nd serve that led to greater successes than at present. Whatever it is: replicate it again. Since I genuinely, 100% believe that this matchup should not lead to 0-6 in the other guys favour. That’s just ridiculous for this matchup. It’s closer than that. ONLY a liar will not admit that on Novaks turf in the AO for over 2 hours, 2 sets Andy was not at least Novaks equal. He NOT Novak was only 2 mere points away from a 2-0 love. So Andy needs to realize that if he was so close to absolutely running proceedings in a GS slam final on Novaks turf: there is not 1 good reason for him not to expect, demand better of himself elsewhere v novak. And as great as Novak is: he ain’t shy from wobbling in a match. He was shaky in IW final visibly, Klizan and Dogopolov posed him real problems. So there is vulnerability there. Opportunities shall exist for Andy to pounce: he needs to make sure he takes full advantage of them since that’s the real difference right now: one cashes in when a opening exist, the other ruefully doesn’t. Good luck Muzza!


mat4 Says:

@brando:

I didn’t watch Andy lately, but since the back surgery he avoided to bend back the way he did before, and it changed his second serve.


Michael Says:

I go for Novak in three sets.


brando Says:

@Mat4: I agree with you. Greg Rusedki- a noted server- did say post surgery Andy doesn’t bend his back as much as previously, and it’s probably why he goes for a slice serve on 2nd way more than before. To be honest: I’m with Lendl that he should not done surgery and gone for the Federer route, nurse, manage his back the best he can on tour. That said, clearly Andy must have felt the pain was bad enough to warrant an operation. A genuinely tough situation to face for an athlete.


KatH Says:

@ Brando
Good piece – agree with most of what U said – disagree on vulnerability to “inclement” weather – in this case wind. While Nole is certainly the most consistent re. serve, Andy has always handled wind better than Nole and Federer – Andy once said coming from Scotland he was accustomed to dodgey conditions (even though I fail to remember any outdoor match in Scotland that he’s played as a professional). Nevertheless, as long as he’s not overly phased by it – who cares.


brando Says:

@KatH: Thanks. I see your argument as valid with wisdom in it. For me though it’s just a gut feeling more than anything else. I don’t think any player likes the wind being a pressing issue in the match. It makes serving difficult. And I feel that Andy might be put off or struggle due to that on serve. Generally also right now one would say Novak is the better server. Beyond that though, I would agree in windy conditions Andy probably is the better at adapting to such demands. Let’s not forget though: these are his home conditions after all. I think Andy is well up for this one. He probably badly wants a win v Novak, and despite Novak’s record here this is one court Andy may feel he has a strong chance against him since after all: he has beat Novak before in a Miami final. He does know what he has to do to win big ones v novak and that too on this court. Here’s hoping he does himself justice today with his performance.


autoFilter Says:

I have an unfortunately limited opportunity to watch tennis these days, and so I’ve not seen much of Murray lately to judge his current level of play. I do tend to believe, though, that his primary limiting factors tend to be disproportionately mental. Thus, I would love to see him put in a dominant performance today, because to me that would be a strong indication that he’s likely to be firmly back in the mix at the very top. It would mean that 1) he’s got it together enough to claim at least this one victory, and 2) he’d go forward with the added resolve provided by having claimed this victory.

Anyway, I like both of these guys, and I’ll be happy as long as it’s a competitive match.


the DA Says:

“Basically, it is culture, a psychology you don’t understand at all.”

haha, but I do know the French very well and the trait of arrogance never disappoints. In fact I’ve become fond of it. So despite my living in several countries on 3 different continents I couldn’t possibly understand culture? That’s the problem with making huge assumptions without knowing someone’s background.

I also lived in the UK for many years and, as KatH inferred above, the Scots have distinct characteristics and I wouldn’t class them as typical Anglo Saxon. In my experience they’re closer to Scandinavians but with *much* more wit. Maybe if you end up with a Scottish in-law one day, you’ll understand what we’re talking about.

Enjoy the match mon ami.


Daniel Says:

Wasn’t it windy in IW semis as well? I remember the conditions were not 100% normal.


Daniel Says:

Djoko is the king of missing easy smash. What was suppose to be 40-15 now is BP.


Daniel Says:

Djoko seems decided today to go for his shots. He is going for the lines, winners and attacking the net. Think he no linger wants 1h and 10 min sets as USO and AO.


Daniel Says:

Nice get at the net. Murray should mimic Djoko and go for the net after a good aproach. Just ti surprise


Daniel Says:

Murray holds to love. His second serve retunr is more agressive as well.
Murray is on fire today. Flat BH


jalep Says:

Daniel

Enjoy your live match comments!


Daniel Says:

Murray breaks! Excelent star for him.
Let’s see if he holds at ease again.


jalep Says:

When was the last time these two contested a master’s final?


Daniel Says:

This will boost Djoko. He survived this game, Murray had 2 game points, missed two doable volleys and now they are even again.
But Murray had BP in both Djoko’s game.

This first is crucial for Murray.


Daniel Says:

Game Djoko.
Hope Murray doesn’t frustrate too much and play his game. He is very agressive on returns, maybe on clay he will have more sucess as there is even more time to return.


Daniel Says:

Damm. This game coukd ve easuly 0-40 but Murrya made 3 magic shots and is 40-0. Awesome!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Those were the 3 best points I’ve ever seen Murray play. Just gotta clap and say too good.


Eric Says:

Andy is playing like Roger right now!


Eric Says:

except Roger would have let that dropshot go.


brando Says:

Muzza already bettered IW performance in that game!


Daniel Says:

Another 0-30 game in Djoko’s serve.


Daniel Says:

Murray winning 8 straight points now. Djoko missed 3 straight balls long.
Now is the tine for Murray to hold and virtually close this set. He can’t be broken right back as before.


Eric Says:

dang. also, is Novak taking serving-under-pressure lessons from Ana Ivanovic? “let me toss this ball up a few dozen more times…”


Daniel Says:

Murray could have gone to the net but retunr back to court and missed. Don’t know why he is so afraid ti come forward.


Daniel Says:

Irony, 0-40 Djoko who put everything middle court


brando Says:

Andy has to hold here. No point of breaking serve yo toss it right back.


jalep Says:

Tough serving into the sun.
Nole with bp’s


brando Says:

Ridiculous.


Daniel Says:

Murray is wanting to lose this set. He can’t dominate, served with new balls and couldn’t hold.

But that is it, the battle of best returns. The problem is Murray playing great and Djoko so so and is even. If Dioko raises or Murray drops Djoko takes it.


Eric Says:

This match is hilarious and great.


Daniel Says:

Everytime Djokovic puts the ball hugh middle court Murray tries to acelerate and misses


Daniel Says:

Who want to bet Djoko will break to win this set now?!


jalep Says:

Strong service game from Nole finally!


brando Says:

Yuck. Novak gives Andy chances and what does Andy do? Toss some right back to him. Seriously disappointing stuff.


Ben Pronin Says:

Eric, agreed. That one side of the court must really be that bad. Normally the commentators exaggerate but the server has won 1 of 8 points on that side in the last 2 games.


brando Says:

Novak wi break here and win this set.


Daniel Says:

Murray prived me worng serving great when needed


Eric Says:

Yeah, geez–the sun must be really bad. Andy looks fantastic now he’s on the other side again…


brando Says:

Ballsy hold but Andy needs this first set. Novak can win without it.


calmdownplease Says:

`The problem is Murray playing great..`

Andy is not playing great.
Or I should say he is only playing occasionally great, but he is playing better than Novak
We are just now so used to him being often terrible in these situations.
I knew he wouldn’t fold here however.
Its a pretty good sign overall.
And really with the 2 best returners in the biz you’re gonna get service breaks aplenty.


Daniel Says:

Pressure on Murray to hold and force a tiebreak.


Daniel Says:

Indeed one side is awfull for the server.


Daniel Says:

Murray is brave, drop shot 0-30 down. If he missed it would be triple set point.


