Andy Murray Wins Rome, Beats No. 1 Novak Djokovic On Clay For 1st Time
by Staff | May 16th, 2016, 12:51 am
  • 64 Comments

Andy Murray ended his bitch-boy status to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Sunday, beating the Serb 6-3, 6-3, and capping his 29th birthday with the Italian Open title in Rome, the first British man to win it since 1931.


“It’s mostly great players that have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy,” Murray said. “Today against Novak it was nice. I know he didn’t play his best today. But there were still some tough moments for me in the second set. I saved the break points well and held strong. And overall it was a great week for me. I didn’t lose a set.”

The win broke a streak of Djokovic winning 12 of his last 13 meetings with Murray, and the Brit never defeating the Serb on clay.

“I had a long couple of weeks, especially the last couple of days,” said Djokovic. “I knew it’s going to be very hard for me, an uphill ride against Andy today, who was playing throughout the week at a very high level. To compete with him in long exchanges and rallies that we do have in our encounters, they require a lot more energy and better performance from my side which didn’t happen.”

Djokovic blew up early and often emotionally during the match, throwing his racquet and complaining about the rains and the court conditions.

“Not taking anything away from Andy’s win. On the contrary, I think he deserved to win and deserved to win the entire tournament, because he was the best player. He was the player that played in the best form throughout the entire tournament.”

Murray won his first title of the year (12th at the Masters level) and improved to 36-19 in career finals. He also returns to the No. 2 ranking (and seeding for the French Open) which means he won’t see his rival Djokovic until the French Open finals.

“Any time you beat the best player in the world it is a big win,” Murray said. “And I know that every time I play him I need to play a great match if I am to win.”

Djokovic dropped to 64-27 in finals, and 5-1 in finals this year. The loss snapped his 17-match win streak against Top 10 players and he missed his chance at becoming the first pro tennis to reach the $100,000,000 prize money mark.

“My confidence level is high because of the matches, many matches that I have won this year on this surface and all the other surfaces,” Djokovic said.

“So I don’t feel that I’m doubtful or I’m shaken up by this loss. Of course, you don’t like to lose, but, you know, you’ve got to congratulate the better player that played well today, Andy, and he deserved to win. I move on to Paris knowing that I’m going to approach it hopefully healthy and refreshed and then givng it my all, as always, in Paris.”


You Might Like:
Juan Martin Del Potro: Clay Isn’t My Favorite Because I Don’t Like To Run Too Much
Sharapova Beats French Open Finalist Stosur to Win Rome
Nadal Reigns In Rome, Beats Djokovic For Second Straight Time To Win Sixth Title At Foro Italico
Will Rafael Nadal Get Beaten This Clay Season? I Say Yes
Poll: Novak Djokovic Or Rafael Nadal, Who Wins Their 49th Meeting Friday In Rome?

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

64 Comments for Andy Murray Wins Rome, Beats No. 1 Novak Djokovic On Clay For 1st Time

Okiegal Says:

Way to go Andrew…..he has a great chance for the French Open….he looked marvelous today! The Murray fans are licking their chops!! I am still for Rafa, but should he not go deep and Andy does…..gonna hop on that bandwagon!!


Margot Says:

You are welcome on board OKiegal :)
This page is weird but the link just about works….that shot….:)


Okiegal Says:

Margot, I told TX staff to get that on quickly….really, it was better than the shot they showed of Novak against Rafa. I don’t know how Andy managed to retrieve the ball and get the winner! It was a fantastic point!! Loved it!! 🏆 for Andy….


Okiegal Says:

Margot, you are so right…the page is weird. I know you are busting your buttons over Andy’s win. He is really playing well….and I for one am so glad……things are heating up!!


Margot Says:

It’s must be a plot OK! To get Andy off the front page of tx as quickly as possible….;)
So glad clay Murray has shown up at long last!


Green Lady Says:

That was an amazing point to win the match, just how do these players do it, Nole did it to Rafa earlier in the week now Murray, shame we couldnt have had a thread about that point too, come on tennis-x , why not ?….


Okiegal Says:

It was so good to see him rise to the occasion today and win! He was like a breath of fresh air on the dirt!! I love clay tennis, of course I would……I fell in love with Borg on clay and it has always been my favorite surface….then grass…..in fact, not enough grass imo! Well we can start getting all worked up again next week……and here we go again! Lol


Green Lady Says:

Shame i really liked that picture of Andy with Jose, didnt even know that the two men knew each other, Jose is still a handsome guy ….


