Novak Djokovic Begins 2017 With A Shaky Win In Doha; Andy Murray In Action Tuesday
by Staff | January 2nd, 2017, 3:50 pm

Novak Djokovic began his 2017 season much like he finished 2016, starting slow. Opening his Doha title defense, Djokovic found himself promptly down 2-5 to German Jan-Lennard Struff before recovering for a 7-6(1), 6-3.

“It’s first match of the year. You never know how you’re going to start,” said Djokovic. “As well as you have trained in the preparation period and the days prior to the tournament, really is different when it’s competitive play, when you start the official match and the crowd is there.

“It changes things mentally. I was a bit flat on my feet… But I stayed composed because I knew, I believed that I could find the rhythm, start reading his serve better, and that’s what happened. Certainly I can play better, but it’s first match of the year. I know that I can’t be at my top the very first match, but I believe that the process is right.”

Djokovic is out to chase down Andy Murray who was in doubles action. The Scot, though, fell flat with partner Mariusz Fyrstenberg losing to David Marrero and Nenad Zimonjic 6-2, 6-4.

Murray opens singles play tomorrow against Jeremy Chardy. Murray won Doha in 2009 beating Andy Roddick and 2008 when he defeated Stan Wawrinka.

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19 Comments for Novak Djokovic Begins 2017 With A Shaky Win In Doha; Andy Murray In Action Tuesday

Danica Says:

From 1:5 to 6:5. Nice.

Margot Says:

Don’t think this start was “shaky.” Nole thought he was still in bed for a bit, is all. Once he woke up he was fine.
RIP John Berger. Recommended CF1 read “Ways of Seeing” as it might change his way of looking at the world.Not holding my breath as to whether he has tho.

madmax Says:

Novak, so gracious. Always starts with wishing everyone the best. Love his graciousness and humility. Hope he gets back to his original best and we get some great matches to come.

Jim Courier really does ask some stupid questions. He is the one who needs to step it up!

‘I write only about present, not about future’. This was the best answer that Novak could give! Outsmarted Courier within seconds!

jane Says:

RIP John Berger indeed.

nole dug himself out of a big hole today.

saw some cute pics of andy and rafa holding koalas ..

Willow Says:

I Saw the pictures of Rafa and Andy, with the little Koalas, which were really cute, im sure its just early season rust with Novak, first game of the year a bit up and down, im sure he will be better next round ….

Willow Says:

Looking forward to reading more of MMTs blog this year ;-) ….

J-Kath Says:

Well done Andy. Go forth and conquer. Ahem, aheem.

J-Kath Says:

Well, well done Andy – Go forth and multiply!

Margot Says:

Murray in a hurry today. Thank goodness whoever nicked his serve, kindly gave it back today. Even his 2nd serve was rocking. The utterly gorgeous looking JC had a ridiculous ball toss too. Was in all sorts of trouble in the first set. It was quite droll seeing the ball disappear somewhere behind his right shoulder. Do you get more power with a high ball toss? Anyone know, if not why would you?
Also saw JWT being brilliant and idiotic in equal measure…as per usual. Think he’s got a bit porky tho and deffo needs to buy a nice new pair of shorts. Remember folk, if you’ve scoffed too many mince pies, baggy is better.

skeezer Says:

“…his 2nd serve was rocking.”
Now THAT is something! Sorry i missed that. Would like to know who has been working on his serve…if he keeps that going, his 2017 is going to be a strong one.

RZ Says:

Nice win for Andy, as Chardy can be a tough opponent.

Margot – last year at Indian Wells I followed the gorgeous JC around the grounds for about 5 minutes. My friend saw him walk by and pointed him out as one of the French players but neither of us could come up with his name at that moment. So we casually followed him into a sunglasses booth and tried on sunglasses while trying to grab a sneak peek at his name tag. On the 3rd pair of sunglasses it was successful! (The brief stalking encounter ended at that point since we had no intention of really stalking him).

