It will be a rematch of the 2015 Australian Open final when Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray once again battle for the title Down Under on Sunday night. Djokovic won last year’s showdown 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0. That improved the Serb’s record in the head-to-head series to 16-8 and the familiar foes have faced each other six times since that encounter. Djokovic is now 21-9 at Murray’s expense and 10-1 in their last 11 matches since losing to Murray in the 2013 Wimbledon final. Check out the Djokovic vs Murray Head to Head stats.
This showdown between No. 1 and No. 2 came somewhat close to not happening. First it was Djokovic who survived a scare, as he misfired 100 times–yes, 100 unforced errors–in his third-round tussle with Gilles Simon before prevailing 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. But the top seed has been more impressive in defeats of Hyeon Chung, Quentin Halys, Andreas Seppi, Kei Nishikori, and Roger Federer. Djokovic was especially daunting in his four-set semifinal win over Federer on Thursday.
Murray’s five-setter came on Friday against Milos Raonic. The Canadian took the first set and also led by two sets to one only to see Murray storm back for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 victory. The Scot has also taken out Alexander Zverev, Sam Groth, Joao Sousa, Bernard Tomic, and David Ferrer so far this fortnight.
“The most important thing for me is to sustain my level for long enough, not just for one set here or there, a few games here or there,” Murray commented. “I need to do it for a very long period if I want to get the win. That’s my challenge. I’ve obviously played very good tennis here. I’ve given myself many opportunities, [reaching] the finals (four times); seven straight quarterfinals, as well. I have a very good shot on Sunday if I play my best tennis.”
The problems for the underdog, however, are vast. He is 0-4 lifetime against Djokovic in Melbourne and Djokovic is 5-0 in his career of competing in Aussie Open finals. Moreover, Murray needed four hours and three minutes to win his semifinal and he will have had one less day of rest when they take the Rod Laver Arena court for the final. This has another title for Djokovic written all over it.
Prediction – Djokovic in four sets
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