Green Lady Says:

Okie i wouldnt be surprised if Novak or Rafa won RG, but it wouldnt surprise me either if someone new won it again just like last year, the CC season has become quite unpredictable now in a good way, its not the Rafa or Novak show anymore ….


anki Says:

Congrats Andy for the win. He has been playing really good on clay. Couldn’t watch the match. Beating Novak in straight sets, wow too good, he must have been on fire. He is a clear favourite for RG on par with Rafa. Novak is not going to win it with his terrible on court attitude and he needs to raise his level, which I some how don’t see it happening.


Okiegal Says:

GL, you are right…clay is heating up. I still deep in my soul think this will be Novak’s year for the FO…..but after seeing how well Murray is playing…..Stan will be giving it all he’s got because he will be defending……Rafa is playing better…..it could be a toss up! I forgot about Kei…he has been playing good too. We will just have to wait and see what unfolds….should be interesting!


Okiegal Says:

GL….I want number 10 for our guy….Margot I know I’m greedy indeedy (you taught me that word and I love it) but if he fails Andy will be my go to guy! I so hope they go deep……


danica Says:

One more time, on this thread as well, big congrats to all the Andy fans! Fantastic achievement.

Now, a few thoughts on the match:

I think Courbon said it on the other thread and I second his sentiments 100%. I can’t stand it and it goes on my nerves when Nole shows such body language and starts fussing over nothing. Talking to the umpire is not gonna help him. Neither will racquet smashing. There is no one to blame but him. What I think is that his father somehow affects him. Each time his father is in the stands, Novak is differently wired. And not in a positive way. When Jelena is there, he is more motivated.

Second, this is a blessing in disguise for Nole. Had he won here, he would have gone to Paris overconfident. This way, he will be more cautious. I have seen it already. He was overconfident last year after he beat Rafa in the quarters of RG. Even though he diplomatically said that there was still more to play, at that press conference you could sense him oozing the belief of invincibility. I had a feeling he thought that he just needed to show up in the finals and wait a few hours for the trophy to be given to him.

And last but not least, how strange and rushed was that award ceremony?! Andy was not given any time to say what he clearly intended. That annoying woman allowed him to say a few things to Nole and then started pestering him to say something more in Italian. She was putting him unnecessarily on the spot making it awkward. Andy’s witty answer was “Ciao” and that is basically what she deserved. Then, they gave him a cake so that he had to balance a cake and a trophy in each hand. I was half expecting that cake to finish on the red carpet. Andy deserved better and a ceremony worthy of a winner.


Pauly Says:

Djokovic was tired the Nadal match
The Nishikori match
Just nothing left

If he gets Nishikori Nadal Murray in a row he will be tired
Not easy winning the French


Margot Says:

Andy has now overtaken Pete Sampras for titles! Goes into 5th place, I think.
In further news Berd and Dani split.


courbon Says:

Danica-great observation regardin the ceremony,My thoughtd exactly
J-Kath: It goes both wayd.Murray was tired in the past and lost to Nole and othdr way arround.No exuses.Murray is well deserved winer and match point was out of this World…


James Says:

With the oldest top 5 in the open era (average age 31), a 29 year old is making hay. Never has there been such a dearth of top young players, EVER. If you disagree, give me an example to refute my argument.


Rick Says:

If Jokervic gets so tired easily. He won’t wins the French.


roy Says:

sampras overtaken by murray in masters titles now. he’ll soon be shunted down by novak in slams too. it’s just getting worse and worse for pete. he’s just praying nadal doesn’t sneak another slam. then he’ll ultimately be no.4 in slams and no.5 in masters.


Giles Says:

Leon Smith favourite to take over coaching duties for Murray


Daniel Says:

Murray backng up last year also winning a Masters this year on clay. Hope next year he can keep the clay results and win MC.

Definetly one of the favorites for RG.

Draw this year can play a major role. What happened in Rome can happen again.
I don’t think it will because Nadal is #5 and Kei is #6. So if #1, 3, 5 and 6 are in one side will be left 2, 4, 7 and 8 in the other and it won’t be fair, specially considering who the players are.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Congrats to Murphy and his fans. Didn’t see the match but what a final point!

The layout has changed a lot in a few weeks.

Three weeks ago, I would have called Novak the prohibitive favourite, and only Stan having a real punchers shot.

Now Rafa and Andy have vaulted over Stan into second-favourites, while Stan has fallen into Buster Douglas Puncher’s Chance territory. Kei also has moved into being an actual conceivable champ. Adding in Roger as someone who can wreak havoc, even if he won’t hoist the coupe, and a coronation has turned into a pretty interesting tournament.

