• Djokovic, Murray meet in Australian Open final

    1/25/13 10:00 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic, Murray meet in Australian Open final Novak Djokovic is bidding for his fourth career Melbourne title--all in the last six years--on Sunday. Standing in his way of the trophy is familiar foe and 2011 final opponent Andy Murray.

    Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will be squaring off for the 18th time in their careers when they collide in the Australian Open title match on Sunday night.

    They have faced each other on three previous occasions at Grand Slams, including twice at the Australian Open and once in the Australian Open final. Djokovic dominated the 2011 title match 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 and he survived an epic semifinal last season by a 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-1, 7-5 decision. Murray answered with a 7-6(10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 triumph to win the U.S. Open.

    Overall, Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 10-7--including 8-6 on hard courts. The tide swung back in his favor last fall when the Serb prevailed over Murray in Shanghai and at the World Tour Finals.

    Djokovic and Murray were unquestionably 2012's two best players post-Wimbledon (where Roger Federer beat Murray for the championship) and the trend has continued Down Under. The world No. 1 has been especially impressive. He has dropped only three sets this fortnight, two at the hands of an on-fire Stanislas Wawrinka in a memorable fourth-round showdown. Djokovic also dismissed Paul-Henri Mathieu, Ryan Harrison, Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych (in four), and David Ferrer (6-2, 6-2, 6-1).

    Both men have benefited from favorable draws, especially Murray in the early rounds. The third-ranked Scot rolled over Robin Haase, Joao Sousa, Ricardas Berankis, Gilles Simon, and Jeremy Chardy en route to the semifinals. In a Friday night showdown, Murray outlasted Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2.

    "The task isn't any easier," Murray said afterward, referring to Djokovic. "This has been his best court for sure. So I'm aware of how tough it will be to win the match.... Just try your best to be in the best possible condition for Sunday. Realistically, you're probably not going to feel perfect because of how the match went tonight, but it's not to say you can't recover well enough to play your best tennis."

    Melbourne's No. 3 seed needed exactly four hours to get past Federer, whereas Djokovic decimated Ferrer in a mere one hour and 29 minutes. That won't help Murray, but by no means does it seal a losing fate. We have seen the top four players in the world make far more impressive recoveries, many of which have come at the Australian Open.

    Based mostly on Djokovic's dominant form, look for the defending champ to get the job done in four competitive sets.

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My heart says Andy for the upset and 2nd GS.

But logic says Djokovic in 3 or 4 sets.

Emiliano55 , 1/26/13 12:25 AM

Yes, nole has to be the favourite, but I remain quietly confident for muzz to tkae it in 3 or 4. If it goes to 5, I'm not to hopeful.
Needless to say, 4 our of 4 on that other site are going unequivocably for nole. But then, all but one of them went for roger over muzz while nearly everyone on here predicted myzz ... Just shows what they know.

alex , 1/26/13 1:26 AM

Djokovic will be AO champion

and RG champion

tennisnba , 1/26/13 1:38 AM

^^^ RG champion? Do you have a voodoo doll of raf or something?

alex , 1/26/13 1:41 AM

I wish the two of them play doubles a bit more just like on that photo :)). I like seeing them together. Nole pairing with Rafa was also cool. Anyway, where were we? Ah, predictions. I kept playing safe and saying it's a toss up, something like 50/50. I still think they are matched up evenly and little things will make a difference. I hope Nole plays unbelievable and wins his 6th Slam. Go Noleee!! :)))

danica , 1/26/13 2:12 AM

murray in 4 or 5 sets he is playing better than ever, both are in their peak form, i think the match may go to its 5th hour.

chenna21 , 1/26/13 9:11 AM

Djokovic will be [AO champion
and] RG champion
tennisnba , 1/26/13 1:38 AM

I think you've been predicting this over the last 5 years!

nadline , 1/26/13 9:53 AM

Logic says Djokovic should win after Murray played a 5 setter in the Semifinal but My 6th sense is telling me Murray is going to win so Murray in 4 sets is my pick.

tennis2011 , 1/26/13 1:12 PM

It would be great if Muzza could win. After having been bashed for years as not quite belonging to the elite group of Rafa, Nole and Roger, it would be some consolation if he could do what none in that illustrious group have done: win the next slam after winning the first one. We could also then hope that he would end the year at no. 1.

holdserve , 1/26/13 4:09 PM

Murray in 4 or 5 as per me. And I want Muzz to take this because it will balance the top 4 .

However an important point to note - If Nole does not win tomm, he will be a world No 1 not to win the past 4 slams, ever happ before?

sanju , 1/26/13 4:40 PM

Djokovic in 5.

tj600 , 1/26/13 4:54 PM

Murray in 4 or 5 as per me. And I want Muzz to take this because it will balance the top 4 .
sanju, 1/26/13 4:40 PM

Agree on that. If Muzz get his 2nd slam it would defenitely put him into the top4 elite for once. Of course he was already there, but lack of GS titles made him always the underdog.