Daniel Says:

Point of the match so far. Murray winning with an awesome
BH cross court winner


Ben Pronin Says:

Murray stepping up when it counts.


calmdownplease Says:

a serbian net!


Eric Says:

good grief.


jalep Says:

Andy’s fighting well! This is going to a tb!


calmdownplease Says:

Novak looking fatigued…
Don’t be fooled Andy!


Daniel Says:

Tiebreak. And they will play another 1h + set.
Murray with momentun now after coming back from 0-30.


brando Says:

Welll done Andy but this is deal breaking time. The strong champions step up here, the weak crumble. Show us your champion qualities now chief.


Daniel Says:

Humm 3-0 Djoko with Murray misisng two balls long.


calmdownplease Says:

Uh Oh this looks like a fold right now


brando Says:

And he crumbles. ###k!


calmdownplease Says:

helpful….


Daniel Says:

Djoko DF to give 1 min break back. Now Murray needs this chance and force serve a bit more


calmdownplease Says:

there is that bolshy FH right when he needed it


Hippy Chick Says:

A better match than IW,get the impression Andy needs this first set more,Novak losing the first isnt such a disaster,i just hope the second set is as good…


Daniel Says:

Murray and his problems to generate power on dead mid court balls.
Djoko to serve 5-2


calmdownplease Says:

clever use of variety by Novak himself there
i dont think he is toast if he loses this set unless he gives up of-course


Daniel Says:

Jesus Murray. Two atrocious sitters in the middle of the net.


Eric Says:

I mean we all know Djokovic is going to win the match, right?


calmdownplease Says:

there you go!
Well, I don’t believe this is over just yet…


Daniel Says:

Match over. Murray never beat Djokovic after losing first set and with all the chances he had Djoko still won the set.

Unless Djoko os really tired in this case Murray must drag him this set to win the third.


Ben Pronin Says:

Very similar to the Ferrer match. Not the best start but eventually got into a rhythm from the baseline. Djokovic isn’t missing much right now and Murray has some bad ones.

When’s the last time they played a set like this outside of the slams? Nice to see Murray show up. But that means the second set will be an hour and Murray is going to win it, right?


Hippy Chick Says:

Its such a familiar story these days,so near yet so far….


Margot Says:

Andy should’ve got that set, damn him! all over now :(


brando Says:

This is done for me. Novak wasn’t even at his best and he took that set, tie break like he’s a level above and fully well knows he can win without his A game. That’s 5 sets in a row to Novak and counting. He knows how to break Andy down. Congrats to him and his fans. Out.


calmdownplease Says:

`Murray never beat Djokovic after losing first set..“

He served for it like this before and there is a first time for everything, after all
If he loses his serve early I think that might be it however…


brando Says:

This is a joke rivalry: its a war of attrition that suits Novak comfortably. Novaks game plan is simple: just stick with Andy. He knows Andy cannot dominate him. All he can do is slug it out with nole, and suits novak. All Novak does is: wear Andy down. Crush his spirit and boss over him with the inevitable meltdown from Andy. He knows Andy is inconsistent. And the worst thing of all is: I don’t think Novak even has to play his best to beat Andy. That set just showed it also. Dismal reality.


Daniel Says:

At least Murray holds easily with Djoko making easy mistakes.
Let’s see if Murray will jeep the pressure on return. If he gets and early break the better for him


Hippy Chick Says:

Brando/Margot yeah same old same old :(….


jalep Says:

Maybe Andy can get this set & win in 3. It’s not over.


calmdownplease Says:

Er calmdownplease
Andy had his chances to win that set.
The more he puts himself in these situations, the greater the chance he can reverse this.
It was never going to be easy coming back (sic) and trying to beat the very battle hardened Djokovic on a slow court.
He’ll have his chances on faster conditions as will others, and he will be ready to take them of that I have no doubt…


Daniel Says:

The statistics are almost the same so far.


Daniel Says:

Humm bad smash. 0-30.
He better serve now


Giles Says:

Don’t think I can take another joker victory. The man is on “something”!


calmdownplease Says:

this might be it…..


Daniel Says:

Great point. Double BP for Novak


Daniel Says:

Wow, that lob went in


Giles Says:

He pays BB bundles of $$$$$ just to sit in his box and applaud him. Good for his ego! Prat!!


calmdownplease Says:

is it just me as Muzzan saying this, but has Andy not provided basically all of the great shots in the match, despite losing?


Hippy Chick Says:

CDP I hope your right,as im losing all enthusiam for this rivalry if you can call it that?….


Ben Pronin Says:

CDP, Murray has played some absolutely incredible points. That lob, just wow. Those kind of shots you can’t even be mad about.

This match is far from over. Murray is still fighting and assuming he holds he’s at least a nose ahead in the set.


Hippy Chick Says:

CDP true,but as Brando says Novak doesnt even have to play his best….


calmdownplease Says:

Crucial hold
His serve is now at 64%
Just like in Rome about now :)


calmdownplease Says:

Hippy calm down
please!
Just say after me;
surgeryn faster courts, surgery
repeat rinse


jalep Says:

Good stuff from Andy. I’d say best shots have come from him so far & Nole is playing some nervous games.


Hippy Chick Says:

CDP LOL OK and grass….


brando Says:

Andy is playing the better shots but only the highlight reels care for that not the trophy. Besides: isn’t it more damning that the other doesn’t even have to produce the better tennis to lead. Andy needs to win this set just for some crumb of confidence for future matches, since 0-7 and 0-5 in last 5 sets is severely concerning.


Ben Pronin Says:

This match is so far from over. Seriously. We’re maybe half way through.


Daniel Says:

brando and if he loses this set will be 0-7 and 0-6 in last 6 sets.
He needs a set minimum


Hippy Chick Says:

Brando imagine Man UTD dominating LFC,then all of a sudden 1 fluke goal and you end up losing the match,lol sorry couldnt resist….


Eric Says:

Ben, the match could easily be over in ten minutes. Or two hours. You’re right that it’s not over now, but who really thinks Andy will win–he’s playing miles better than Djokovic and still losing.


Okiegal Says:

The commentators just now made mention that Novak used gamesmanship against Murray at AO this year, something about vertigo?? I remember Novak flooding his balance and all but didn’t know gamesmanship was brought up……I guess all the players are guilty of that at one time or another….

Andy has had his chances…..takes this 2nd set and it will be a new match!! C’mon Andy!!!
Andy and Rafa are having trouble holding serve after a break. Ummmm crowd coming down on Novak for the hit ball into the stands…..


Daniel Says:

Great hold by Murray, pressure on Djoko now serving 3-4.

Indeed far from over


Okiegal Says:

^^^ should have said losing his balance…


Hippy Chick Says:

Okie lol run for cover….


Daniel Says:

How many smashs have Djoko missed today?! 3 or 4


jalep Says:

2 hours into the match.Murray does look stronger physically anyway.


jalep Says:

Yeah no more smashing from Nole today!


Daniel Says:

Djoko missed an easy volley to force deuce. Now serve to stay alive this set. Andy is pumped up and want game


Ben Pronin Says:

This is going 3 sets because Novak Djokovic doesn’t care about his fans.


Daniel Says:

Murray is gonna break now. Second game Djoko makig DF


Ben Pronin Says:

Another insane shot from Murray.


Daniel Says:

This is the point where Murray could win the match. Another smash and Djoko didn’t end the point


Eric Says:

awesome point, but I think Novak made a mistake by not letting it go… I think it was going out.


Margot Says:

Did I say it was over?
Perhaps not!
Come on Andy!


Eric Says:

Boom!


Hippy Chick Says:

Whats are the umpire and Novak arguing about?….


Daniel Says:

Wow!!
Now the match seems to go for Murray. Murray will start serving and Djoko’s level drop a bit.
Umpire given Djoko a lecture in the way he shout to his box. Djoko piss. Maybe now he start playing better.

Well even if the level is not the highest, there were some insane shots and is a well contested match so far. No east sets.
Onto the decider.


jalep Says:

Not looking good for Nole


brando Says:

That crowd: tastes so good! Oh so good when one of your fave serves you a plate of it! I want more Andy, more!