Make no mistake, Novak is still a huge favourite, even against the field. But that door is a bit more open now.


Skeezer Says:

Murray was awesome, he had the serve clicking and at th key moments out hit Novak. Novak as too busy complaining, and Murray was busy winning.
= Murray – Winner.


Daniel Says:

I think Stan is over and possible willnot even reach quarters.

Last year he also had mised results but he beat Nadal in Rome which gave him great boost at least playing well pre Garros. This year he was a no show in clay season and I think he will be under pressure in RG also, as defending champion and he will crumble. Also last year many thought he would lose to
Fed again in quarters and hehad a tough 4 setter with Tsonga only in finals that he went for it and got better and better.

We are onlu considering him this year iutof last years memories but his tennis is awful all year.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Where Slams differ from other tournaments is that there is an extra two rounds for the top players against much lower ranked opponents. This gives a guy like Stan, or Fed, a chance to work their way into form. The first two rounds will usually be gimmes for them, so they might have one threatening match in the first week. If they can get three good matches under their belt, all the clay warm-ups before will be irrelevant.


BBB Says:

Danica – I agree with you about Nole’s father. He hasn’t come to tournaments for a long time, which seems like a good thing. Novak seems to regress when he’s around.


BBB Says:

Re Stan – I think he’s dangerous. His good form comes out of nowhere.


Margot Says:

Where’s my new beau “dearest Ronn” BTW? I thought he’d be on here offering me a virtual bunch of flowers at the very least. Tsk. Tsk. dearest one, courbon’s giving me a yurt for goodness sake, what you got?
Andy didn’t complain about the surface, I don’t think. At one stage it was raining really heavily and he asked the ref if they were going to stop playing.
And I’m not forgetting how decent Nole’s parents were won Andy won Wimbledon. They came straight over to Andy’s box and hugged and congratulated Judy and Kim.


Ronn Says:

My dearest Margot,

It’s not easy having to go through the 3 current best clay courters (Rafa, Kei, and Murray)-other than yourself and in a row, after just having won Madrid and expect a clean sweep. Djoko did exactly what I expected of him and that is beat all these guys on clay right before the French to keep his momentum. The Murray loss is a blip on the radar as far as I am concerned and will only make Djoko less careless and focused for the FO. I don’t blame Djoko one bit for not wanting to really play all out in the final under such slippery, treacherous conditions. After banging up his ankle in the Kei match, only one more slip or twist and he could jeopardize his run at the French so it’s only natural that he’d be more than a bit cautious and give Murray his birthday present. Talk again at the French. Ciao.


anki Says:

What is wrong if Novak’s parents attend his match. How will that possibly affect him? Watched the highlights, Andy was solid, last point was one of the best. Apart from that nothing great. I really hate it when Novak acts like a 12 year old. No wonder he lost the match in straight sets. Such a poor attitude, hope he is not having any issue in his personal life. Sulky, emotional, whining Novak throughout the week in Rome. Hope he sorts himself out.


BBB Says:

Right, anki – sulky, emotional, whining. Which is no longer his norm. That’s why I think it’s legitimate to ask whether it’s related to his parents’ presence. Not just at the matches – dinners etc.


Daniel Says:

In RG final last year Djoko was in similar mood of Rome whem he lost secnd set to Stan.

He should keep his cool, that is when he finda that inner nirvana and is able to produce his best tennis. Same as Andy, taht grumpier he is, the more he loses. When he is slef kotivating himself and keep hos cool, his serves works and everything else. Very few can play great when pisses off.


gee Says:

His parents gave him hope to beat Fred. Not kryptonite.
he’s sulking due to the pressure of dominating tennis and
the insults from the tennis fans & media everytime he voices his opinions
about anything.
Everyone wants to be his friend, but only if he’s not winning 17 slams.
Anything less than winning results in bitter belittling and claims
of fake victimization.
when he beat murray in Australia, a UK news rag said
that Murray was harmed & suffered injustice & that Nole had little to do with winning.


Vami Says:

Novak’s behavior has nothing to do with his parents. They only come to Rome anyway and he won it last two times. Novak’s mind was on RG, this tournament stopped for him after the Nadal match.


Wog Boy Says:

Vami,
I am pretty much with you, the only reason Nole was negative could be the fact that he knew he won’t be able to produce his best due to 5,5 hours grueling matches with Rafa and Nishi and only 17 hours time to rest before Andy match. Does anyone really thought he is going to come out fresh as daisy (as Andy) and to swing freely, come on, I bet every muscle in his body was hurting him when he woke up after the Nishi match and all time he had was to have shower and decent breakfast and to face Andy, let’s be honest.


