Murray’s Best Birthday Present

Internazionali BNL D’Italia, Rome

Men’s Final: [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [3] Andy Murray (GBR)

This was probably Murray’s best chance of defeating Djokovic, who has not been playing the dominant tennis we have gotten used to seeing.  He has also shown that something has unbalanced him emotionally.  He has gotten two consecutive misconduct warnings in two days, a troubling sign given that Djokovic as far as I can remember has never behaved this poorly. Rafael Nadal came very close to defeating him.  Kei Nishikori won the first set and pushed the third set to a tiebreak before Djokovic finally won the semifinal yesterday. Djokovic suffered an ankle injury in the first set yesterday and I thought that would be a factor in today’s encounter against Murray; however, he is Djokovic.


Murray lost their most recent encounter last weekend, but the caveat is that he won a set, so he too was knocking on the door of defeating Djokovic despite their lopsided head-to-head of  9:23.  Is the pressure of the upcoming Roland Garros already having a negative impact on Djokovic’s game?  It is the tournament that he wants to win the most and when he removed the primary obstacle of Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, everyone thought the title would be his last year; however, he lost in the final to Stan Wawrinka in four sets after winning the first. Djokovic came out flustered and tentative and the rain did not help Djokovic’s state of mind as he became even more aggravated. It did not help too that Murray came out playing crisp and punishing tennis right from the start of the match to break Djokovic. Murray won 6-3, 6-3 and Djokovic left his fans with a whole bunch of questions.



  1. When Djokovic first arrived on the scene and he couldn’t beat players like Nadal or Federer, I actually enjoyed watching him fall apart emotionally at the end of losing a match. It always preceded the utter and complete collapse of his game along with a check in the win column for the player that I was rooting for. As he “matured” and began to win matches, he gained control of his emotions. Has he come full circle; back to the beginning, to the brat he used to be? This will definitely affect his game. All good things must come to an end and so, perhaps, his dominance of the game is over. This week, Nadal gave him a run for his money then Nishikori nearly overwhelmed him. Murray just had to move in for the kill. What we’re seeing is vintage Djokovic!!

  2. I definitely don’t recall his emotional breakdown during matches; however, I do recall that he struggled with a lot of physical ailments in his early career. It was very telling this whole week to see him playing such shaky tennis. We know well that every player has an Achilles Heel, is Roland Garros his? It looks that way at the moment. Can Djokovic control his emotions enough to win Roland Garros this year? He is the favorite according to all the prominent commentators.

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