Go Muzz, put everything you have and stop Djokovic!!!

Emiliano55 , 1/26/13 5:10 PM

I am neutral whether its Novak or Murray, but I want Murray to win as I have a selfish reason and I am being very honest about it.

Rafa is coming back in Feb and if Novak wins it, he will be stronger and set the tone to capture 2013 as he can then get motivated for a calendar slam etc and I want the rest of the 3 to not be too strong when Rafa gets back - that what I meant by a balanced top 4 :-). If Novak loses it, it will make him doubt himself a little and cool off his confidence a bit :-)

sanju , 1/26/13 5:21 PM

Djokovic targets Roland Garros in 2013

So ambitions are always high. I want to win every Grand Slam that I play, want to win every big tournament that I play. So there is no difference for the next year?s ambition.

RG is always at the top of my priority list and ambitions. It?s the only Slam I haven?t won." and-garros-2013/45768/

tennisnba , 1/26/13 5:44 PM

I am neutral whether its Novak or Murray, but I want Murray to win as I have a selfish reason and I am being very honest about it.

Rafa is coming back in Feb and if Novak wins it, he will be stronger and set the tone to capture 2013 as he can then get motivated for a calendar slam etc and I want the rest of the 3 to not be too strong when Rafa gets back - that what I meant by a balanced top 4 :-). If Novak loses it, it will make him doubt himself a little and cool off his confidence a bit :-)
sanju, 1/26/13 5:21 PM

I don't think a Djokovic loss tomorrow will means that Rafa will have more chances, if this is what you meant.

On the contrary, a loss for Djokovic tomorrow will make it more eager imo.

Emiliano55 , 1/26/13 7:40 PM

LOVE this article on Novak:

"I was always dreaming about being the best in tennis," world
No. 1 Djokovic, who will play Briton Andy Murray in Sunday's
Australian Open final, told CNN's Open Court. "I remember as a kid, I was improvising and making little
trophies out of different materials and going in front of the
mirror, lifting the trophies and saying 'Nole was the

And I love this about pressure, seems Murray has realized it too.

"Pressure is a privilege in a way and a big challenge
for every professional athlete," said Djokovic. "It's
just a matter of understanding it, and maturing as a
player and getting that necessary experience to use
it at the right moments to cope," he says. "It's a privilege because it means that you are doing
something that counts. And all my life I have been dreaming to
be the best in what I do and my dreams came true." ic-family-values/?hpt=hp_c2

nemanja230690 , 1/26/13 9:49 PM

expert picks -

RickyDimon , 1/26/13 10:08 PM

Nole "And all my life I have been dreaming to
be the best in what I do and my dreams came true."

A bit of humility would be nice.

tethys , 1/26/13 10:21 PM

i'd really like to know how you found that arrogant or offensive.

His childhood dream was to become the best player in the world.
Is he not the best? His ATP ranking, points and play suggest so.
Is he not allowed to be happy he's made his dream come true?

As they say, haters gonna hate.

nemanja230690 , 1/26/13 10:48 PM

A very tough call...should be a great match...4 sets either way. Picking Joker.

scoot , 1/27/13 12:03 AM

Muzza in 5

holdserve , 1/27/13 5:21 AM

If Rafa is back to his best by RG, whether Nole is more eager to win the FO or not, it doesn't matter. A Murray win here will give Murray good confidence going forward, and Nole will know that there's one more guy out there as good as himself on the hard courts to contend with.

luckystar , 1/27/13 6:47 AM

Even if andy loses this nole is aware of the threat andy poses.

fedexal , 1/27/13 7:04 AM

I think Nole has been aware of Andy's excellence for a long time ;)

danica , 1/27/13 7:09 AM

You see, this is Nole's turf. If Murray beats him on it, do you think Nole won't feel anything? A win here by Murray beating Nole in the process will establish Murray's status on the hard court slams, confirming that his USO win is no fluke. Also, Murray may threaten Nole for the no.1 ranking. Murray could gain points at IW where he lost in the first round last year. He missed the Madrid tournament last year and did badly at Queens, so he will have chances to do better
there and gain points.

luckystar , 1/27/13 7:57 AM

could be some wind, apparently

RickyDimon , 1/27/13 8:54 AM

Let's Go Andy! Let's Go!
Prepare. Attack. Destroy!
Windy, yer say.......;)

deuce , 1/27/13 9:03 AM

Murray in 4 sets. 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-2

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 9:14 AM

I've just tuned in at 4-4 first set. Whats going on so far. WHy does djokovic have a graze on his leg/knee? Why do they both look lethargic and why is the atmosphere a bit flat? Or am I just reading too much in to the 3 minute snapshot I've seen so far?

