After watching almost 2 weeks of the Australian open, I found my self sleepless in Idaho………..it’s 6 am and I haven’t slept all nite. You want to no why? Well after losing one hero, I have found another………..no matter what he does in the rest of his tennis career, this American woman will always be on his side of the court rooting for him!
Andy Murray has struggled for a few years now, languishing in the top four, the only one who has not won a grand slam. Well let me tell you, he might not have won last nite against Novak Djokovic,but he came out a true champion!
The brits have been pushing him for a long time, after their failed hopeful Tim Henman, didn’t produce………..and I must admit I enjoyed rooting against Tim with great fervor…………I just didn’t like the cockey little bastard. He always had such an attitude……….and every time he lost it just made my day.
So when Andy came along, backed by the Brits………….I started to wish him unwell also. I can’t tell you why, but sometimes the Brits are just a bit much. Too stoic for this old Indian broad. But let’s not forget Andy is NOT a Brit………..he is Scotsman through and through and if you ever doubted it, he showed it to the world last night.
LOL I have been watching Andy for several years now thinking what a “brat”. Well let me tell you, he has grown up. I watched him battle with Novak last nite, and it was a thing of beauty.
Now if your not into tennis, later,…..but if you are, you know exactly what I am talking about. Andy Murray has shown he is truly a man of championship blood lines.
The world No.1's championship defense looked in peril when Murray claimed a tense third set in a tiebreak to gain the ascendancy but Djokovic, who for two sets looked to be struggling with a breathing condition, found a second wind to storm home to a 6-3 3-6 6-7 (7-4) 6-1 7-5 victory.
It was not without the most major of late scares, though.
After moving to a 5-2 lead in the decider, Murray played the game of his life to break to love and then held another three break points at 5-5.
Somehow, however, the Serb prevailed.
After the pair split the opening two sets - Murray was passive and errant in the first but dominant in the second as Djokovic again showed signs of being in great physical distress - it seemed the spot would hinge on who prevailed in a tight third set.
It, too, was stark in contrast between some outstanding shotmaking and the nerviest of errors. But it was Murray, despite a poor conversion rate on break points, who ultimately prevailed on the biggest moments.
He faced set points three times when serving at 4-5 in the pivotal set - all caused by nervy errors - yet saved the first with an ace, a second with a forehand winner that clipped the line and a third, effectively, with a drop shot.
It was red-lining with a premium at stake.
It was again Murray that upped the ante from 3-all in the tiebreaker, banging three massive shots and then closing it out with a big serve wide to the forehand.
Given Djokovic looked a broken man from midway through the second set _ he had complained of struggling to breath in his quarter-final defeat of Spaniard David Ferrer _ the dhlikelihood pointed to Murray reaching a third straight final.
Instead it was the man that thrashed him last year who zipped through the fourth, breaking three times to claim it 6-1.
Djokovic went from hands on haunches every point to zipping from side to side. If the Thursday night final was breathtaking, this was completely random.
Even given Djokovic had seized the momentum in the fourth, the pattern of the match made it a difficult result to predict, particularly given both have built reputations as five-set warriors.
In the 12 most recent matches to have gone the distance, Djokovic had claimed ten. Murray's percentage was even better at nine from his past ten.
It was Djokovic who held the advantage initially at 2-1, but Murray saved a break point with an ace down the middle.
But immediately he handed the Serb another with a double, though that was squandered with a netted forehand.
A third was saved with another swinging first serve.
A fourth opportunity to break in the following game went begging when he narrowly missed with a forehand pass but when he somehow stayed in a fifth break point - his defensive lob was reminiscent of that which helped Nadal save off Federer for the final time a night earlier - to set up a winning opportunity, a spot in the final was on his racket.
- written by :Gideon Haigh
Novak……………I wish you the very best of luck when you come up against Rafael Nadal in the Australian final,……….you are a true champion, you and Andy will meet again.