Novak Djokovic: Beating Murray To Win Doha Is The Best Scenario I Could Have Asked For
by Tom Gainey | January 7th, 2017, 4:55 pm
  • 68 Comments

Novak Djokovic is all smiles today after collecting his first title since Canada in beating rival Andy Murray 63, 57, 64 to win his second straight Doha title.

“Best scenario I could ask for for beginning of the season,” Djokvoic said. “Playing all five matches in this tournament and then three hours against No. 1 of the world, biggest rival, and winning in a thrilling marathon match is something that definitely can serve as a positive incentive for what’s coming up in Australia.

“He’s such a great defender and he is fighting so much and always gets the ball back. All the way to the last shot I didn’t know if I won the match. It was really, really thrilling performance from both of us. Just a great way to start the year.”

Djokovic, however, blew three match points while serving for the title at 5-4 in the second.

“Obviously I’ve wanted and wished to finish the match earlier,” he said. “Even the two sets that we played went almost two hours. Very physical battle, as it always is. Kind of dragged each other all the way to our limits.

“It’s only the beginning of the season, so we had a little laugh at the net actually about it. We both felt like if every match we’re going to play against each other is going to be this way this season, we’re going to have a fun time.”

Djokovic also avenges a loss to Murray in their last meeting in the title match of the ATP Finals. He now leads 25-11 over the Scot.

“Playing against Andy somehow it feels like playing the mirror image of you because we have very similar styles of the game,” he said. “He has a bigger serve and we have certain elements maybe in the game that one has better than the other. Generally looking, where are both baseline players. We both hit the ball quite flat. Maybe I play with more spin from the forehand.”

The title was Djokovic’s 67th of his career. He’ll go in as a No. 2 seed at the Australian Open. If he wins his seventh title there, he could also return to No. 1 if Murray doesn’t make the semifinals.


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68 Comments for Novak Djokovic: Beating Murray To Win Doha Is The Best Scenario I Could Have Asked For

Willow Says:

Dont know which thread to put this on, but it was nice seeing Xisca court side cheering on Rafa ….


AndyMira Says:

Congrats Nole,i knew you’re still capable of winning!Good luck for AO okay?

And BIG congrats to all nole fans especially jalep,Dani,jane,CF1 and others…


jane Says:

thanks AM! :)


AndyMira Says:

He he…No problem jane!It’s good to taste a win again after all the losses,right?Enjoy it jane!VAMOS!!!


Humble Rafa Says:

Thank you for the kind words about Xisca. She is indeed a doll.


J-Kath Says:

Such a pity the earlier thread which was much more comprehensive has vanished when a lot of fair-minded posters made comments. Feels odd to try to repeat. So I hope Nole and Andy’s fans saw it before it vanished.


Travis Bickle Says:

Great match between the top 2 players today!

Novak was dominating the first set and served for the match 30:0 up in second and could have won it but failed on three match points. Then Sir Murray came from all the way back and took the match in the third and deciding set. Then Novak won the third set and the match, so in essence he won twice today…

I am noting a conspicuous absence of Federer fan regulars on this forum (cat lover & co). Whenever Novak loses they are here to ‘congratulate’ the winner whoever he is, but after wins like today (or after FO last year) they are silent ;-)

That brings me to the elite players H2H update as of today:
Djokovic – Murray: 25 – 11
Djokovic – Nadal: 26 – 23
Djokovic – Federer: 24 – 22 (I count Fed’s wimpy quitting in the 2013 WTF final as a loss)
Nadal – Federer: 23 – 11
Nadal – Murray: 17 – 7
Federer – Murray: 14 – 11

Seeing these numbers, few things jump out:
1. Djoker has supperior H2H against all his elite contemporaries – IMPRESSIVE!
2. Djoker has nice rivalries going with Fed and Rafa and leads both of them
3. Djoker against Murray, Rafa against Murray, and Rafa against Fed are not rivalries, they are dominations with more than double H2H ratios!

