Friday, 27 January 2012

Djokovic Defeats Murray to set up Rafole Finale

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'...

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