Okiegal Says:

Novak just scared the ball kid to death…..got a code violation!! WOW….shocking display from the #1…..


Okiegal Says:

Andy got some life and boom baby, 2nd set!!


Okiegal Says:

Andy is playing better of the two!


Hippy Chick Says:

Okie yeah saw it,wow Novak quite testy….


Hippy Chick Says:

Okie better player no justice,no tennis god….


Daniel Says:

2 BH missed in the net and Djoko break right back actually. The only difference is that Murray close the set. But all 3 backs for each side was back to back.


Ben Pronin Says:

Murray with the gamesmanship! My oh my.


Markus Says:

Murray is getting close. Maybe next match.


jalep Says:

Lol who knows. Nole needs an easy service game here. No nervous smashes or drop shots


Daniel Says:

What a point. Amazing!!


brando Says:

Stupid play for Andy there!


Ben Pronin Says:

Not an easy hold but I’m sure he’ll take it.

Honestly, though, you know you’re playing a great player when being up a break doesn’t feel like being up a break.


Daniel Says:

2 excelent returns and 0-30. Danger time for Murray.


Markus Says:

Murray is leading in the stupid plays department.


Daniel Says:

Murray save 3 BP’s to stay alive. One of thise Djoko misses a BH in the net. He needs to hold otherwise match over


jalep Says:

Good point Ben Pronin


Okiegal Says:

Wow, Novak is a beast on those approach shots at the net……no one better imo….


Ben Pronin Says:

Too bad he’s a little pup when he’s actually at the net.


brando Says:

ONLY positive I shall accept other than a win for Andy: seeing 2nd serve speeds of 87 mph. Stepping up!


Daniel Says:

Djoko had all the shots the kill the match and now things still open


brando Says:

Lol BP


Okiegal Says:

@Chick

:)


Daniel Says:

Djoko doing what Murray did to him ad nauseim: misosng smashes. This coudl cost him the match 6 BPnthis game and second serve


brando Says:

Disgusting! Absolutely disgusting!


Hippy Chick Says:

WTF pftt….


Daniel Says:

3-0 Djoko.
Seems this is the pattern of their last close encounters, two tight sets and than Murray folds.


Markus Says:

closed now.


Okiegal Says:

Overall Andy has played the best up until now!! Just down one break if he can hold here….but looking shaky atm.


brando Says:

What a whimper end to a service game of vital importance.


Ben Pronin Says:

Man that return and forehand combo Djokovic pulled off when Murray had advantage was simply incredible. There’s just no defending against that.


Okiegal Says:

C’mon Andrew!!


El_Flaco Says:

Murray has one of the worst overheads. He should do what most of the women do and that hit a swinging forehand.


brando Says:

“Seems this is the pattern of their last close encounters, two tight sets and than Murray folds.”: unfortunately true. You cannot be good for 2 sets and bum out for the rest. Might as well crash out without those 2 sets, since you ain’t there when it matters.


Markus Says:

Andy needs a mental massage.


Okiegal Says:

DUMPED! Omg


Daniel Says:

Seems Murray got tired, or mentally tired. Risking getting another bagel


Hippy Chick Says:

Anyway congrats to the Nole faithfull,Jane,Wogboy,Courbon,Harry and especially Mat4….


brando Says:

Why muttering to mauresomo Andy? She’s not the reason you fluffed that overhead!


brando Says:

And now the AO style mental checking out. This is over abysmally.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic’s overhead makes Murray look like he’s Pete Sampras…

Murray can only keep up with Djokovic for 2 long sets. It’s really strange because it’s not like Murray isn’t fit.


jalep Says:

Andy needed that service game to stay in touch. 3-0 Nole at this point in the match is a hole to be in. 4-0 Nole now.


brando Says:

Seriously: why moaning towards Amelie! Don’t do that it’s childish like!


Daniel Says:

Murray’s ball don’t have depth anymore


Eric Says:

I don’t know why you’re all acting like this is a surprise.


brando Says:

I said earlier that this is Novaks strategy v Andy: stick with for a while, tire him out and punch him out later. He’s rope a dope on Andy. Engages him in endless rallies and crushes a tired, mentally weak Andy. It’s like a old movie on repeat continuou sly this.


Daniel Says:

And Murray is constantly touching his legs and dragging, maybe something bothering him.


brando Says:

@Eric: its not at all. It’s typical in their matches now: novak stays with him for 2 sets knowing fully well Andy will break down mentally. And then hands out a deflating beat down.


Markus Says:

Lots of people were hoping for Andy to win but I don’t think anybody really believed he can do it. At least I know I didn’t. Everybody was hoping to be surprised.


uts Says:

^that’s a perfectly legitimate strategy


El_Flaco Says:

Commentators are checking out too. They’re talking about who is most likely to with the FO.


brando Says:

And we are about to get a bagel in the decisive set. What joy.


Daniel Says:

Well it didn’t seem this would end with a bagel. First game third set Murray had game points and it was a long game. After that seems reality catch Murray and he just loses focus, stamina, everything at the same time. Lost belief.


brando Says:

And can handle these matches physically. Don’t be fooled about that. Mentally though: he’s crumbling match after match v novak. I don’t think he’s got any self belief v novak at all right now.


Daniel Says:

Djoko on tennis 101 mode to set match point


Ben Pronin Says:

But it’s like, what if Djokovic had lost the first set? In Australia, too, Murray was pretty close to being up 2 sets to love. Staying with Murray isn’t exactly easy. A point here or there and Murray is winning in straights instead.


Ben Pronin Says:

No belief? I don’t know about that. The first 2 sets was a Murray with plenty of belief. His legs keep going away too soon.


Markus Says:

Had Djokovic lost the first set, then the bagel for Andy would have been in the second and third sets.


Margot Says:

Well played Nole! Too strong in the end.
But some reasons for Andy fans to be cheerful, to be sure. He gave his all, what more can you ask?
The first set is absolutely crucial.
@CDP
Re that first set, my com said Andy played better, but Nole plays the big points better. Also said same at AO. Agree, and time Andrew got his act together.


jalep Says:

I hate bagel sets.

But Nole wins! Finds a way to get it done despite playing worse than Murray for a lot of the match. Well done Nole.


Daniel Says:

Serve and volley, nice.
Congrats Djoko. 22 nd Masters, set to pass Fed soon, maybe even in clay season.
Third IW/Miami double 5th Miami Masters one shy from Agassi.
Already Slow HC GOAT with 5 AO (record), 4 IW (record shared with Fed) and 5 Miami (second).
51 st title overall and more and more playing for history now, chasing Fed and Nadal.
This year could be another 2011 for him.
He is winning all major titles since Shabgai: Paris, WTF, AO, IW and now Miami.
Only difference from 2011 was that he won Dubai (lost to Fed this year) and didn’t play Doha (but that loss in a 250 to begin the year doesn’t add nothing, just a great win for Karlovic).

Let’s see how Djoko will fare on clay. Now he hast 9 days rest before MC.


Eric Says:

Ben, if Andy had won the first set, Djokovic would have played better and harder in the second, and he would won it.


Ben Pronin Says:

At the end of the day, Murray fans have to thank their lucky stars he has those 2 slams. Stars really aligned for him there. How much more proof do we need that Djokovic is just better than Murray?


Hippy Chick Says:

Off topic but HAPPY EASTER TO ALL TENNIS-X POSTERS ;-)….


Margot Says:

OMG Ben, that’s called being a really bad winner. You make mild fans like me want to talk about Nole’s gamesmanship!
Honestly!


brando Says:

@Ben: looking at it right now I have to ask: how on earth did Andy beat novak for Olympics, Wimbledon and USO? Especially USO after choking up those 2 sets?


Hippy Chick Says:

Murray fans should thank their lucky stars that he has 2 GS?the stars really aligned for him,WOW seems Jamies pyschic has a rival lol….


