History is on line for Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic as they face each other for 18th time in their careers. Djokovic leads Murray 10-7, but it was Murray who won their last encounter in a grand slam, the final of U.S Open.
|Image via Optimumtennis.net|
Murray has already made history by make it to the final of immediate grand slam post his maiden grand slam title, but will be looking for more to become the one and only player to win his second major in the slam after his maiden slam title. Djokovic will be looking to become the first man in the open era to do a 3 peat at the Australian Open, and in the process joining Andre Agassi and Roger Federer as the holder of 4 Australian Open titles.
Murray will also spark a series of controversial questions in case he wins the title, the queries which will question the legitimacy of the ATP rankings, since Murray will hold 2 grand slam titles, Olympic gold medal and will still be world no.3, while Novak Djokovic will be slam-less for the moment (not a reigning champion of any slam) and will be world no.1. But, let us wait for Murray to win the title to spark such debates.
Novak Djokovic has lost 3 sets so far in the tournament, while Murray has lost 2 sets. Djokovic's clinical performance in the semi-finals was an indication of his peaking at the right time, while Murray's win over Federer showed that he too is ready to claim big prizes.
Let us have a look a the performance of the players so far in the tournament.
|1st Serve %||66%||65%|
|1st Serve Points Won||80%||75%|
|2nd Serve Points Won||66%||53%|
|1st Return Points Won||34%||36%|
|2nd Return Points Won||57%||62%|
|Break Points Converted||49%||54%|
|Net Points Won||74%||72%|
Djokovic has won 80% points behind his first serve, while Murray has won 75% points. Murray's second serve is vulnerable, so he will have to raise his first serve %age just like he didagainst Federer in his semi-final show-down. Djokovic is one of the best returner on the tour and has won 57% return points while returning the second serves of his opponents and if Murray gives Djokovic too many second serves, Murray will be in toruble. Murray has been broken 11 times so far in the tournament, while Djokovic has only been borken 8 times thus far in the tournament.
|Image via fr.wikipedia.org|
Djokovic played lights out in his semi-final against Ferrer and if that match is any indication, Murray will be in toruble against Djokovic. Murray has also been returning well, and has won 62% points while returning the second serves of his opponents. Djokovic had lazy starts in both his 4th round and quarter-final matches, but will be looking to stay sharp from the very start in the final.
Djokovic has been playing cleaner matches as compared to Murray, and will be hungry for the title, but Murray will also be as hungry as Djokovic. The only question will be who plays better on big points.
It will all come down to Murray's serve and both players nerves. Djokovic is better than Murray in both departments, and will be eager to clinch his 4th Australian Open trophy and 6th Grand Slam title.
Pick : Djokovic in 3 sets