J-Kath Says:

Gosh…when someone loses there’s more reasons being given than there were balls played. Let Nole, growl, sulk do whatever he wants…expectations are so high for him…the pressure, guys, the pressure!

And as for feeling tired…it happens to them all…I won’t go into what Andy did to try to qualify for London (2014 I think) …and how he couldn’t carry it thru. It happens to them all for different reasons…(weather being one/long matches in GS’s e.g.Isner v Mahut @ Wimbledon). You got to gulp it down and swallow it best you can….ALL OF THEM.

We ain’t seen nothing yet….we’re looking at potentially 5 hard sets, not 3 hard sets, and without doubt some players will have good reason to complain because of weather, so-called bad scheduling – matches being postponed till next creating even more pressure; them trying to play doubles as well…and all that jazz.

What you can change, change, what you can’t deal with it.


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath….I posted a comment the other day stating how being the #1 player in the world brings on added pressure……but I got shot down by my remark, they said pressure wasn’t the problem, but I have played sports and I beg to differ. He will be heading to the FO under extreme pressure….agree with every bit of your post. PRESSURE IS A BIG DEAL!!


Dave Says:

The number 1 ranked golfer Jason Day just spoke about the pressure he feels being #1. He has won 7 of the last 17 tournaments. People are comparing him to Tiger Woods right now. Of course he feels the pressure. Just like Nole feels the pressure. There is no way Nole was feeling good after 5.5 hours of intense groundstrokes and 17 hours of rest. It’s not like he beat 2 serve bots and didn’t have any long rallies. He had to showcase all of his defensive skills all match long against Nadal and Nishikori. You always get a day in between matches at majors. Murray even mentioned it in an interview about Nole having to come back and play after such a long and late match. So even Murray acknowledged how tough it would have been.


BBB Says:

Okie, hopefully you don’t feel I shot your remark down, though I disagree with you that at this particular time Novak is feeling the pressure of being #1. To me, it wouldn’t be #1 (he’s been that way for a long time). It would be as Wog Boy has pointed out various streaks (finals, tournaments won etc), and the fact that earlier in the year he played tennis people like Nadal were describing as near perfection. I can see pressure, but I just don’t know that it’s related to being #1 at this stage.

Dave, where i think Novak is in a different place from Jason Day is that this is new to Day, with Spieth having dominated last year. Novak’s been #1 for an awfully long time at this point.


Dave Says:

I should have clarified a bit more. I meant the pressure of being number #1 and the number 1 favorite to win the French Open and the pressure of winning it this year. It all adds up to me. Also agree with what Wog Boy said about streaks. I said the same thing earlier as well. I think being Number 1 is much easier for Nole this time around compared to the last time he was number 1 and lost it to Nadal. He really struggled with it after 2011 as well. I think this is his 3rd different time being number 1. He has obviously dealt with the pressure better this time as he has been number 1 for almost 2 years straight.


Okiegal Says:

@BBB….We can agree to disagree…..no harm no foul. We all have our on views on here. I guess I used the term shot down because you didn’t agree with me and that is OK…no problem……I feel he is carrying a lot on his shoulders because he is expected to win everything, which he has just about. He has been #1 a long time and you are saying he is used to that. I am sure he is…to a point……..


J-Kath Says:

Daniel @ 9.11a.m.

Shouldn’t the draw reflect the rankings irrespective of who occupies the positions….especially at a GS (not called Wimbledon)

No. 1, 3, 5, 7,

No. 2, 4, 6, 8.


Margot Says:

@Kath
Of course it should. The rankings are really important. Otherwise, almost, why have them? Surely most players are striving to get into slams without qualifying/masters 1,000 etc. Suddenly they’re being fiddled around with, crikey?


J-Kath Says:

Hopefully the Frenchies will remember they are a bit suspect on a couple of other irregularities and be scrupulous on Friday…!!!


BBB Says:

Good, Okie, thanks!


Green Lady Says:

Billie Jean King says pressure is a privalege, well im sure it is, but surely it can also be a hinderance, every year people pontificate, and say will this be the year Nole wins the FO, i dont believe its now or never, but i do think that every year it will get harder and harder to crack the case not easier ….


BBB Says:

GL – I agree that psychologically it gets more difficult, like Lendl and Wimbledon. I wonder if Sampras won his last major after essentially giving up and relaxing, which is why the old guys usually have a shot at getting one more.