Okiegal Says:

Tennis fans who play….What are the bars that they eat before and during and after the match? I’m sure it’s an energy type snack, just curious what it might be called?? I could use one when I’m cleaning
house, me thinks!! :)


jane Says:

strange topsy-turvy match with not the best quality of tennis on display imo. i think both nole and andy’s coaches should make them go on court and hit about 100 smashes in a row. lol.

commiserations to andy’s fans – margot, the da, cdp, colin. he was definitely closer this time. really thought he’d take the first set and i guess that was crucial. but he kept fighting and it was closer than IW for sure. also his court positioning was much better. they showed a stat and he was way more inside the baseline.

now he can go off and get married and come back knowing he’s getting closer each time.

finally, and of course happily for me, YAY to nole for another stand alone record, his second this year: the triple-double. he’s really been a stalwart at digging in even when not playing his best. he’s able to refocus sometimes through his own anger. the ump actually helped him perhaps. YAY and cheers to wog boy, mat 4, duro, stu, sar, danica, yolita, kjb, kriket, ben and any other nole fans.

also happy easter for anyone who celebrates. at the very least, there’s the chocolate bunnies. :)


KatH Says:

Oh Andy – oh Andy….if only…
Time for a talk to your mirror.
If not, try Margot…


chris ford1 Says:

Got to be discouraging as it can be for Muzz. For two sets, Andy showed considerable skill, even genius at times. Djokovic was just on his B+ game except in the tiebreaker. It’s like with Nadal. You can push Nole back, be on top briefly, but you don’t break him.
Then he wears you down.
Suddenly, you can’t sustain that high level anymore. You should have beaten Nole/Rafa, you played BETTER for 2 sets!! But somehow he unfairly won one and now you are going down in flames.

Credit Djokovic, don’t diss John Isner and Andy for what they did. They were playing great all tournament. High level tennis. Then Djokovic found a way to neutralize them and outlast them – even not yet peaking. Peaking is what Nole hopes happens in the month’s span of Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
If you are not a Djokovic fan, the forecast for 2015 is looking pretty ominous.
Take time to appreciate Andy. Yes, he got bagelled, but he is a superstar and at times he showed it. Best to Andy and Kim!


Muhammed Says:

Novak looked a bit off from the very begging but somehow pulled through. He was there to be taken but Andy just couldn’t deliver (over and over again). He mentioned his legs (being tired) but I don’t think that was the problem, he’s probably the fittest guy on the tour. I really like the guy but he’s in denial.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot, sorry, Andy looked so much better today. Why can’t our favs hold service after a break?? So disheartening! I do think think he’s on the rise with his game again. That is the positive thing.
Again, so sorry and better luck Next time!

Congratulations to all of the Novak fans…..he’s the best there is at the present…..a beast!! Maybe this is the year he gets the FRENCH KISS….
bite my own tongue! I will still be looking for number ten…..just can’t help myself!!


Brando Says:

This rivalry (It feels so wrong to use that word right nwo) going forward:

Fact 1: Andy is 0-7.

Fact 2: Andy is 1/7 for last 7 sets.

Fact 3: It seems there is a pattern: (A) Novak just thumps Andy in straights or (B) Andy plays well for 2 sets and then gets thumped.

Either one isn’t pretty overall. How much has Andy gained from this:

For me not much at all.

He’s essentially learned the same damn story from USO in August, AO on 1st february: he plays Novak close for the first set, could or should have won it, barely wins the 2nd ……….and then collapses dismillay after that.

It’s the same old tale on repeat. Going forward:

This is now a mental battle for Andy. And I have real doubts as to whether he can turn it around now. Just look at it practically going forward:

Clay: It’s next and here there is only 1 winner.

Wimbledon: This is likely the next venue Andy can play Novak after Clay and can ANYONE REALLY see Andy getting his first win v Novak after a minimum of 7 losses in a Grand Slam arena where you know Novak will be even better?

I don’t see it happening.

The worse thing is:

I don’t even think Novak needs to play his best to beat Andy. I really don’t. ONLY a liar will say Novak was at his vintage best in the 2 sets he won today.

He was not particularly great for me in either set 1 or 3. But the point is: he does not have to be versus Andy.

THAT reality for me makes this a woeful situation for Andy especially when you consider:

Novak is flat out a better Tennis player than him. Period.

I see no real reversal in this matchup now. Maybe Andy gets a win somewhere inevitably, but the big matches between these 2 will go one way: towards the Serbian no.1 of the world.

It’s worse than Fedal right now between these 2 since atleast Federer champion mentality, superior serve, aggression, world class FH ALWAYS gave him a shot but here it’s not even close to that. Just not at all.


Markus Says:

Djokovic is not just good, he is also extremely mentally resilient. He knows he has the physical ability to beat anyone and does not let go of that thought all the way to the end regardless how rough it may be going for him. He has shown that in his matches with Federer and now against Murray. he got derailed in the second sets of both matches but came back more tenacious in the third.


Margot Says:

Lol KatH! Lifting a glass to you.Cheers! We live to fight another day!
Thanx Chris
@ OK.
I think he had the right idea, was much more aggressive and coming forward etc, but MUST NEVER smash ever again!


Brando Says:

‘ I really like the guy but he’s in denial.’:

Right now I have to agree. And i absolutely hated how Muzza started yelling towards Ameilie and co in the 3rd set.

Come on man: Ameilie ain’t the one who played that crappy overhead!


Hippy Chick Says:

Okie hopefully no French kiss for Novak this year,and grass could be a very different story for Andy his game is better suited to grass,and Rafa will return to Queens with an extra week after the French could benifit him,i know i know i can here/hear the sound of sniggering from here/hear….


Hippy Chick Says:

Sorry to Margot,The DA,KatH,we can draw the positives this time it was a great performance,and hopefully hes getting closer….


calmdownplease Says:

Oh woe!
Where’s the Easter bunny when you need him!
Oh right
Anyways,

`How much more proof do we need that Djokovic is just better than Murray?..`

Er, you seem to need a bit more proof as you are contradicting yourself on this very thread.
There is not much in this (as far as coulda shoulda woulda) as you said yourself.
Andy is getting better and better now.
And yes of course I think Novak is better than Andy, the stats and slams the bagels etc conclusively show this.
But lets face it, Novak is better than EVERYBODY right now.
No one comes close in these conditions and even if it was Nadal on the other side of the net, it wouldn’t have been pretty either
As great as he is, Novak is also rather lucky right now. His main opponents are either too young, too old or coming back from injury & lengthy breaks
But let’s see how he does against them on the grass or the faster courts.
I’m guessing he won’t have it all his own way at all.


calmdownplease Says:

@brando

Shouldn’t you be concerning yourself with Nadal’s up-coming fate on the clay?
In my view anyway, he has a HUGE Serbian sized juggernaught coming for him, and it might be a bit too much to resist this time.


the DA Says:

@Margot & KatH – *clinks* a commiseration wine glass with you. To me this was a positive loss – miles different to how it felt at IW. Andy’s game plan was spot on and he should’ve won in 2 with the level he played at. On grass it would’ve been 2 imo. It’s just the small marginal things – he made more errors at the net than I’ve ever seen. To me that’s little mental adjustments to be made. The physical endurance – or lack thereof- is peculiar. Never used to be an issue. Both had problems serving at one of the court. But Nole is just a machine with some of those gets and defensive shots.

Overall, I’m pleased that the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. By the grass season I’m sure he’ll be back to something like 2012-3 levels.


mat4 Says:

One of the worst match I watched recently. Some flashes, but both players played far below their level. Eventually, Novak won.

I could understand the first set: it was very difficult to serve from one side of the court, and Novak had a great advantage in the TB, since he started serving from the “good” side.

But the second set… was simply abysmal. In the third, Novak returned better, made less UE, and Andy just crumbled. A somewhat known pattern, that I also simply don’t understand.

Their play at the net was simply awful.

@the DA: there’s was an error in the sentence you quote. It should have been “a different culture, a different psychology…”

There was no arrogance whatsoever in my words, nor it was intended. You should have supposed that it was a spelling error, since culture is not a kind of psychology. I even asked myself if the concept of “friendship” has the same value in French and English.

