It’s been 74 years since we last had a British men’s Grand Slam Champion and unfortunately after Sunday’s disappointment, the wait goes on. But was it as simple as that?
Novak Djokovic was in sublime form, crushing Roger Federer 7-6 7-5 6-2 in the semi-final and only dropping one set en-route to the final. Andy Murray, on the other hand, had a tougher and more brutal battle with the Spaniard David Ferrer, who had beaten Raphael Nadal in the quarter finals in an injury plagued match. He then had the challenge of attempting to overcome Djokovic, who has been playing more aggressively than ever before and has improved his forehand significantly since last year.
Noticeably it was the first Grand Slam final in 3 years not to feature Nadal or Federer. This paved the way for Novak Djokovic to beat Andy Murray comprehensively 6-4 6-2 6-3, although in his current form any player on the ATP tour would have struggled to live with the Serb.
Despite what the one sided score line suggests, Murray started very promisingly pegging his competitor to 4-4 in the opening set. But once the cracks began to appear, Djokovic grabbed the opportunity with both hands, playing a number of shots close to the base line and dictating the play. Both players were thriving in a 38 shot rally, of which 37 shots were executed with the utter most precision. But Murray’s lackadaisical final shot ended the point prematurely and gave a set point opportunity to Novak which he took claiming the set 6-4.
Murray didn’t seem to turn up until the closing stages of the final set, losing the first 5 games. Despite managing to win his game in the 6th and breaking the Serb, this was not enough as he inevitably lost 6-2.
Murray showed some promise in the early stages of the third set, but his inability to hold serve made it very difficult for the Scot to have much of an impact. Djokovic appeared to be running away with the match. However, the match seemed to be back on with Murray claiming 2 break points in the 5th game. The set was all level by the 6th game but Murray’s defence was stretched beyond breaking point and eventually succumbed to Djokovic’s sublime shot making. It doesn’t seem that anybody could have predicted such comprehensive scoreline in the final between these two good friends and competitive rising stars, but the Serb served out the set 6-3 and claimed the championship for the second time in his career.
Despite Andy Murray having beaten Novak Djokovic in his previous three meetings, it seems that when it really matters Murray is missing that last piece of his game. No doubt with his talent he will bounce back and be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. As for Novak all his competitors will look around and wonder if he is a changed man after winning the Davies Cup for his nation for the first time and now winning the Australian Open. Could Djokovic be the one to challenge the invincible Nadal and Federer?
By Ketan Patel