All this implies a philosophical question:
How anyone could consider Federer greatest of all time, when he was DOMINATED by his contemporary (Nadal) and also had losing H2H against another contemporary (Djokovic)?!?
I acknowledge that GS titles and weeks at #1 are great achievements, despite lack of Grand Slam (4 majors in a row), but philosophically speaking, it is hard to think of someone being the greatest of all when history will remember him as the guy with losing record against Djokovic and even worse than losing record (utter domination) against Nadal. It is going to be a hard argument to win 10 or so years from now, seriously!
The only guy with a realistic chance to be considered the undisputed greatest is The Djoker. With the dominant H2H against ALL of his main rivals, achieved Grand Slam, and few more GS titles and weeks at #1 in next couple of years, he is the only possible candidate for the true greatness, encompassing all achievements categories including H2H records…

Above analysis was based on some numbers/facts. Of course, my subjective opinion on the GOAT is heavily influenced by non-numeric categories such as Class, Leadership and Spousal Weight – and that’s why Roger will always be my GOAT…


Daniel Says:

Djoko now is 2 titles shy of tying Nadal at 69 and 10 from McEnroe 77, than Federer’s 88


rognadfan Says:

I didn’t get a chance to watch the entire match but surely it was a great game. So congrats to Djoker for a winning start of the season. If anyone didn’t see this coming,he/she must be dillusional. That said, it was a very close match, so murray doesn’t need to be too disappointed. He had a great run.

One thing, I noticed when I tuned in to the match in the third set, I saw Nole kind of limping and and showing a si


rognadfan Says:

TB,
I don’t see why to bark and complain why roger is more famous than your guy, everytime you sit down to write anything on t-x. We get it, you are ectatic but I don’t understand why u fail to just enjoy as a fan that the player you like and support won, even when he achieves something remarkable.


Truth Says:

Because weak era clowns like Roddick continue to say they’re bored that the French Open faves (murray and Nole) didn’t include Federina.
I and many others like to pound it into Roddick’s head that he is a nobody compared to Nole!


Chrisford1 Says:

Djokovic: “We both felt like if every match we’re going to play against each other is going to be this way this season, we’re going to have a fun time.”

==========
I like that! Novak and Andy seeing a season-long tough rivalry as bringing joy to themselves. That’s the spirit that moves many champions. Which helps create champions.


theDA Says:

Great match by two great champions. This was one of the better matches. People like to whine about Nolandy matches but occasionally you get top notch contests like this (Rome, Shanghai,Toronto, etc). It was so close. I think both fanbases have much to be optimistic about for the coming season. Hopefully we’ll see the return of those fans who’ve been in exile ,P

Roll on 2017.


Margot Says:

@the DA
Me too looking forward to 2017 with not quite as much trepidation as I was AFTER set 1….;)


Danica Says:

Willow,
Thank you for Christmas wishes on another thread ;)

Here is something nice for you:

https://www.brainpickings.org/?s=the+secret+lives+of+trees


J.S. Says:

Rafa’s Girlfriend…She is adorable and 1st time in Australia, I think??

Great match, Djokovic played lights out compared to his other matches in Doha. Was rooting for Murray and it was very close….FAB TENNIS!

Glad to see Djokovic get a violation for racket smashing and hitting ball in stands – Asshat! Post interview he says “it was an accident” okie dokie!! I think his chamber and hugs will come in handy before AO.


Danica Says:

Speaking of violations and unseemly conduct on the court, and since MMT and I had a discussion a few weeks ago, I wonder if he saw what Bencic did during her match with Mladenovic at Hopman Cup.
(She lost a set (I believe) and threw her racquet from the middle of the court towards her chair but almost hit the ball kid who at the same moment started to run to pick up a ball. It may all be fun and games and an exho, but it was not cute from her for sure. My point being: had this been Novak, we wouldn’t hear the end of it. There’re no interviews where she was asked about that, nor any video.)


J-Kath Says:

I’m not disputing Travis’s comparisons above, but I believe we are in another stage of competitiveness between Nole and Andy and I don’t believe there will be domination by one over the other as we go forward.

So the Aussie GS? If they both reach the final – Andy will take it.


Margot Says:

@JS
Yes, I too was thinking Nole needed hugs from Huggy Bear at times during that match…….;)


Margot Says:

@Kath
So Andy is keeping his powder dry, you reckon? Good thinking BatWoman
@TB
Ahem, ahem, wasn’t your good self strangely absent after Andy’s win against Nole at the WTF?
Just saying….as Skeeze would say…..


Giles Says:

Lol. One win for joker and all his fans come crawling out of the woodwork. Pathetic really! 👎


Travis Bickle Says:

@Margot
What are you talking about? Me being absent after Murray’s win over Novak? You are either senile or intentionally mean… or you are losing it because Djoker’s loss of interest in tennis last year got your (and British journalists’) hopes so high and now when it’s back to normal it is hard to take it. Tsk, tsk, tsk…
That’s not me dear Margot. Never. I as not absent after Sir Murray win against Novak at the WTF.
Here is the proof:
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2016-11-19/24697.php#comments

Look at my comment on November 20th, 3:32 pm

PS
No need to apologize…


Margot Says:

It’s a fair cop TB and I will apologise. And only the first of none of those reasons MIGHT be true.
Nor are my hopes for Andy in any way influenced by the British media which is mostly c**p. Nor am I in the least downhearted, annoyed with Andy, yes but that’s TBE isn’t it?
Love Pollyanna.