Anyway, mon ami, you can always find me on a French language blog, where I can express myself with much more nuances, without betraying my thought.


Brando Says:

@CDP:

14 Grand Slams in the bank, all time great status long sealed = a chilled out fan.

Thanks for the concern though.


calmdownplease Says:

It’s not physical endurance
It’s mental endurance that is the issue
its the only explanation for the bagel collapses.
It’s the hardest thing to get back as you can’t just get it hitting the gym.
It must be won on the court.
It will eventually come back, however.


Margot Says:

@the DA
I like the cut of your jib sir :) Clinking your glass right back.
Cheers Hippy.


Brando Says:

@Mat4:

‘One of the worst match I watched recently’:

I agree to an extent.

Novak just did not play his best. Andy did actually play well. Yet Novak still won, and handed out a bagel.

That reality is concerning for Andy I feel.


calmdownplease Says:

I’m not concerned about you at ALL!
But I’ll keep your whining in mind for the nice (in some people’s view) longish clay court season.
COMING RIGHT UP
Oh, and I’ll really hope also that I won’t have to write off your beloved in an explosion of whinge covered angst for all to see when the inevitable happens :)


mat4 Says:

@CDP:

I don’t know if you have seen my last post in the thread “Poll…” It was a misunderstanding, you misread my post, and I am sorry about that.


calmdownplease Says:

sorry about what?


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 when push comes to shove Novak still won which is all that matters….


Hippy Chick Says:

Win or lose on clay or at the FO nothing changes Rafa will still be the KOC,we might get a new champion but it will be a long time before anyone surpasses Rafas CC achievements….


KatH Says:

@Margot – Taa much Margot. I only once put a bet on Andy winning and he won. I still hope to do so again.

@ The DA – I love the French and especially their arrogance. I prefer the French to any other European country (apart from Scotland). I’ve also lived in 3 continents.

Bon nuit.


Brando Says:

@CDP:

LOL you ridiculous little chirp, how dumb are you really? I had you placed down as a idiot, but you even stoop below that pedestal with some of your forthcoming rubbish!

That mention of concern was sarcastic. Even a child of age 4 would see it a mile off!

And Nadal: go for it. A sad miser getting joy some if he were to fail: lap it up, I ain’t concerned with the state of petty fools.

He’s all good. He’s long since sealed his place in the history of the game, filled his fans with joy for many a year.

So again: i’m all chill on that front my dear.

But hey:

I can understand your vileness.

Your fav just copped another bumming loss and his situation ain’t looking too pretty for future big ones.

It’s understandbly why you feel the urge to whinge and talk rubbish about a player who didn’t even contend this match.

It’s fine my love, I fully well can understand your state of misery.

I’ll stop right here and choose never to exchange again with a blatant idiot and wish you well in your attempt to rise out of your obvious misery.

Much Love and Kisses

Brando


calmdownplease Says:

Win or lose on clay or at the FO nothing changes Rafa will still be the KOC..`

Historically certainly
But if Novak wins it shall be a case of;

`The King is dead!
Long live the King!`

;0)


Brando Says:

Understandable > understandbly.

Note to self: when conversing with an idiot Brando please do not take up their ridiculous habits yourself.


jane Says:

sweet sense of humour from andy:

Andy Murray @andy_murray · 1m 1 minute ago
Congrats to Novak on a great start to the year.. However this egg today wasn’t appreciated on easter😂


calmdownplease Says:

Oh, Brando!
That post looked like an enormous explosion of menstrual blood to me, I’m afraid
At least you’re not pregnant however ;)


Hippy Chick Says:

CDP theres that word again IF,not really relavent till it happens im afraid ;O….


Brando Says:

@Jane:

LOL that’s great!

At least someone found humour in Andy’s latest loss.

Sadly though it happened to be Andy of all people. Oh well: it is what it is.


Markus Says:

I hope Nadal wins his 10th French. That would be an achievement unlikely to be toppled by anybody else. He’ll also edge out Sampras’ slam count. All his fans will be happy and contented because everything else after that will be icing on the cake. Just like what Federer fans must feel right now. He has achieved enough and there’s nothing much to ask for. To see him still play and show his brilliance is enough even if he fails to win any more tournaments. Those 2 have reached a level of brilliance that will not be tarnished by anyone, not even by time. I just wish a 10th French for Nadal for an extra polish.


calmdownplease Says:

Surely It’s a question of `when` Hippy Chick, `IF` one is to `read` Brando’s delirious tripled spaced posts on Novak at least..
Oh, wait a minute, Nadal is excluded from the equation, isn’t he?
I forgot about that
lol


Bob Lewis Says:

Cream cheese with blueberry or lox?


Brando Says:

@Alison:

Really? An intelligent poster like yourselves chooses to engage in a exchange a blatantly miserable poster who chooses to take petty pot shots at a player who did not even contest the match her fav lost.

Seriously Alison:

I expected better from you. You should not stoop yourself to such a low level and engage with a obviously bats-it crazy poster.


jane Says:

i think andy’s able to tweet that because he knows it was much closer. here’s another tweet from a journalist in the press room

Carole Bouchard ‏@carole_bouchard 19m19 minutes ago
Murray disappointed but not down. Takes hope seeing he put a fight out there and was close for 2 sets. Says Novak does everything very well


calmdownplease Says:

Oh, aren’t we a tad touchy for a supposedly rather `chilled out` Brando?
And Thank you. Your hypocrisy is now fully exposed for all to see.
I doubt we will ever witness the kind of `helpful` critiques of Nadal that you endlessly aim at Andy around here.
But when I merely (entirely logically and realistically, I may add) suggest that Nadal isn’t looking too good right now, and might come a cropper, you go absolutely BALLISTIC
about how vile and abusive i am being about dear Rafa…
What a grad A plonker you are dude.
Grad A but `graded`.


Brando Says:

@Markus:

Thanks my man for wishing Rafa well! But you hit the nail on the head with your post about this part:

‘All his fans will be happy and contented because everything else after that will be icing on the cake. Just like what Federer fans must feel right now. He has achieved enough and there’s nothing much to ask for. ‘

Spot on!

With Rafa the ONLY question that exists in his career is: will he surpass Federer? That’s it.

And what does that entail: being the GOAT.

We don’t need Einstein to return from the dead and tell us that: that Rafael Nadal actually is in a very, very priviliged position.

Put simply:

Barring Federer, Sampras (that’s only 2 individuals) virtually every tennis player who ever picked up a racquet would instantly wish to have Nadal’s record and position in the game.

Why wouldn’t you?

14 Grand Slams in the bag, career GS sealed at age 24, record MS, Olympic Gold Medal, more than 65 tour titles, worldwide popularity that surpasses all in tennis history barring RF.

He’s a player who the Tennis community anointed a top 5 of all time in 2012. It’s now 2015:

He’s ONLY added to his legacy since then.

So for Rafa and his fans in all honesty:

It’s all gravy from here on out. He’s already a certified legend in the game who’ll long be remembered after he calls it time.

He’ll likely stand taller than all in the game barring one (RF) and even that one will say: Rafa ain’t inferior to me on the court since we ALL KNOW what happened when us 2 faced off.

Hence:

Why his fans feel immensely fulfilled, satisfied and in a great place about Rafa already!

LOL:

I think of all the people on tour- nay Tennis History- Nadal and Federer are the last 2 anyone should pity or fear for.

Rafa’s good and like I said:

His fans are chilled out in the big picture.

Thanks for the great post once again!


calmdownplease Says:

^^^^^Will someone please help this damaged little person out.
This is clearly a cry for help!


Markus Says:

Cheers, Brando… and now, on to clay!


chris ford1 Says:

Have to forgive Markus and Brando their tributes to their faves who are not here. Understand their nostalgia. It may well be that the Fedal crowd will go to their dying breath saying Djokovic was never their equal because of Slam Count, Rafa’s clay wizardry, Rogers fan love. Whatever.