willmw101 , 1/27/13 10:30 AM

And why is murray serving so poorly?

willmw101 , 1/27/13 10:32 AM

Yes both looking a it flat or it seems so, tempo not yet up

Murray was serving as dismal as 40%, got it upto 60% now

Djoko had like 5 BPs on Murrays serve till now, cldnt to Murray to hold strong

Graze as he fell down

sanju , 1/27/13 10:41 AM

what the hell is this match??? So many bh ue's from both!

willmw101 , 1/27/13 10:43 AM

Thanks Sanju!

willmw101 , 1/27/13 10:44 AM

Djoko is looking a bit irritated..I think his shoes are troubling him

sanju , 1/27/13 10:50 AM

I don't know what you think, but Andy looks the fresher one to me.

danica , 1/27/13 10:52 AM

this happened in the wawvrinka match as well though, djokovic hated his shoes for the first set, then changed them and won the match. Look for the same to happen today.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 10:54 AM

... why is the atmosphere a bit flat?
willmw101 , 1/27/13 10:30 AM

Because ther is no Rafa on the court. Lol

Sorry, I couldn't resist this.

nadline , 1/27/13 10:58 AM

Murray wasting those three break points has just given djokovic the drive to win this second set. Djokovic is back in the game

willmw101 , 1/27/13 11:04 AM

Nice point for 1:1

danica , 1/27/13 11:06 AM

Ye Djoko saving those 3 BPs will infuse more life and energy in him

Sumhw the match is looking very slow, very flat and there is just a lack of energy in the match, stadum that ought to be there in a GS final.

Even both players are not showing any fist pumps, reactions

sanju , 1/27/13 11:10 AM

Let not forget Rafa had also won 1st set last year in 70 mns 7 5 but Djoko won the match finally in 5 hrs 50 mns. This match still has many chapters to unfold.

sanju , 1/27/13 11:13 AM


RickyDimon , 1/27/13 11:15 AM

Nole totally out of sorts, Andy better on court.

danica , 1/27/13 11:16 AM

Djokovic has just won this match. Think his inability to slide was all in his head, he's moving v well now

willmw101 , 1/27/13 11:18 AM

Nole need to break a racquet now to get sum tempo and fire back

or better hurl abuses at RedFoo ;-)

sanju , 1/27/13 11:20 AM

Nole's forte is to swing freely and Andy is trying not to feed him with the balls.

nadline , 1/27/13 11:36 AM

5:53 i mean

RickyDimon , 1/27/13 11:39 AM

If Nole looses this set, I am off to sleep. Really :(

danica , 1/27/13 11:47 AM

Murray is horrible at challenges

sanju , 1/27/13 11:51 AM

keep on forgetting that this is a grand slam final

willmw101 , 1/27/13 11:52 AM

I think Djoko may take this B a he knows importance of winning it to stay in the match. Hell be all fired up

sanju , 1/27/13 11:52 AM

Sanju, I wish I can share your optimism

danica , 1/27/13 11:55 AM

Murray just lost this match. Djokovic in 4

willmw101 , 1/27/13 11:58 AM

Murrays blisters are still bothering him at the beginning of this 3rd set. No way he has a shot.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:05 PM

Sure he does.

danica , 1/27/13 12:07 PM

muzz not going after 2nd serves enough..novak has won 63% of 2nd serve returns which is a pretty high % esp given muzz's return. Anyway, strange match so far..the best returners unable get a single break :O

vamosrafa , 1/27/13 12:10 PM

second game of the second set was the difference

RickyDimon , 1/27/13 12:11 PM

How can we have 2 of the best returners in the game and 28 straight holds? Ridiculous.

Murrays serve not really firing today like Friday either

sanju , 1/27/13 12:19 PM

Ye second game of 2nd set which Murray couldnt break having 3 bps may make the final difference .

Hope this goes to 5 just for the drama of it all :-)

sanju , 1/27/13 12:22 PM

they're `mirroring` each other

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:22 PM

30 holds in a row

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 12:24 PM

its because they are the two best returners = no breaks

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:24 PM

this third set has been awful quality.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:26 PM

a lot of ue in this set from Andy :(

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:27 PM


sanju , 1/27/13 12:27 PM

It may be a bit premature to say but last year SF between these two was better than this match in terms of quality.

fedexal , 1/27/13 12:27 PM

From the baseline Djokovic looks the more likely to miss

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 12:28 PM

Nole's BH has been awful today. Down the line is not at all working.

fedexal , 1/27/13 12:29 PM

a lull
I think they think its going the distance...
Obviously its more important for Andy to win this set feet things considered.
might start picking up now

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:30 PM

last year semifinal between too was downright rubbish for first 1.5 sets, picked up steam wen Murray came from behind to win 2nd , 3rd was very good, 4th was walkover for Djoko and 5th was great

sanju , 1/27/13 12:30 PM

^^about to say the same thing
the sf was my fav match last year but more for the highs offset by the lows

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:31 PM

great point from count djokula!

