A lot people didn’t think that Murray would be able to give Novak such a tough time. I thought the match would be over in straight sets for Djokovic albeit very tight ones. Last year’s Aussie Open final comes to mind where Djokovic easily brushed Murray aside who is still waiting for that elusive first Grand Slam singles title. The Murray camp will be heartfelt that they lost such a closely contested match but Murray should take confidence in the fact that he gave the world No. 1 a run for his money and went toe to toe giving him the toughest challenge of his life.
Djokovic took the first set with rather ease breaking the Murray serve a couple of times. The real turning point of the match was the second set which changed the momentum firmly in the favour of Murray who then took control of the tie when he claimed the third set. Novak hit an uncharacteristic 21 unforced errors in the third set which is three more than his total unforced errors tally for the last two sets. Djokovic looked fatigued and without answer to Murray’s relentless ground strokes.
Novak knew that he had to up his game in the final two sets if he were to make a game out of it and that is exactly what he did. Djokovic took the fourth set 6-1 surprising us all and took the heat into the deciding set. Murray let four break point opportunities slip as he converted only once and was broken twice by Novak. The match was delicately poised at five games all when Novak took his serve to tilt the game in his favour. Murray was serving at 5-6, 40-15 when it all changed and Djokovic took the game from there and broke the Murray serve to take home the match and earn himself a place in the final.
Murray should be able to rally himself back together and gear up for the French Open. It is a good start to the year for Murray and he must build on it and try to win his first Grand Slam. Its been quite a while but I can see him inch closer and closer to it.
As for the Serbian, it will be interesting to see if Djokovic can reel back from this grueling match that spanned a little under 5 hours and get his game going in the final because whatever happens, we know that Rafael Nadal is going to cover every inch of the court and he is going to make Djokovic do the same time and time again. Has Novak got the physical energy in him to lock himself with the Spanish horns, we’ll have to wait and see.