But there will be Djokovic fans around then as well, to remind that at his best, they believe Djokovic was a better player than Rafa or Federer at their best.
Djokovic will have his own records. Likely the Masters record. All court surface categories in the Top 10 in winning % in the Open Era.
But records only go so far, they don’t adjust for competition and punish players lacking longevity but who had a great career.
To use an example from another sport. Who is the better 100M runner? Carl Lewis or Usain Bolt? Carl’s “track meet wins” count will dwarf whatever Bolt manages in his career.
But no one doubts if each raced one another in their prime who would be the best.


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic at his best better than Federer at his best? Interesting.


Humble Rafa Says:

After today, all of ArrogantLand needs to pray that I win RG or else we will have the Egg Lover will all 4 grandslams.

So, from today, pray for my wellbeing every moment of the day.


brando Says:

@CF1: eh what provoked that post? Insecurity? Jealousy? Markus-based on his post- supports neither Fedal. Me? All I did was say I feel Rafa has nothing really left to prove and it’s all gravy considering his stature in the game. His record backs that up. Yet you give that post! All I’ll say is my friend: “Whatever”. Erm no. Me, you, your 100 metres theories etc matter not. All that matters is the records and what the professional’s of the game- current and past- say. That’s it. And if you ask them to put Federer, Nadal and Novak in order then we sure fully well know who comes last.in fact: Novak himself knows that and would say so. And its ridiculous really: Novak just wins a title of note all you do is engage in a sour post. Today has been revealing in some sense really: the baffling jealousy for fedal and their standing in the game from some quarters is just knows no limit with some it seems. Mate: they don’t get it out of charity and genorisity from others. They do so because they have been at the top for 10 years plus, to the joy of millions around the world. You wanna reach that level? Step up and match produce in the big time for 10 years and be loved universally. You can’t do that? Then best pipe down. A suggestion: enjoy what you and your favorite have rather than whinge in pettiness, ruefully about the success, standing of others. It is what it is: deal with it!


brando Says:

@HR: lmfao you may be right. IF novak rules big forget Nadal, Federer will be a target. In some respect he already is: wtf, MS maybe even ranking wise. I wonder then how it would be on here…..maybe we might see a few vamos Nadal from the most unlikliest corners. Lol: tennis fandom politics knows no limit or end.


Markus Says:

My post needs no forgiveness from anyone. There was not a word in there that was offensive to anyone. Paranoia is that word that comes to mind to describe anyone who will feel slighted by it. I was stating a fact: Federer and Nadal have achieved level few players have ever reached or will ever reach, and for that their fans should feel happy and secure that their favorites are already rooted at the top of their field.

As regards Djokovic, I have always respected him in my posts. I have, without fail, posted high praises for him. Truth be told, I want him to win more tournaments and more slams. I want him to be within touching distance with Federer and Nadal because I do believe that he belongs to be in that group, but not just quite yet because he needs more wins to get there. Will he get there? I believe he can and I really do want that day to come when he achieves that and secure his place with those two.


El_Flaco Says:

Djokovic had a similar streak against Nadal where he won 7 in a row from 2011 IW to 2012 AO encompassing all court surfaces and including 2 slam finals. Then Nadal proceeded to win 6 of their next 7 matches including 3 in slams(2 were finals, 1 semifinal). Then Djokovic went on another mini run of 4 in a row. So while there is hope for Murray to reverse this dry spell there is one tiny little problem. He’s not Nadal.


calmdownplease Says:

Nadal will end his career on the racquet of Djokovic.
He shall be consigned to redundancy and EXPELLED from the tour, & there will be no mercy shown this time.
At least at 33 Federer can still teach Djokovic a thing or 2 on the faster courts.
Nadal?
His time is well and truly UP..


calmdownplease Says:

`He’s not Nadal…`

No, he is not.
But, if I recollect correctly, Andy actually beat Novak in 2011 and Nadal was NOT coming back from any surgery during his 7 straight losses….


brando Says:

@El Flasco: I have hope for Andy to turn this around but for me there are considerable differences: 1- Nadals was a greater humiliation: I am a firm Nadal fan but I say without hesitation his humiliation was greater. 7 finals, 3 of which majors is way, way more woeful than this 0-7 Andy has at the moment. Therefore, for me, Nadal’s plight and task was greater especially when you consider that Rafael was not on a injury return like Andy was last year. 2- Rafael has a superior mentality: the issue for Nadal v novak ultimately became a mental one. He lost twice to Novak on clay. Everyone knew he could turn that around. He lost at AO after near 6 hours. Miami he lost in 3rd set breaker and was actually 2 points away from winning in straights. So as rafa said: it was a mental hurdle he had to face, accept and overcome. Ditto with Andy. But there’s a crucial difference here: Nadal is regarded by many as arguably the toughest fighter the game has ever seen. When you see a player lose a grand slam final after near 6 hours, his 7th loss in row and see that he talks about how he LOVED suffering out there on the court and was ready for more. You know you are dealing with a different kettle of fish: you’re dealing with a guy many say has a warrior like mindset. So Nadal could have lost 7 more: deep down though many knew he ain’t ever going to go down since he’s too great a fighter to not turn it around. The man in question is strong enough to handle the problem not let it overcome him. Andy Murray though- mentally speaking- is he REALLY as tough a nut as Rafa? 3- Nadal always had a superior h2h: pre 0-7 Rafael led Novak. That’s a fact. Post 0-7 Rafael leads Novak. That’s a fact. So it tells us the reality: sure Novak is a tough matchup for Rafa. But his overall career tells us: its not one that’s impossible for him. Its not one that stops him form beating the same player. Maybe Novak ain’t too bad a matchup for Rafael since after all: he’s won plenty versus him in big ones right? For Andy though it’s different. He’s NEVER had the head to head superiority over Novak. 4- Nadal is in a different category as a champion: who is Rafael Nadal? A 14 Grand Slam Champion who with common consent is seen as a top 3/4 player in all of tennis history. Who is Andy Murray? A 2 time Grand Slam Champion. You don’t need me to speak of the difference here. And nor do we need Novak to tell us which of these 2 is the toughest one to face either. The reality is naked, clear and apparent to all. I apologize if I am rude in what I have said since I only sincerely intended to speak the truth as how I see it. I firmly believe Andy can turn it around and he’s a great champion. But he and rafa are 2 different kettle of fishes and I would not compare their situation all that match. Rafa had the greater humiliation and issue. But he also is a champion of a different kind. One with a reputation for revelling in tough situations v the toughest opponents. 2 different individuals with differing tennis capacity for me.


brando Says:

@Markus: great post. I think Novak is already there with Fedal. As is Andy. They’ll be seen as a great quartet. All time stakes? One doesn’t know the future but: its reasonable to say that’s predominantly based on majors. And its reasonable to say that expecting or demanding a individual to win 6 majors post 28 or say even 4 is rather extreme considering how they have only won 3 between age 25 to 28. But who knows what the future holds; hence why we watch the game to see the drama as it unfolds.


calmdownplease Says:

Oh. My. Goodness

This clay court season is already WON
Well done Novak, it was always meant to be…..


Wog Boy Says:

Nole fans, this is going to melt your hearts, have look my friends:

Novak Djokovic ‏@DjokerNole 20m20 minutes ago
This little buddy is my most precious trophy! No better way to end the day than with my family :) #NoleFam

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CB3cJ1uUoAEYpjh.jpg


skeezer Says:

Congrats Nole and the fanbase. He is having a great 2015. He continues to deliver and represemt #1 ranking well. The guy has proven he can lead, and doesn’t have to be the hunter to succeed.


Sidney Says:

Good job Novak! 51st title, 22nd MS1000. Feels good!

He never looked quite comfortable in most of his matches this year in Miami, yet he still won the whole thing! Remarkable will and determination to win. He sure has been a great frontrunner.

Commiserations to Andy and his fans… Much improved from IW battle. Andy said it himself… He’s getting closer. Congrats on his wedding next week! Wish him happiness and success this year, on and off the court.


jalep Says:

That is the first glimpse I’ve seen of Stefan…sweet picture. Thanks Wog.Boy!