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:32 PM

This match is so predictable. Djokovic will win this in 4.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:34 PM

break right here as Nole has 3 BPs..

sanju , 1/27/13 12:34 PM

fascinating willmw,
you dont really like Novak do you?

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:35 PM

break Djok

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 12:36 PM


danica , 1/27/13 12:36 PM

twinge i dont mind novak, i just want a great match. AT the moment this very very far from a great match because Murrays level has dropped way off.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:37 PM

Murray is having issues,
Im not overly bothered if Novak wins this to be honest.
Progress was made in this tournament

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:40 PM

1 break in 33 games here the ladies final had 16 breaks in 3 sets

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 12:41 PM

grand slams are such a bust without Nadal. Djokovic has had to do nothing to win this slam. Oh wow, wawvrinka gave him a good match, and then ferrer... All these people saying we are in the peak times for mens tennis... then why has djokovic just won this slam with the easiest path to the final of all time.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:41 PM

ah so you are a Nadal fan, I actually thought you were a fed fan ;)
Its not just because of Nadal's absence although that is key there were plenty of other problems with other players not really showing up.
Oh and federer actually having a slight more difficult early draw (omg!)
Andy NEEDS to be far more aggressive 60 winners against fed 2 nights ago for gawd sakes

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:45 PM

guys who do you think has been the top tennis player at their peak?

Nadal (2008,2010) vs Fed (2003-2007) and Nole (2011)?

dejan1989 , 1/27/13 12:45 PM

Willmw , so you agree that going by your logic that Nadal had to do nothing to win FO 2012. BTW I don't agree with your logic.

fedexal , 1/27/13 12:45 PM

Djokovic has peaked when Nadal is having a poor couple of seasons and Federer is nowhere near the level he used to be. Murray is great but doest present the same level of competition that Nadal did for federer or that Federer did for nadal.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:45 PM

Murray is 100% fit he is just acting

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 12:47 PM

fedexal what I said doesn't suggest that. Well done you

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:47 PM

Willmw101, why do you insist Novak will win? There is so many things that can happen. This match is still going on.

danica , 1/27/13 12:47 PM

what a pointless comment ^^^
Andy is feeling it right now that is why his level has not been adequate.
What level of competiton did Nadal offer Novak when he peaked may i ask?

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:48 PM

grand slams are such a bust without Nadal. Djokovic has had to do nothing to win this slam.

This is what you said willmw.

fedexal , 1/27/13 12:48 PM

danica, i just think that Djokovic's has the extra gear to go on to for the rest of the match, Murray als has the extra gear but I doubt he will be able to find it.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:48 PM

"Murray is 100% fit he is just acting.."

Yews his gross foot deserves an OSCAR.
good grief

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:49 PM

of course its just acting you cant stay with djokovic from the baseline if you are not 100% fit

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 12:51 PM

fedexal i think you are having trouble comprehending english. Why does me stating that grand slams are a bust without nadal and that djokovic has had to do nothing to win this slam mean that Nadal had to do nothing to win the 2012 FO???

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:51 PM

youre not worth getting into a fight with, run along out of my face please.

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:52 PM

Because Rafa had to beat one strong player in FO 2012 (in the final)and Nole also had to beat Murray to win this year AO(if he were to complete this win).

Surprisingly, you are having trouble understanding your logic.

fedexal , 1/27/13 12:54 PM

a nice df from Andy really will help with the momentum
Novak i think will do this in 4.

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:55 PM


Nadal and djokovic represent a much sterner test to each other than Murray does to djokovic.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:55 PM

This is the worst slam final in a long time...

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:57 PM

another stupid comment that simply is not factual
0-7 in 2011
Is you memory that short?

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:57 PM

Willmw Murray has closed the gap between him and top players and today he is capable of testing anyone in the world.

fedexal , 1/27/13 12:58 PM

"This is the worst slam final in a long time..."

This is about the only intelligent thing you have said Today..

Twinge , 1/27/13 12:59 PM

GAME OVER. Djokovic has won. As predicted....

willmw101 , 1/27/13 12:59 PM

good so you can go and have
breakfast, lunch, dinner dependent where you are in the world

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:02 PM

fedexal, so what you've just said is that Murray in this final is as stern a test as Nadal on clay in the French Open final.. WOW, thats pretty interesting logic from you

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:03 PM

Novak will win this but it was hardly a fortress like performance.
Andy simply did what he can (less) often do and disappoint.

