As many predicted, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray took their vital semi final match to five sets, where Novak claimed victory after scoring 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5. The first set was pretty straight forward for the World No1 tennis player, but a turn of events saw the British No1 grabbing the next two sets with both hands. Somehow, in a manner we've become accustomed to by Novak, he came back from the (almost) dead and quickly finished the fourth set in 25 minutes, to hand Murray a breadstick. Had Novak persevered a little bit more than he did, he might have finished the last set quicker, but he did the job eventually. After the immense five hour match, the winner said: "You have to find strength in those moments and energy, and that keeps you going, I guess... At this level, very few points decide the winner, as it was the case tonight. I think this was one of the longest, if not the longest, that I've played in the later stages of a Grand Slam. I have to be satisfied. I have to be happy. As a tennis player, you practise hard every single day knowing that you will get an opportunity to be part of such a great match and on such a high level". While both players are incredibly fit, each struggled physically, and Djokovic believes it played a role in there being 18 breaks of serve throughout the match. "I think we both went through a physical crisis... It was a very even match throughout, from the first to the last point. As I said on the court, I think we both found it easier to break each other's serve rather than just serve it out and keep our serve going. We both have great returns, and it was very difficult because we put a lot of pressure on each other's serve. So even though I was 5-2 up in the fifth, I knew even playing against the wind at 5-3, I'm not the favourite in that game. It proved to be the truth. But I held my composure. I was happy to react the way I did and win in the end. There is no secret it is going to be physical again. I will do my best to recover. I have a day and a half... I will try to get as much sleep and recovery program underway and hope for the best. I think that's going to be crucial for me to recover and to be able to perform my best, because Rafa is fit. He's been playing well. He had an extra day. He definitely wants to win this title. But I have been in similar situations before where I had the long matches and I'm supposed to play. For example, a couple years back with Roger I had a very long match, and then the next day I was supposed to play the final. So we are familiar with these kind of conditions and situations, so we will try to take the best out of it and recover". The admittedly gracious Andy Murray said that he was 'proud of the way' he 'fought' against his long-term friend. Looking onwards to the finale, we expect a battle between then-friends now-rivals Rafael Nadal and Djokovic, with Djokovic outshining the Spaniard, as we became used to last year, but as Nole said, Rafa 'definitely wants to win this title'...
Novak Djokovic defeated Santiago Giraldo a few hours ago in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-1, to secure his place into the next round of the Australian Open. The Serb was initially tested in the first set when Giraldo broke, but he put an end to that quickly. Later, he said "To be honest, I’ve had lots of situations where I was break down in my career, so I guess that doesn’t affect me, especially early in the first set. I knew that I will start hitting the ball better. If we get to play on the center court or any of the bigger courts, I will try to use my experience playing on those courts,” said Djokovic. “I think the surface here is a bit slower and bounce is a little bit higher, so maybe it's more suitable to my style of the game". Nole currently has a 27-5 win-loss record in Melbourne, Australia, so we have no doubt that this will become 28-5 in the next round, although he is not about to underestimate his opponent; he is set to face Nicolas Mahut of France.
Novak Djokovic made a great start to his defence at the Australian Open today, seeing off Paolo Lorenzi in straight sets 6-2 6-0 6-0. After the relatively easy match, he said "obviously I want to get a good start of the year in my first official match in this season... I’m satisfied with the overall performance today. It took me a couple games to get into the right rhythm. It’s a bit difficult conditions. I think it was really the hottest day since I’ve arrived here, so trying to get used to that. But I think I played well after the first set was finished". The Serbian tennis player will face Santiago Giraldo in the next round in his bid to defend his 2011 title.
On the last day of 2011, the world no1 tennis player won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi and sealed a $250,000 winning prize. He said, after defeated David Ferrer in the final 6-2 6-1 "I must say I'm really happy with the way I'm playing... Playing against the top players in the world in this way gives me a lot of confidence. Usually at this stage, you are trying to find your speed on the court, agility, just dynamics of every stroke, but I found it already, to be honest, right away after the first match". After his win in the exo 'Mubadala' last week, Novak Djokovic was more than happy to return to Melbourne, Australia, to warm up before his mission to defend his title commences. The Australian Open does not start until the 16th of this month, but the Serb was eager to come back to the place which has won him two grand slam titles, and he kissed the blue court as a loving gesture. He said "I think the crucial couple of weeks is now, for me to prepare for Australia. We’ll see. It’s a long year and a difficult task, but I’m looking forward to it".