Daniel Says:

Nice pic, he probably has one of those baby laughs. They are so cute this age, when awake and not crying;-)


jane Says:

thanks wog boy. awww, so sweet. reminds me of when my son was wee. daniel, that’s true. the crying can be endless, ha ha.

nole also posted a very sincere apology video to the ball boy. he felt so badly when he saw it on replay he made a video and didn’t only apologize to the ball boy but to the ball boy’s parents as well.

for anyone interested steve tignor has a piece up on the final that has some insightful things to say.

thanks to everyone for the kind words about novak and his success. it’s not always been this way. he’s lucky he made it past dolgo. i thought he was going out then. i had checked the scores in my office when he was down set and break and thought to myself “oh well”, went to an appointment, came back, and he had won. never really thought he’d win here. but somehow he found a way.

onto the clay, where rafa is probably happily practicing. i wonder if andy will play monte carlo. i know he hadn’t ruled it out…


chris ford1 Says:

Miami Open site now has Novak’s and Andy’s post match sit down interviews available in transcript. Djokovic like most times comes across as a highly intelligent young guy worth listening to on tennis and competition.
Like Rafa, he is unscripted, but without the language difficulties Rafa has with English – very well expressed.
Mauresmo should copy what Djokovic said about his inner conversation. Do bad, get frustrated, vent it out. Reset. Come back at it hard with positive thoughts about yourself and what you can do in the next phase. A critical difference between the two. All too much, Andy plays with genius then sabotages himself with negativity.
Easier said than done, I know. Oh, do I know!

http://www.miamiopen.com/~/media/miami-open/files/4-5-interviews/n-djokovic–040515.ashx?la=en


Daniel Says:

What is crazy to think is that not even playing his best tennis Djokovic inflicted 4 bagels sets im 4 different matches.

I think some of us are a bit spoiled here, is not often that players have a “perfect” tournament.
When was the last bit tournament it did happen? Nadal RG 2008 where the closest he got to lose a set was 1 tiebreak and all others were washouts; Fed in AO 2007 when he didn’t lost a set also.
What matter is winning. this is similar to 2011, where Djoko survived several scares through out that streak. This year he seems even more dominant, even tough he has 1 less title then he was in 2011. His victories in IW/Miami are more convincing now than they were back them.
Now onto clay and see how he will do there. If he will go all out in MC again or pace himself to peak in Rome/RG.

Some thinks that if he wins too much on clay it can hurt him where it matters most, but I still think he needs at least 1 Masters on clay for proper preparation, preferably MC or Rome.


Margot Says:

Match stats 52-48 even after that awful bagel. At one stage 51-51.
Would agree with above, Nole’s ability to re-set and re-focus is amazing…. as he has also demonstrated against other players not called Andy. ;)
Let’s see what Jonas can bring to the table. A bit of help with overheads would be nice ;)


Margot Says:

103-96 winning points, and I’ll say it again, in spite of that bagel!


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus fantastic post,exactly Novak is an amazing player and what hes continuing to do in the sport is remarkable,but Fedal are arguably two of the best players ever,well one is the best,and ones a top 5 and merely just chasing the other as Ben said the other day,it is something that makes my teeth grate when he see posters p*ss on their achievements,you see things from all angels,your a great poster ;-)….


Hippy Chick Says:

Margot exactly Andy was the better player but lost,there is no such thing as a tennis god unfortunatly :(….


Hippy Chick Says:

Aww cute picture of Nole with little Stefan ;-)….


mat4 Says:

Despite the audience, the match should have been played in the evening. It was really brutal, with the humidity, the heat. and the Djokovic and Murray from the semi didn’t show up.

Both players are working on their games, trying to be more aggressive. At the beginning, they went for it, and missed. Nothing worked: the FH, the serve, the BH DTL, the volleying… After that, they played with less risk, but then, the rallies had no ends, so they tried again, and usually missed.

Djokovic once again showed why he is a great champion, and revealed his liabilities once again. I hope that he will play better in Europe, and that he will be fresher. He needs to win Rome, at least.


Margot Says:

@Hippy
It’s pretty clear that Nole plays the big points much better than Andy. The tie was a prime example.
It’s also clear that a) post op Andy can’t outlast Nole and b) can’t beat him from the baseline.
So Andy has to change his tactics and play much more aggressively, which I think he’s doing.
eg His ROS has been fantastic this tournament, he’s been practically on the net.Of course that can make him vulnerable, but it’s the right tactic.
Whatever the knockers and the doubters and the haters say, I know he can do it.
Meantime, many congrats to Nole again. A gr8 champ.


madmax Says:

Margot,

So much to take from this. Really.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/apr/05/andy-murray-novak-djokovic-miami-open-final

One reason the discussion fascinates seasoned observers is that Murray cannot hide his suffering; he is a psychoanalyst’s delight, a tightrope walker wearing greased shoes.

In a weird first set Murray won eight more points on Djokovic’s first serve, 13, than when receiving his second – which is utterly perverse: blowing the easier chances after grinding it out at the first time of asking. That, surely, is a concentration problem.

“So much good tennis,” his old coach Miles Maclagan said on Sky.

In the first set, I couldn’t believe how close it was. One point here, one point there, could have made all the difference. Silly to say that with hindsight now, but Novak is just playing lights out tennis right now.

Andy though, was toe to toe with him first set, should have taken it, took the second, kind of gave up in the third, in a way.

He is so super fit, I think his work should be spent on the mind and not giving away too much of the negative body language. The opponent will pick up on that like a wolf.


Giles Says:

http://www.sportsjoe.ie/world-of-sport/video-novak-djokovic-apologises-after-scaring-the-bejaysus-out-of-terrified-ballboy/20174
And this folks is your world #1, the worst #1 ever !! Scaring an innocent kid, what next joker? I did say previously that he is a barbarian and that still holds true!


Emily Says:

Though it seems to defy logic, I’ve seen many matches where the loser wins more points and if it’s a fav, we just have to grit our teeth and try to figure out how it’s possible (unfortunately the final scoreline doesn’t change regardless). I was surprised at that fact b/c I believe Novak had more break points, but I don’t think Andy played a great match.

He yet again tried to be aggressive at the beginning, but then fell back into playing those long rallies, which is often a dead end if you’re playing Novak. He also was out of gas, which I thought was unusual. Unfortunately, this match was deja vu all over again.

Congrats to both players and their fans, and I hope Andy still has a nice wedding. I also liked Novak’s video, b/c he obviously wasn’t really aware of what he did at the end of the 2nd set and when he saw the video of him freaking out the ball kid, he did the right thing by apologizing to both him and his parents. I’m excited for the clay season and maybe some mix ups in the storyline so far.


Michael Says:

Hearty congratulations to Novak for eclipsing another record and becoming the first professional player to achieve the fantastic double thrice. It is indeed a remarkable achievement. I get a feeling that this is the year when Novak would attain the invincible levels he attained in 2011 with an aging Roger, declining Rafa and jaded Andy. This may also be the year when he might win his first Rolland Garros title too considering that Rafa is woefully short of confidence. But, I think Novak would not like to put himself in a desperate situation of Now or Never like Roger who faced a similar situation in 2009 after the surprising elimination of Rafa early at the hands of Soderling which was an earth quake of tremendous intensity. Roger handled that situation pretty well finally winning the tournament that had eluded him throughout his career by the indomitable Rafa. Novak would like to take things easy and not fall into the trap of desperation. He has matured over the years as a great Champion with his exemplary behaviour on and off Court. He is not the Joker any more. He knows now that he carries forward the legacy of Rafa and Roger.

As regards Andy, well the silver lining is that he made the finals. But, distressingly for him he is not winning against the creamy top anymore the last 12 times he played against them. Against Novak in particular, he is on a 9 match losing streak and he appears to be totally at loss how to handle him. Nevertheless, the good player that he is, he is expected to find solutions to the puzzle that Novak poses to him time and again on court.