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:05 PM

All im saying is that djokovic is very lucky to have peaked when he has. He has stumbled in to a weaker era of tennis, even though people are still calling this the golden era. He wont face the same level of competition as there are no pretenders coming through to disrupt him. Nadal dethroned federer, djokovic dethroned Nadal... there is no next king, and that is lucky timing, mostly facilitated by the domination started by nadal and federer.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:06 PM

Willmw you stupid I was comparing Nole in FO final with Andy in Aus final . Are you so dumb?

fedexal , 1/27/13 1:06 PM

keep on looking at the past to make your future predictions but its all just
blah blah blah blah blah

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:08 PM

^^this might be the only slam Novak wins this year what are you going ON about willmw?

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:10 PM

how is it possible to state that this is the worst slam final in a long time. are we all forgetting the whitewash in aus open 2011? at least we got 2 competitive sets in this one.

dejan1989 , 1/27/13 1:10 PM

Also Rafa will be back and Andy will just get better and better :)

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:12 PM

Definitely not a shirt-ripper of a match. But if Nole wins, I won't complain :)

danica , 1/27/13 1:13 PM

fedexal no you weren't. Re-read our back and forth you massive idiot.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:13 PM

2 great sets right up there kind of and 2 bad ones
oh look Andy finally realises he has to be aggressive
too little too late however.

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:14 PM

Djok 5-1

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 1:17 PM

Murray has been very disappointing in this match.

Fedexal are you a retard? Serious question.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:17 PM

serving for the match

RickyDimon , 1/27/13 1:20 PM

^^this might be the only slam Novak wins this year what are you going ON about willmw?
Twinge, 1/27/13 1:10 PM

You dont really believe that do you??

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:21 PM

look wilmw dear,
Andy just beat his nemesis for the first time in a slam (which he clearly has not recovered from)his foot is causing him problems etc,
No way is he playing to his best in this final!
Novak is the king of Australia!
All Hail
But there will be other finals in other places

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:22 PM

If this is the future, kill me now!

tethys , 1/27/13 1:22 PM

The golden era of tennis is over

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:23 PM

now all we get are finals like this

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:24 PM

"You dont really believe that do you??.."

Er yes x 100. And anyway Novak getting 3 or 4 slams this year would not mean this is a weak era it would mean he is the dominant player as Nadal was in 2010 etc, but if you think Andy will play like this at wimbledon or the US..
I wont be having what youre smoking.
I predict 3 different slam winners this year, nothing Novak has done here has blown me away calm down please and stop moaning about Novak.

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:26 PM

no shirt ripping only folklore dancing this time. :)

dejan1989 , 1/27/13 1:26 PM

twinge, I'm perfectly calm. You're the one who's lost it. You are clearly wrong.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:28 PM

Djokovic hit 60+ unforced errors over 4 sets and still won... Jesus... awful tennis.

willmw101 , 1/27/13 1:29 PM

Melbourne is CURSED!
Perhaps Andy should have the flu for the next one as he is simply haunted here.
But well done to Novak he wasnt brilliant but he didnt have to be,
Congrats to Zare and all the rest, the best man most definitely won.
This time ;)

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:29 PM

Noval Stan best mach of the tourney by a mile

Even the Fed Andy and Fed Tsonga matches were better than the final.

And that is a pity

sanju , 1/27/13 1:31 PM

"twinge, I'm perfectly calm. You're the one who's lost it. You are clearly wrong..."

I've lost it?
hohoho you better hope i never lose it with you ;)

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:31 PM

Oh congrats to Nole, first man to win three in a row at the AO in the open era! So his slam count equals that of Boris Becker and he's only 25 yo, not bad, not bad.

Well, too bad for Murray, try again next time. I'm sure he'll learn from this.

luckystar , 1/27/13 1:32 PM

Tethys, just go kill yourself! You're probably a Fed fan, and can't stand that he's not the best anymore.

nemanja230690 , 1/27/13 1:33 PM

Im prepared to say that Andy Murray is responsible for 3 of the worst aussie open finals of the last 10 years.
He better learn from it lucky lol.

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:34 PM

Someone had to win. That was certainly a damp squib. If Rafa was watching he would have been smiling. His legacy is still intact as the man who puts the 'epic' in tennis.

#Rafa Kool-Aid drinker and die-heard armada bandwagon driver

nadline , 1/27/13 1:34 PM

I wonder if the spectators feel short changed. It's a shame Wawa didn't beat Djokovic, he'd have won his first slam.

#Rafa Kool-Aid drinker and die-heard armada bandwagon driver

nadline , 1/27/13 1:37 PM

if you mean epic as in very very long like last years that is ;)
Actually had Andy took his chances in the BP stakes it might have been a match.

