2011 IN REVIEW
Rivalries 2011 - Djokovic vs. Murray
by ATP Staff|
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were born just a week apart in 1987. Friends since their days as junior players, the pair’s rise up the South African Airways ATP Rankings four years ago has provided tennis fans with a fresh rivalry to follow. Though they didn’t play each other in 2010, the two squared off three times this season, playing arguably the best match on the ATP World Tour in Rome. Djokovic won two of their three encounters to take a 6-4 lead in their FedEx ATP Head 2 Head series.
Meeting for the first time at a Grand Slam event, Djokovic and Murray faced each other for the Australian Open title. The combination of Djokovic’s impressive level of play and Murray’s inconsistency throughout the match resulted in a routine 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victory for Djokovic, giving the Serbian his second Australian Open title in four years, and denying Murray his first major title in his third attempt.
"[Winning a] Davis Cup title and another Grand Slam title, I'm living the dream of a tennis player, definitely," declared Djokovic. "I have been more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before. To be able to win in straight sets against a player like Andy Murray in the final of a Grand Slam, it makes my success even bigger."
The two would not meet again until the clay-court season, clashing in a memorable semi-final at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. After splitting the first two sets, Djokovic and Murray went toe-to-toe on the baseline, producing several grueling rallies. Murray looked become the first player to beat Djokovic in 2011, having served for the match at 5-4. Djokovic though, continued to fight and after being within two points of defeat on four occasions, broke Murray to level. The Serb then capitalised in the ensuing tie-break to improve to a 38-0 season record with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2) win.
"Andy played a really good match tonight. He was unfortunate not to finish it out," stated Djokovic. "It’s an amazing achievement... a great effort from both of us."
Added Murray, “It was good match and I had chances to win. He played very well in the first set and I did not really get into it. I think after that, especially towards the end of the second and third sets, there was some very good tennis.”
Their final match-up came in the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati. Murray was the in-form player of the week and brought it against Djokovic, taking the first set 6-4. On a roll winning six of seven games, Murray led 3-0 in the second set before Djokovic retired with a shoulder injury. The World No. 4 did not drop a set en route to lifting his second trophy at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.
"I would have obviously liked to have won by finishing the match," admitted Murray. "But it happens sometimes. I have to look at the week as a whole. It's been a very good week. Coming in here I had played badly in Montréal, so I needed to have a good week. Regardless of the match today, I was happy with the way that it had gone. Glad I managed to win today, but unfortunate the way it happened.”
Djokovic vs. Murray: 2011 Meetings
|Australian Open Final||Djokovic||64 62 63|
|Rome SF||Djokovic||61 36 76(2)|
|Cincinnati Final||Murray||64 30 ret.|