Giles Says:

Lol lol lol. Listen up folks, joker lost Rome because his mind was on Roland Garros. We have mind readers here now.


BBB Says:

Dave, I didn’t see your response. Yes, I agree with you.


MMT Says:

“Green Lady Says: Billie Jean King says pressure is a privalege,…”

https://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2009/07/privlege-of-pressure.html

By my estimation, there is no better time to win a (particular) major than when you’re desperate to do so. But Murray’s surge does make it interesting.


Vami Says:

@MMT
Not to piss off Andy’s fans but we’ll see about his surge in Paris. He might get to the final or even win it with a 2016 Rome or 2013 Wimbledon draw but his chances are not that high, just look at the odds (11/2 vs 4/5 for Novak; Rafa is a very good bet at 4, that’s too high).

Both Rafa and Kei pressured Novak big time, they moved him around. On the other hand Andy was passive both in Madrid and Rome, mainly waiting for Novak’s UEs. He won one, lost one so he might be happy but he needs a coach. I don’t think Andy worries Novak that much for RG, he’s a future obstacle for Wimbledon and USO. Rafa on the other hand played very good in Rome, that one was close. Novak will need his A game to beat him in Paris.


J-Kath Says:

No problem Vami.
Especially when you judge Andy to have been passive in Rome. LOL


Margot Says:

@Kath
Well, thank goodness I had Jason G and Robbie K as my commentators in Rome, constantly praising Andy’s courage and his aggressive play. Otherwise, why dearie me, I might have an entirely different impression of the match from Vami’s comment.
Or I might not.


Margot Says:

13/17 net points won. As Robbie K said, “outstanding.”


danica Says:

J-Kath,
No, the draw never follows the formula No. 1, 3, 5, 7, and No. 2, 4, 6, 8. The only sure thing is that you will have No.1 and No.2 in opposite halves. You can have No.1 and No.4 in one semi, while No.2 and No.3 battle in the other.


J-Kath Says:

Danica

I think I live in Happy-Land – sometimes – trying to make the top guys in each quarter the actual top guys as per their ranking. Pointless for me to say that’s what it should be – I guess I’ve seen it didn’t strictly happen that way in the past.

Yep Margot…thank goodness U were lucky….or maybe you weren’t.


BBB Says:

Margot, I also thought Andy played very good tennis.


lakie Says:

There is no doubt that Andy played outstanding tennis. His level was miles above Djokovic’s. However whether Andy can continue to play like that at RG is the question. But my money is on Andy to win the whole thing if he gets a decent draw.


calmdownplease Says:

‘I don’t think Andy worries Novak that much for RG’

Really?
So who is this ‘Vami’ then?
Poor little guy!
Muzz was key to Novak losing last year’s FO pet!
Don’t remember? Then Youtube is your friend!
Andy will be on another level this time if he progresses to the latter stages, a breakthrough is afoot!
kind of happening already really.
Novak is nearly 29, same age as Muzz BUT with 128 matches more on the tour under his belt.
More effort, much more success, deeper runs and deeper draws from the well & no surgery breaks to boot.
He’s a somewhat older (nearly) 29 than Andy’s 29 as a result, a victim of his own success a little.
Burning brightly at both ends!
But it’s no biggie, being amazingly dominant all the time is a rather tough one so let’s not
be silly and talk about declines just yet..
(Nadal’s 29 is for the record positively ANCIENT, however).


BBB Says:

CDP, I am not sure Novak is an old 29 compared to Andy. Andy carries much more weight around.


calmdownplease Says:

Being a bit heavier doesn’t mean he is caught up with 128 matches, does it?!

Not to anyone with a logical mind that is

Andy is for the record only 83 kilos for gawd sakes!

Hardly Jabba the Hutt!


Margot Says:

Lol fell about at “Jabba The Hutt!”
A few more facts about Andy late blossoming, if I can call it that CDP ;)
1) turned pro 2 years after Nole
2) has had much more time out from injury than Nole and Fed. Not only back op., but also horrible wrist injury years ago. Must almost total a year I guess.
3)At 6’3″ he’s taller than most in top 10, so will weigh more, but not as much as most. Only Raonic and Berd taller, I think.


BBB Says:

Oh geez CDP. Why did I even bother.

I suspect there is no mathematical formula that compares the wear and tear of being a bigger person, with the wear and tear of extra matches. And anyway, longevity varies from one person to the next.

Top story: Halep, Wozniacki Lead Loaded Wuhan Field; Kerber v Keys, Svitolina v Sabalenka Tues.