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:37 PM

107 UE's between them!

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:40 PM

Hehe... one more Nole... From beginning I had a feeling that this match is on Nole's racquet , with all respect to Andy and his fans. Nole was simply raising his game through all match. Congrats to Andy... some new points added in chase for No2.
So the history all over again... Best player in history of AO!!!!
...and poor hurts doesn't it?
French we come!!!!

zare , 1/27/13 1:41 PM

Not every final can be an epic.

nemanja230690 , 1/27/13 1:42 PM gotta admit the 2 AO finals Rafa has played have been stellar..2009 against Fed was brilliant quality and last year against Novak was also not just long and epic but had sum great tennis in 1st, 4th and 5th and it had enough drama . Didnt it get rated by all as the best match last year?

sanju , 1/27/13 1:43 PM

Twinge you call it just long others call it this: a.383257412557.162646.362744887557&type=1&theater

I also mean epic as in inspiring a book - Wimbledon final 2008, epic as in USO final 2010 & 2011, epic as in AO SF 2009 - Rafa vs Nando, epic as in AO final Rafa vs Federer.

I feel so short changed, I am now going to watch the AO 2009 SF between Rafa and Nando.

nadline , 1/27/13 1:44 PM

without rafa the draws are very much unbalanced, nole looked fresh and energetic whereas murray tired as the match progresses,i think the semi has taken a lot out of murray.Anyway congrats to novak for making history.

chenna21 , 1/27/13 1:45 PM

Don't worry Twinge, I'm sure Murray is still positive about his chances here. Don't forget, the great Roger Federer also was a runner up at the FO three times before winning one there. I've to say Rafa not being around this time has made the draw a bit lopsided. Nole is physically fitter as a result of his easy SF. Maybe it's too much to ask of Murray, to beat the no.2 and then the no.1 player in a row, when the no.1 player is well rested for his SF.

Andy has made great improvements in his game especially in his forehand. Nole is just that bit more experienced and calm in a slam final. Murray will learn from this for sure.

luckystar , 1/27/13 1:46 PM

I dont care who rated it what i thought it was a dirge.
The 2009 against Fed was great however.
Both were a 100 times better than this however.
Anyhoo clearly Andy Murray keeps his epics for the master series, but as i said before beating Fed in a slam for the first time and then coming up against the King of Oz was just a little (lot) too much for our Andy.
But heres the thing, he is just getting going.
I even think he will win Oz at some point but clearly was ready to do it tonight.

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:50 PM

^^Yeah if Novak had to play Nadal in the semis lol
Then the reverse may have occured but the match might have been even more like a pair of drunks fighting outside a bar.
Anyway this is Novaks time and although the stars aligned for him quite nicely he is clearly the best player in the world right now, by some measure.

Twinge , 1/27/13 1:54 PM

2010 AO onwards..the boring slam finals or should I say not superior quality competitive ones were as below, rest all were good worthy slam finals.

2010 AO Fed defeated Andy
2010 RG - Rafa beat Soderling
2010 Wimby Rafa beat Berdych
2011 AO Novak beat Andy
2011 Wimby Novak beat Rafa
2013 AO Novak beat Andy

sanju , 1/27/13 1:55 PM

Andy was definitely hampered by the blisters on his foot, if anything it would have reduced his concentration. Chennai and lucky make a good point that the imbalance caused by Rafa's absence has a lot to do with the outcome as Andy had to beat 2 of the top 4 and Nole didn't.

Twinge, Rafa haters don't like to give Rafa his due credit but all over the blogosphere tennis writers are writing odes to Rafa for what he means to tennis; always there to provide the passion that he has in spades when he is fit and healthy.

I hope he comes back with no niggles about his fitness because tennis is simply lacking something without a fit and healthy Rafa. a.383257412557.162646.362744887557&type=1&theater

nadline , 1/27/13 1:58 PM

"I hope he comes back with no niggles about his fitness because tennis is simply lacking something without a fit and healthy Rafa..."

Your point, Nadline, has been demonstrated this very evening.
In the clearest possible way I might add.

Twinge , 1/27/13 2:04 PM

I dont care who rated it what i thought it was a dirge.
Twinge , 1/27/13 1:50 PM

I think you'll find that not many would care about what you call it.

nadline , 1/27/13 2:06 PM

Prepare. Attack. Destroy (ME)!

rfzr , 1/27/13 2:07 PM

Your point, Nadline, has been demonstrated this very evening.
In the clearest possible way I might add.
Twinge , 1/27/13 2:04 PM

Thanks. I appreciate it.

nadline , 1/27/13 2:07 PM

"I think you'll find that not many would care about what you call it..."

I dont care that they don't care!
I dont take polls as the last word on anything
The masses are asses my dear.
Anyway it was alright after this monstrosity that has just past,
But really its best to see the highlights in 20 minutes rather than 6hrs of ball bashing.

Twinge , 1/27/13 2:12 PM

No doubt djokovic will win the french open this year. Rafa just won be back strong enough by then.