BBB Says:

Margot you’re so cute! It’s actually “just sayin’ ” – no g. You will be an expert in North American slang in short order :)

I find it curious that Nole is less composed on court than he was before Pepe became a more prominent figure in his group.


Margot Says:

Lol BBB all language tips gratefully received :)
I like your posts v much BTW…just sayin’…..;)
But, but, but my English spellchecker hates that, just saying!


BBB Says:

You know the colonies have been destroying the mother tongue for centuries now LOL


Margot Says:

Glad you said that BBB, rather than me! Imagine the outrage…..
Actually I love the polyglot nature of language and the way it evolves organically.
However, I am an active member of the “grammar police” so watch it…..;)


J-Kath Says:

Well Margot and BBB: Language.

“Please, can you knock me up in the morning.” Now well-known by American males (mostly due to trans-atlantic airlines). etc. etc.

And “Loo” – used by certain lower class Brits. like myself – I claim it falls under “evolved organically”.!!!

Keep up the good work gals – great to see good humour and light-hearted exchanges – and relevant as it all came out of tennis-talk.


BBB Says:

J-Kath, it seems to me that if Andy and Nole can get along, tennis fans should be able to do the same? I know I know, dream on…..


J.S. Says:

You guys have had fun today….
Can I chime in on Huggy helping Djok? Seems they need to extend the hugging to an hour instead of 45 minutes, shoot me! I want to like Djokovic just wish the cameras wouldn’t show him between points or at exchanges and mostly after wins. Who ever told him to do his four corner curtsey to crowd should be fired
Just saying!!!!!
Time for some AO and hoping Rafa goes out blazing!
Always LOVING me some Rafa Nadal and his class on/off court!
Team Murray too and hope to see him win next battle against Joker.


Truth Says:

Good point. He wore his practice shirt and played marginally better.
How many cameramen do they need?
The guru is brainwashing and scrubbing his personality away!
If he wasted more energy on practicing his girly serve and overhead smash instead of bowing down and flailing his dainty arms, nole could actually gain sympathy when he loses!
The stupid media and players (and ex-players) can concentrate on tennis and stop whining about Fed and his poor “misfortune”.


RZ Says:

@BBB – Fed and Rafa get along too but many of their fans don’t (at least on social media)


BBB Says:

Yes RZ. I think Rafa gets along with just about everyone, except Rosol, whom everyone hates.

I’m not at all convinced the guru is having that much influence over Djokovic, who is if anything LESS zen than he was 8 months ago. Nole is a complicated guy, and that’s rarely a plus for an athlete. See: Marat Safin. But, the complexity is why I like him.

J-Kath, I’ve got to write a paper as part of the final stages of a job application process. I am a horrible proofreader of my own work. I should send it to you LOL!


Willow Says:

Danica @4.14 am your welcome and many thanks for the link, people will probably see me as barking mad, not that i care though, im happy and thats all that counts, i will give you a link in return, your favorite sitcom i believe ENJOY https://youtu.be/9aOOvmgzFoc


Truth Says:

Some rabid nasty Fed fans don’t get along with most fan groups.
That’s why they still look arrogant in 2017.
Nadal fans are still bitter that Novak beat Nadal & Nadal had injuries.

Why should nadal and nole worry about losing too much to each other? They are smart, still friends and massive millionaires and they beat Fed over and over.
Fed and his particularly rabid, evil fans represent some of the most arrogant people in the last century. They don’t like anyone that has Slam domination and breaks down the fantasy that Fed’s the most wonderful, most sportsmanlike and prettiest player.
They don’t want much difference in opinions and you can see that in the other tennis websites.

Unlike the abusive showboaters of 15 years ago, no player pretends to be Fed’s dear friend, when they barely know him, to make themself look like a great player.


J.S. Says:

Here is another one on “Naughty Nick” making a point….please look at responses, lol

https://twitter.com/NickKyrgios/status/817965970316632064


J.S. Says:

I disagree about Rafa and injuries or mad about Djok beating him. Don’t like watching Djok unless he is between the lines!
MY OPINION!!!


Van Persie Says:

Naughty Nick is suffering from persecutory delusions. He may continue to convince himself, that what he did last year was ok and he will have a good year 2017.