Margot Says:

Skeeze: he got 2 aces on 2nd serve…pass the smelling salts quickly. He’s been working and working on that 2nd serve and winning % has gone from 52% in 2015 to 54% or 55% according to which reference you read, in 2016. A small but significant improvement.

jalep Says:

Geez RZ…I would have liked to be there with you stalking JC.

skeezer Says:

Thanks for that. I watched some of him at WTF last year and noticed he was getting some “action” on his second serves, so opponents couldn’t line it up for return winners or take immediate control of the point like in the past. Was hoping it wan’t an anomaly ;)

skeezer Says:

^BTW…smelling salts :)

Daniel Says:

One thing is making a 5-2, 5-3 against this guys, another thing is getting the set close. Specially against Djoko, who always have a chance to come back in any match he plays with the best return ever. Once he plays 3-4 games, it kinds of come back with the motions.

Draw in Doha seems less stellar this year than in the past. Can’t see anyone smiling the Djoko x Murray final showdown to start the year with a bang. Maybe Verdasco or Karlovic for Djoko, and Berdych or Tsonga against Murray. Best of 3 they have a shot, but a long one.

Chrisford1 Says:

Margot, from the same time period, I recommend Kenneth Clarke’s “Civilization”. That was an awesome series. Then Sagan’s Cosmos, 7-8 years later.
Bergers stuff was also presented but later at college in the 80s. I saw a few episodes. Marxist critique delivered in a knowing Oxford Don tone. Berger talks again and again about demystification, but what he really does is just layer up the art and culture in new mystifications of the dialectic in vogue in the 60s, feminism, etc. Propaganda riding in the mask of “exposing” most art history analysis of the past as propaganda.
I found little of what he was talking about absent in East Asian art. And I have seen plenty of blatant propaganda and “objectification” of women in Hindu, African art…and Soviet Social Realist art ..propaganda and female objectification, to be sure.It’s the human condition. Art, like law, medicine, ocean going vessels – is just the product of their best efforts at the time. His Marxist interpretations of paintings can be extremely tedious and spurns artwork (or poetry) for its beauty or value as a cultural artifact.
However, I few years back someone I know strongly recoomended a non-political tract he did on why oil painting is an unusually expressive media and how stroke, technique, texture can separate the great from the good..I may look that up sometime.
Commmenters in the US and lots of Europe, got the roots o Trump and Brexit totally wrong. It was not about the 5,000 year old Earth crowd and “oppression” – it was rage against globalism and the elites. Liberal activists demanding control of every aspect of a person’s life. Scratch a Bernie Sanders supporter, you find they have the same preference for nationalism vs. globalism, rule by the people vs. Elites in DC (or Brussels for that matter). Trump’s not going to work to end abortion or demand each household get a nice high power pistol to shoot “oppressed people” with. Bernie said on the other side he would try to make a non-elitist social progressive America with liberties maximized, not cut year after year by a Fed Government exploding is size and power.

skeezer Says:

“Do you get more power with a high ball toss? Anyone know, if not why would you?”
Can you? Sure. But not neccessary in every case. Usually you want to toss the ball slightly above your furthest reach, to give you the best wind up you can then smack it as it comes down to the peak of your reach( you need to cock the gun, then…fire! ), . However, some(like Dolgo ) hit it on the way up(as they say), effectively. Go figure.

Margot Says:

RZ: I’ve always thought JC was absolutely gorgeous. Can see him as James Bond. Never seen him “in the flesh” ….Just as well…;)
Skeeze: I was at Queens one year and started to really pay close attention to the ball toss/service action, fascinating stuff, from Dolgo, whom you mention, who tosses the ball low but really gets some twisty smack on that serve, to Berd whose serve was in the clouds. And Chardy with this difficult to control ball toss and massive swing sure gets a lot of power but so much risk.
CF!: I’m familiar with Clarke. I’m not going to go after you with the rest, as we will never agree and there’s no point.
But yes, the vote for Trump and Brexit can be explained by your analysis.

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