Weaker era of tennis

willmw101 , 1/27/13 2:14 PM

Stop with the stupid inbalanced draws! Nadal is not here! Would it have been better was in the semi with Djokovic? Yes! Would he have made it a match? Yes!

But guess what? He wasn't. And even if he was, who's to say Djokovic wouldn't have won? Stop with the moaning! It's unfortunate he's injured, but it seems like people are diminishing what Nole and Murray have done just because Nadal is not playing.

Oh, it's not fair that Murray had to beat Fed and Nole to win? I'm sorry, if someone wants to win a GS title, chances are he's going to have to go through at least 2 of the top 4. If they can't, they're probably not champion worthy. And Murray is, don't get me wrong, but today he was beaten fair and square. Pure and simple.

Yes, Nole had more rest, yes he had an easier opponent in the semifinal. But that DOES NOT make his achievement any less impressive. Just look at last year. He didn't have the ''advantages'' he had this year, but still won. And took out both Murray and Rafa.

Rant over. I apologise if I offended anyone, but I'm tired of this ''if Nadal was here'' or ''inbalanced draw'' talk. Even if he was here, there is no guarantee he would have made it to the semifinal. Hell, Djokovic (now 4 time champion) almost got knocked out in the 4th round...

Congratlations to both Djoko and Andy for reaching the final. Atthe moment, they are the two best players in the world.

nemanja230690 , 1/27/13 2:30 PM

No doubt djokovic will win the french open this year. Rafa just won be back strong enough by then.
willmw101 , 1/27/13 2:14 PM

Didn't you say this last year?

nadline , 1/27/13 2:31 PM

Weaker era? Willma, you're intelligence is one of Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin (if they were real people)

nemanja230690 , 1/27/13 2:33 PM

Oh, it's not fair that Murray had to beat Fed and Nole to win? I'm sorry, if someone wants to win a GS title, chances are he's going to have to go through at least 2 of the top 4.
nemanja230690 , 1/27/13 2:30 PM

You are contradicting yourself. On the one hand you say to win a slam you have to be aboe to beat 2 of the top 4 but only one guy in the final was in a position to do that.

nadline , 1/27/13 2:34 PM 28879049100.76928.243123739049614&type=1&theater

nadline , 1/27/13 2:38 PM

No, I'm not. I believe we are in a Golden era. The top 4 are a class ahead of #5, never mind the rest.

This year AO was an exception because one is injured. So Nole, in this case, had only Murray to go through. Of course, there are always exceptions. To win a GS, today, you will need to beat at least 2 of the top 4.

nemanja230690 , 1/27/13 2:40 PM

Djokovic now clearly one of the greatest hard court players of all time, alongside Federer, Sampras and Agassi

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 2:41 PM

nemanja230690: don't get upset, this is web site.

rfzr , 1/27/13 2:57 PM

tennis2011, at least Rafa has beaten one of the so called 'hard court greats' 5:2 on h/c outdoors.

nadline , 1/27/13 3:01 PM

I like Nadal, but every topic somehow turns into how great Nadal is. We get it.

nemanja230690 , 1/27/13 3:19 PM

Andy paid the price for not bringing down the hammer at the start of the 2nd set
also, again far too far behind that baseline
also 1st serve not nearly as good as against Fed.
No 1 player in the world beats No3. So?
That being said Nole was able to raise his game to scary heights and I congratulate him muchly :)

deuce , 1/27/13 3:19 PM

nemanja: and so say all of us.
Andy is not playing in S. America. Have good mind to invade Rafa thread and endlessly discuss Andy. *rolls eyes.*

deuce , 1/27/13 3:23 PM

I felt that murray's movement was affected slightly towards the ending of the match due to his foot blisters. Jim Courier said that murray was "half the mover" he was at the start. Nevertheless, Nole played unbelieveable tennis, and thoroughly deserved to win this title.

tj600 , 1/27/13 4:12 PM

nadline why do you bring Nadal in to every topic?I guess you just cant help it. by the way Nadal has only 11 hard court titles to his credit thats half the amount Murray has won on hard courts. Do you still want me to put Nadals name as an All time great Hard court player?

tennis2011 , 1/27/13 7:31 PM

This won't go down as one of the memorable slam finals. I think their semifinal match last year was much better. So many UE's from both players. I thought Andy came out playing well. Nole seemed a bit unsettled. You don't often see Nole start a tb with a double fault.

Andy had Nole down 0-40 early in the second set. I thought that Nole holding his serve in that moment really helped him. He seemed to be more relaxed after that. I guess one can say that was a turning point. However, I believe that if Andy wasn't clearly hampered by his foot problem then we might have seen a battle. Before anyone freaks out, that does not mean that Nole didn't play well and deserve to win. He fought back when he had to in order to stay in the match. He played very well in that second set tb. After that I think he was more comfortable and going for his shots.