J.S. Says:

FYI
Not sure Nishikori will play the Fast4Tennis thing tomorrow in Sydney if he is hurt…
Nishikori saying “its not a big deal” and will be okay for AO
But, not sure who is replacing him tomorrow in Sydney for Fast4Tennis!

Nadal is set to play NN (Naughty Nick) – hmmmm


Truth Says:

Nick’s in love with Fed and himself. He’s also the police and judge.

Fed does nothing disgraceful because the media says Fed is a hero for god worshippers. Nick believes anything said by commentators.
Nole’s vicious and Nick’s always a misunderstood victim.

Nole has a weakness for trying to look like a common everyday, crazy, very flawed person, especially when he’s bored or out of control on court.
It just makes him sycophantic with an emotional intelligence of cement.
Nick foolishly believes Nole’s a calculating, cold conceited diva. Nick poo poo.


jane Says:

if NK is treated unfairly or more harshly, or if nole is given more leeway, then surely the same applies to most top players, on both tours. there are myriad instances where other players get angry and smack a ball, kick a ball, smash or toss a racquet, swear, etc. (and as danica points out, novak never escapes being blasted in the press after any kind of incident – he shares that with NK in fact, much scrutiny). on another note, since novak’s team is being brought up too, i got the impression he was frustrated with them being impassive: kind of surprised he hired vemic back, tbh?


J-Kath Says:

@ Truth

Not sure what you are saying or who you are really supporting – but who cares – not me – I just fell in love (or rather envy) with:

“It just makes him sycophantic with an emotional intelligence of cement”.

You should copyright it – and in case you think I’m taking “the mickey” I’m not….it’s almost as good as one of Margot’s.


Willow Says:

J-Kath thank goodness, its lost on me too, thought i was the only one ;-) ….


J-Kath Says:

Willow: Atta girl!


jane Says:

yep “emotional intelligence of cement” is a nice turn of phrase, ha ha. i’ve heard the saying, so-and-so is “dumber than a bag of hammers” which has some similarity.


J.S. Says:

Okay so this is my last share….
NN posted this after his last tweet about being banned if he did what Novak did.
Nicholas Kyrgios ‏@NickKyrgios 7h7 hours ago
“Baby fed is back”

I am SO confused, is he calling himself Baby Federer….this guy needs to hire a media person if he isn’t hiring a coach, put some $ towards social media help, The Shovel must be getting heavy.
Win some damn tournaments and quit being an entitled brat –

Ugh! So very sad since he has more talent in little finger but throwing it away!


J-Kath Says:

Jane: And yours a “sledge-hammer one too” – one I hadn’t heard. I won’t sleep tonight trying to think of one for myself…..may take a year, the muddled head I have at the moment.

@ Margot: Eurosport Player has a 12 month special tennis offer for 12 months at a cost of £19.99. Not sure if that is on TV or on Computer…..do you know anything about it?


J-Kath Says:

J.S.

Whatever you do, don’t make it your “last share”. After Nick has his next brain scan indubitably (luv that word) we shall learn more…


Margot Says:

JS:
Isn’t he talking about Gorgeous Grig, who had just won a tournament?
Kath:
I’ve no idea whether “Truth’s” comments are deeply ironic or deeply held.
Yep, I’ve taken Eurosport offer up. Seemed a very good deal to me as I am hacked off with tennistv.
BBB:
See how good I’m getting at colonial slang….;)


Margot Says:

PS
JS:
Nick is 13 in ATP. Not bad for someone who apparently “doesn’t care.”
Kath:
Sorry didn’t really answer you Q. have it on my PC. Not sure re TV but you can get a HDMI cable and connect laptop to TV if you want.


J.S. Says:

The $19.99 Eurosport didn’t work for me, I think it’s a UK special? Mine was $59.99 for the year.

YES YES MY BAD….Nick is referring to Dimitrov, SORRY!!!


J-Kath Says:

Thanks Margot: Just having recovered from about 9 hours on phone with my webmail provider – anything newish right (such as HDMI cable would fry my brain). Will go your route.


Truth Says:

Like Roddick, Nick admits to being obsessed with Fed.
They regard him as the perfect manly man.
Obviously, Roddick was a useless predictable player and he got away with being classless because he faked a rivalry with Fed in the US. The world had to revolve around Fed.
Of course, when it was convenient, Nick & Roddick played cute & innocent, as they weren’t “bad” like the clown of all clowns, Nole!


BBB Says:

Margot, LOL. The motherland has some lovely slang as well. I am partial to “dodgy” and “whinging.”


