No great battle, no Grand Slam for a British player, again. Novak Djokovic capped off his fantastic 2011 Australian Open with a straight sets victory over Andy Murray, winning his second grand slam title, both of them at Melbourne. For Murray it was his third grand slam final defeat and his second consecutive in the Australian Open. The more painful fact however will be that he has yet to win a set in a grand slam final. Djokovic won the match 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, not once looking like he wasn’t in full control and cruising to victory. He gave up only one set during the entire tournament.
Andy Murray just wasn’t in the match from the first moment, and losing seven straight games in the first and second set knocked the wind out of him and any hope of a rare comeback. Djokovic was aggressive from the first moment, pushing Murray back and won every long rally that developed. Murray, usually comfortable with hangin’ back and returning shots wasn’t able to create any attack on most points and couldn’t disturb Djokovic’s fantastic rhythm and shot making during the match. Even lady luck seemed to be on the Serbian side, with every 50-50 ball seemingly going ‘Nole’s way, hitting the line when he needed it to or clipping the net and falling on the ‘right’ side almost every time.
For Murray, his forehand betrayed him, never showing equal quality, power and precision to the Djokovic one, going too short or too long on most occasions. His inability to tweak his game during the match and mix things up with some volley points and putting pressure on Djokovic meant it was a very long day for the Brit, who also seemed to be carrying a small injury in his leg. The usual swearing at himself while looking at his box didn’t make things easier to watch from the outside.
What now? Djokovic is probably set on trying to knock Nadal off the no. 1 spot, but he needs a great clay season for that. Murray needs to find a way to change his defensive style. It’s good enough for singles titles and reaching grand slam finals, but apparently not enough to win a major.