Nole said that he noticed Murray wasn't moving as well in the third set. That's when he raised his level of play and went for the break of serve. Once he was up two sets to one, he seemed to go into cruise control. He has really matured and showed poise and calm after he lost that first set.

This is a real rivalry and these two guys will go at it again. Andy can look forward to getting him the next time.

Nativenewyorker , 1/27/13 10:13 PM

Nole's mental fortitude does not fit a straightforward description. He spectacularly botched the first TB by pushing the ball around like a WTA player. Seems like he needs to get into trouble to really convince himself to play as he should.

samprallica , 1/28/13 4:56 AM

I thought that Nole had a slow start. He didn't seem to be all that comfortable. It took him a while to get into the match. Fortunately he did it in time to win that second set.

It wasn't lack of mental fortitude that caused him to botch the first tb. For whatever reason, he seemed really tight. It does happen. These guys are not machines. If Nole didn't have mental fortitude, then he would not have been able to come back from being down 0-40 in that critical game early in the second set. It wasn't luck!

Nole stepped up to play well and win the second set tb. That's what it's all about. You show your mental fortitude and toughness in the key moments of a match when it really counts. That's what he did. He didn't need to get into trouble to convince himself to play as he should.

Rafa has done this so many times in matches and there is no question as to his mental fortitude! Fed has done the same. I don't know how many times we have seen these two lose the first set or have to come from behind. They have also had their share of scratchy starts to matches.

Nole also saw that Murray wasn't moving well and realized something was wrong. That's when he really stepped it up and got aggressive with his shots to get the break in that third set. That's also mental fortitude and awareness. He sensed the change in Murray and took the opportunity.

Players can lose their mental focus at times. That is not the same as not having it. If Nole didn't have real mental toughness, then he would have crumbled and lost his serve early in the second set. That could well have been it for him.

Nativenewyorker , 1/28/13 5:34 AM

Andy paid the price for not bringing down the hammer at the start of the 2nd set
also, again far too far behind that baseline
also 1st serve not nearly as good as against Fed..."

Andy clearly did not play anything like his best he probably would have benefitted from a harder draw as it turned out (with an easier semi final opponent perhaps!)
Blisters when you are running about will make your feet seem on fire. Even if he had won the 2nd set Novak would probably have taken it to five for an even more uncomfortable defeat. It was not to be this time. Novak was lucky with his draw and semi final opponent and all the rest but I feel that Andy will win this slam eventually. Andy has the upper hand on grass and hopefully the crowd will be behind him should they meet there in the summer.

Twinge , 1/28/13 11:12 AM

Yes I agree, Murray will win it one day, having reached the final three times. And yes, he'll have his chances on grass against Nole. In fact I feel that on quicker surfaces both Fed and Murray are better than Nole.

luckystar , 1/28/13 12:09 PM

"In fact I feel that on quicker surfaces both Fed and Murray are better than Nole..."

Agree right back at you but I've an inkling this year will finally show that federer is no longer better than any of the other 3 anywhere...

Twinge , 1/28/13 12:30 PM

How well Nadal plays on his return is still a big question mark, even Nadal knows it himself thats why he is picking 2 low profile clay court events to return to tennis instead of playing dubai.

tennis2011 , 1/28/13 12:39 PM

Federer will have his chances to win Wimbledon,if fit Nadal is always the favorite at French open but the hard court majors are now a battle between Djokovic/Murray. I dont see Federer or Nadal challenging for the US open later this year.

tennis2011 , 1/28/13 12:42 PM

Federer had an aligning of stars at Wimbledon with two (mostly) roof closed shots at Murray and Djokovic, if that happens again i still think he will have his hands full.
And it probably wont happen again.

Twinge , 1/28/13 12:48 PM

Twingey, and alex
Just seen a shocking stat: in every one of his GS finals, Andy has faced world No1!

deuce , 1/28/13 2:04 PM

Deuce your stats are 100% wrong
1-in 2008 Murray played Federer in the US open final and Federer was ranked world # 2 Nadal was the no 1 at that time.

2- in 2011 Murray played Djokovic in the Australian open final and Djokovic was ranked world # 2 or 3 Nadal was # 1 at that time.

3-At Wimbledon 2012 Murray played Federer in the final Federer was ranked world # 2 at that time Djokovic was # 1, of course Federer moved to world # 1 after the Wimbledon win but at the time they played that final Federer was world # 2

4- Murray played Djokovic in the US open final Djokovic was ranked world # 2 at that time Federer was# 1

However Murray met the world no 1 Federer in 2010 Australian open final and 2013 Australian Final. In total Murray has played 6 grand slam finals in which he played world no 1 twice , world no 2 three times and world no 3 once.

tennis2011 , 1/28/13 2:31 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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