Australian Open 2013 – Men’s Final

The men will struggle to give us as much drama as the women did.

Djokovic leads the head to heads 10-7. They played 7 times in 2012 and Djokovic won 4 of them. Obviously Murray won the last time they played in a Grand Slam beating Djokovic in 5 sets. Djokovic has won both matches since then with both going to 3 sets.

Their semi finals were very different. Djokovic was in complete control over Ferrer. He was able to get the job done quickly and has the added advantage of an extra day’s rest. Murray had a 5 set battle with Federer but to be fair he needed to be tested as his journey through the tournament up to that point had been fairly easy.

Murray started very well against Federer. Where he has the edge over Federer these days is in his level of fitness and that was what pulled him through. There were periods in the latter sets where Murray showed signs of his new mental strength starting to falter and I got the impression he was desperately trying to cover up the turmoil going on in his head as Federer refused to go away. Tie breaks need crystal clear thought especially when you’re up against one of the best players in the world and Federer won both of them convincingly.

Against Djokovic Murray is competing with a player who can match his fitness and who can also match the mental strength of Federer. The Australian Open is the Slam where Djokovic has enjoyed the most success and it will need something very special from Murray to secure his second Grand Slam.

Their recent matches have usually gone the distance  but I just feel that Djokovic is at a higher level than Murray at the moment and expect him to get the victory in 4 sets.

Djokovic starts at 1.57 which is no value at all. In 5 of the 7 matches they played last year Murray took the opening set ( including the last 4 meetings). Djokovic has never lost one of their matches when he takes the opening set .

I’ll be waiting for Murray to get an early break before backing Djokovic.

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