Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will contest their second consecutive Grand Slam final on Sunday night as the curtain comes down on the first Grand Slam of 2013. Murray needed five sets to take care of Roger Federer in what was a first ever Grand Slam win over the Swiss star, 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2. Murray served for the match in the fourth set and was two points away from winning the match when Federer unleashed a quite breathtaking backhand before benefitting from a lame Murray error. The fourth set was history from that point, but Murray rebounded well in the decider as a weary looking Federer struggled to keep up with the pace.
Djokovic progressed to his third consecutive Australian Open final with his most impressive performance to date as he dismantled David Ferrer‘s game with a 6-2 6-2 6-1 semi-final win. Djokovic has recovered marvellously well from that five hour epic with Stanislas Wawrinka in the 4th round and he will go into the final as the favourite. My original final prediction of Murray/Djokovic was correct, but I rather lamely went against that and plumped for Federer to beat Murray in yesterday’s preview. I have well and truly learnt my lesson never to go against my original instinct because both times I changed my mind this week, I got it wrong.
Djokovic leads the head-to-head by 10 wins to 7; Djokovic has won the last two with three set wins in London and Shanghai. That final in Shanghai was absolutely terrific and saw Murray blow a number of match points. Murray had won the two matches before that, most notably beating Djokovic in five sets at Flushing Meadows and winning a tight two setter on his way to winning the Olympics title.
I think the final will be a close contest, five sets for sure and another physically brutal encounter. I really do think it will come down to a few points here and there and who holds their nerve at the crucial moments. Murray’s second serve was one of the reasons he lost that fourth set so he will have to maintain length on it to have a chance of winning because Djokovic will eat it up for breakfast. Murray no longer has the weight on his shoulders of never winning a Grand Slam, but Djokovic is the man at the Australian Open. I fancy Djokovic to reverse the fortunes from the last Grand Slam. It should be a good one…
|Prediction – Djokovic to beat Murray in 5 epic sets|
My mens predictions for the mens 2013 Australian Open have been a mixed bag, but a Djokovic win will make it a successful tournament.