Chrisford1 Says:

Jane – “kind of surprised he hired vemic back, tbh?”

I believe Vemic learned his lesson about sitting like a statue when a high stakes US Open is being played gainst Nole’s then greatest rival at the time and Nole’s strategy was being unraveled by Rafa.
I think dumping Vemic and then going on an undefeated tear for the rest of 2013 was a positive in having Djokovic prove to himself that he was master of his own destiny. Sometimes, even friends in his retinue must be changed out for professional advancement.
But he always liked Vemic and now and then had Vemic back for a tournament or two before being rehired full time.


Wog Boy Says:

I didn’t (don’t) like Vemic, but even Vemic is better than guru, who will be traveling with Nole second half of the year:(
Vemic is sort of Nole’s mentor, whrn Nole was a kid they trained in the same club in Belgrade and Vemic was good to youngster named Novak and always had time for him to help him improve his game, Nole didn’t forget that.


jane Says:

okay, well maybe vemic will be okay. he’s just so non-emotive, which is very unlike BB was. and i think novak likes to get encouragement from his box.


Truth Says:

He expected to have a better final but he was always “pressing the crazy mode” and not relaxing.
The guru made him crazy. Not positive at all.

He believed he was awful so he played worse.
Yeah, Murray’s a dangerous fighter, but he risked losing the match by damaging a racket and getting a point penalty.
Who was he trying to show the “fight for survival” to?
Risk losing and look good?!
Just because it was 3 hours didn’t mean it was fabulous.

He quickly tanked the 2nd set then smiled like he couldn’t believe he broke a murray serve. He almost coughed up the last game and possibly losing a tiebreak.
I don’t understand why he and some viewers see it as “a really long great show” or “better final”.
That was one of his 10 worst finals, despite the win.
A possible good short win turned quickly into a ragged, clawing 3 setter..


BBB Says:

Truth, I thought he ripped some great winners during the match. He had lapsed into pushing the ball in big matches, and there were good stretches yesterday where he didn’t do that. He has had trouble closing out matches for many years now, and that’s what he did in the second set. So I don’t see that as anything new.

I have to agree that if Pepe is some kind of peaceful dude, he’s having the opposite effect on Nole’s on-court demeanor.


jane Says:

BBB, i agree. novak showed some beautiful winners/confidence/offense in yday’s match. his depth of shot was back, he came to net a lot (2xs as much as andy; same as in FO final), and he was fast. he also made 13 djokosmash winners-who knew?! ha ha. andy cleverly tried to exploit the djokosmash but for once novak was nailing them ;) but there are still issues: he lacks power, he gets overly emotional at times, his footwork was sketchy at times, and he has issues, still, closing out matches when he has the opportunity to serve them out. his opponents know this too. this only, or mostly, seems to be in big matches, though. anyhow, i thought the match was mostly great!


BBB Says:

jane, his overhead was way better yesterday. He blew one toward the end, but he finally hit most others conviningly.


FedExpress Says:

Thank you Verdasco. You woke up the monster again after squandering 5 MPs. Nole needed this one match to get his confidence back to turn his form around.

Cilic and Agut did a good job at the end of the season to not let him back into the match after missing chances. Nole could have got his form back then.

Think Nole will dominate Murray and the season from now on. Favourite to win the AO.


RZ Says:

@FedExpress – Djokovic’s semi win against Verdasco in Doha is going to prove to be the most important match of 2017 on the men’s side. Turning point in Djokovic’s comeback (though as I’ve said before, he hadn’t gone too far)


Danica Says:

Jane,

Novak said je hired Vemic as he brings calmness to the team. He also stated he considers him almost part of his family. At the time Novak was growing up to be who he is today, Vemic was the best player Serbia had and always ready and willing to help younger guys. One needs to remember that after being in Nole’s team until 2013 he went on to work with Andrea Petkovic. At the time, she reached #9. He was also hired by Brian bros to be their main coach for the second part of the 2016 season. So, maybe there is something we don’t know much about his coaching prowess? Maybe he is a great strategist?


Danica Says:

Truth,

I don’t think this final in Doha was bad and boring. Granted, I am not an expert, but I thought the points were played with high speed and strength, there were some great gets on both sides, not to mention angles that they hit. As I watch these other tournaments now being played, these other guys fighting, I cannot but think how much above them Andy and Novak are. I am watching and thinking: “Oh, Nole would definitely get that”… Yes, these are played in different conditions, during the day and in heat, but still.

This was maybe not the highest quality of their rivalry, but it was still an epic match where the winner was not known until the end.


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