Wog Boy Says:

“Margot exactly Andy was the better player but lost,there is no such thing as a tennis god unfortunatly :(….”

HC, how on earth can you say that Andy was a better player, on what ground? He was so much better that he was bageled!

Nole won 103 (52%) of all points to Andy’s 96 (48%), Nole had 18 BP to Andy’s 6 BP, Andy could hardly walk towards the end of the match, is it so hard to check the facts?


courbon Says:

Giles, why don’t you pi** off for a while? Go to idiots.com blog, where you can have conversation with likes of you….


courbon Says:

So, that was one ugly match.But, my man came on the top again and can not be more happy.
I would disagree with some posters here regarding Andy-I think he is getting closer to his best and he still may do some GS winning in him.He is too good not to have another 2GS to his name.
And Novak? Bodo said it all-he is best at winning-which ever way.
Personally I’m worried about Novak exausting himself before RG, so he should skip MC and get back in Madrid where he can gain lots of points and slowly starting preparation for RG.
anyway, congratulations to Noles crew on winning another battle but hope they are ready for full blown war, that clay season is going to be.


jane Says:

emily, just to clarify, nole won more points than andy, so the winner won more points. i believe margot was just showing how close it was even with the bagel. Wog boy clarified this as well. The reason is clear and doesnt really defy logic. In the first 2 sets andy pushed harder in movak’s service games. Nole was still able to hold, though, or he was able to break right back. In the first set they both really struggled on the sunny side of the court. Nole just pulled away in the tiebreak, and in set 2 andy pulled away at the end. The third set featured some close games even with the bagel. Novak takes andy seriously. Even at 4-0 he said he knew andy was still fighting, so he kept fighting. So yes, a tight contest. But it all makes sense having watched it.

courbon, giles reason d’etre seems to be to try to slag novak. It’s rather tiresome. And if anything nole’s video just shows how badly he felt that the ballboy was in between him and his box when he yelled towards his team. It was good of him to reach out. Many players yell at their boxes. Andy too. Nothing unusual or “barbaric” about it. This is all anout hatred and, sadly, sour grapes. Oh well.

I feel the same as you re: some worry about nole over playing. I hope he skips something between now and the french.


jane Says:

^ sorry for any typos.


Ben Pronin Says:

Murray was the better player yesterday much like Gulbis is the better player when he goes up against Nadal. In other words, he was dictating for much of the match. That’s why I find it so strange that Murray was so tired towards the end. The eye test says he did less running between the two. Not by much, but in most of their baseline rallies Murray had Djokovic on a string a lot more than the other way. It really wasn’t until the third set when Djokovic actually started dictating the rallies.


Daniel Says:

Courbon,

Don’t agree ref exhaustion, it is only 15 matches pre RG. He just played 12 matches in 23 days.

And if he has to skip a Masters better skip Madrid, because there he will potentially play back to back finals with Rome and could play 10 matches in 12 days. MC and Rome are simular conditions to RG and MC is also hos second home, Rome he just like to play there so much.

So, I think he should play MC normal, see how his game is, the field ther me is slight less heavy than other 2 masters as it is not mandatory (As of now neither Murray nor Nishikori are schedule to play and I believe other members of top 20 skip it). If he goes to finals or wins it or has a long match with Nadal. Than skip Madrid and get back to Rome.
I think the more he plays and win the better.

This Miami tournament was a clear example, at beggining seema he wanted to practice a few things: net play, more agressive returns. After the Dolgo match he knew he coukd win the tournament and that was the changing point. He doesn’t lose to Ferrer nor Murray this days and Isner is not a physically demanding match. And he looked like he could play some more yesterday.

With proper recovery and fit he can do it.
Last clay season he had that foot thin that jeopardize his MC and skipped Madrid; 2012 his Grandpa dies; hope no issue this year.


brando Says:

Stats? What the hell do they matter for? The only stat that matters is: did you win or lose? Period. As for interpretation: for me the match was not an exceptional one as Mat4 said, yet i felt Andy played close to his best. Novak did not. Truth be told all week he was at his B- game at best. Bizarrely he seems rather burnt out. I doubt he is, but his body language, demeanor suggested to me as such at times. Back to the match: what was telling to me was how Novak did not have to play his best to win. How the 3 sets where almost a ‘re run of sorts from USO,AO. Andy wins set 2, could/should have won first set and then gets blasted from then on. Same pattern, same results. How much more can Andy realistically do since we all know Novak can play much better.


Giles Says:

Courbon @ Jane. The truth hurts, no? What good is an apology after what he did? People won’t forget nor should he!
He is getting far too big for his boots.
He needs to be cut down to size, hopefully someone will step up to do just that.
D I S G R A C E !!


Giles Says:

Yes I agree he should most definitely skip Madrid. That crowd will remember his antics from 2013 and they are an unforgiving bunch. So, unless he wants to suffer the boos he should make perhaps another “fake” injury excuse and withdraw. Lol


Emily Says:

brando, agree w/ your post and it must be even more frustrating that you know you have an opening w/ Novak not playing his best and not capitalize. I’m not saying Andy is the only one this has happened to either. Rafa is also great at just getting the win, no matter what, and getting that ability back seems to be one of his real struggles right now. However, looking at their RG battles, it’s been Nadal who’s crossed the finish line first, which is why I think he is still the favorite.
Also, in terms of points won, it can be great to get to a tiebreak and stay close, but a loss is a loss. Andy obviously played better than in Indian Wells, but burning out at the end is a concern. It is amazing how many players are on the list of losing the last set to Novak w/ a bagel. He regroups better than almost anyone else on the tour right now.


courbon Says:

@ Daniel: Good point and I think you are right-and I,m wrong.


brando Says:

@Daniel: bad points and I think you are wrong. (Said just to possibly off Courbon in the spring weather. P)


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

First, the “eye test” can be wrong — Novak ran less than Isner in the semi, something that seemed strange. Then, at the AO, he also covered less distance than Andy. Here, since the rally were shorter (they made a lot of UE), I guess that they ran about 2 km (Novak/Andy ran about 3300 m at the AO).

Then, Novak slides very often laterally, and it allows him to cover a few m less.

But the key factor is weight. First, Andy is 3 cm higher, and has a lot of muscles more. He is built like a sprinter on a 100 m, while Novak is built like a runnner of 400 m. When they were shaking hands, at the end of the match, you could see the difference, and my guess is that Andy — whatever the ATP page says — is between 15 and 20 pounds heavier. On the long run, Novak will always have and advantage.


Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy read Bens post @9.37am,he sums things up perfectly,congrats again though to your favorite on the win….


Hippy Chick Says:

^And Emilys^….


courbon Says:

@ Brando:I think Daniel is right but everything depends how Rafa will play.Novaks and everybody elses results in clay season will depend how good they play but also how good Rafa plays…so we will see-nobody knows including players in question.


brando Says:

@Courbon: LOL my man I only said that just to see you react pissed off like earlier for a laugh. How’s life with you? Hope all is well. Congratulations on your guy winning. He did so below his best= real champions pedigree. Clay? Yeah I agree with Daniel, also you. No one really knows what’s round the corner. It’s fun like that. Ultimately: the best player always, always wins.


courbon Says:

@ Brando: i know you said to provoke my reaction.Familly is good, work is good, Novak is winning…Life is good! (-:


Hippy Chick Says:

Hi Courbon nice to see all the pound for pounders here again,shame about Harry though ;-)….


courbon Says:

Hi Hippy, thank you for congratulations yesterday-I seen it quick but I had to dash for a dinner.
Look on the bright side-you have to favorites.When one is not doing well ( Andy ) the other one will most likely do well ( Rafa ).

P.S; If they both not doing well, then I recommend you start supporting Novak! (-:


Hippy Chick Says:

Courbon lol when hell freezes over,i was actually a Federer fan before Rafa came along,maybe i shouldve stuck with him?seriously though ive never been one for swapping race horses as a rule or bailing when the going gets tough,after all ive supported York City FC,Coventry City FC,LFC that have all been perpetually crap for years all barring the odd good season,say no more ;-)….

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