Congrats to Murray for defeating Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 yesterday to win his first World Tour Finals title and thereby finishing the year as the number one ranked player in the world. It’s been an impressive run from him since Wimbledon and clearly having Lendl in his corner is of major importance to him.
Unfortunately, the final didn’t quite live up to the expectations because Djokovic was far from his best but at least he got one break back in the second set to make the match competitive.
At that point, he started looking like the old Djokovic as he started making fewer errors and started hitting his backhand down the line much better but by then it was too late.
Everything looked good at the start for Djokovic as he didn’t drop a point in his first two service games. But then in his next service game at 2-3 things already started coming apart for him as he let a return of serve from Murray go which dropped in.
He also made one of those shocking overheads which he is well-known for. He somehow got out of that service game but dropped serve at 3-4 and the first set was gone.
To make things worse, he dropped serve in the opening game of the second set. And as if that was not enough, he dropped serve again at 1-3 to go a double break down. I think it was in that game that Djokovic missed an absolute shocker drive volley where he set up the point perfectly and had the whole court open.
It was clear that it was not going to be his day. It was one of the worst matches I ever saw him play. At least he added some respectability to the scoreline by getting one break back but like I said the damage was done.
Djokovic simply made way too many unforced errors and was way too passive. It was only at the end when it was too late that he started to resemble the Djokovic which usually beats Murray.
I think Djokovic did a great job up until the final but the fact that Murray has done a lot more winning than him of late was the difference. I was surprised that Murray showed no signs of fatigue this week but Djokovic didn’t even test him by pushing him to a third set.
Djokovic did better in the tournament than I thought he would but I think the lack of winning in recent times is what cost him in the final. The last final he played was at the US Open and he lost that match.
Winning is a habit and Murray had won four tournaments in a row before London. It’s all about that momentum which in the end proved to be one too many to stop even for Djokovic.
I don’t think anyone is stupid enough to conclude that he was anywhere near his best but I am glad that he started gaining some momentum again before the beginning of 2017. I can’t ask for more as a fan.
It was an incredible year where he became the first player in history to win four majors consecutively on three different surfaces. The French Open was the big one and after he won that I really couldn’t care much about the rest of the year.
Sure, it would have been nice if he won a 6th World Tour Finals and ended the year as number one for the 5th time, but there is plenty of time left for those things. The old Djokovic is pretty much back. He just needs to build some more momentum.
I still don’t see how Murray will stop him from winning slams once he plays his best tennis. And he is now very close to being back to his best. In January he will be back at his favorite slam where he will already be very hard to stop.
It’s true that Murray could be at number one for some time to come now due to the number of points Djokovic has to defend at the beginning of next year but Djokovic’s focus won’t be on that.
The number two ranking will make no difference in his slam draws and he will have plenty of opportunities to get back to number one in the second half of the year. The main thing for him will be to continue to build up the momentum he started in London.
Once he gets into the winning habit he will become an unstoppable winning machine again. Not even the new version of Murray will be able to stop him.