Since my last post, Djokovic and Murray won their next two matches to make the semi-finals stage in Doha and will play against Verdasco and Berdych in the semis respectively.
Interestingly, Djokovic has been the one who has been looking more comfortable since that slow start in his first round match which was understandable as it was his first match of the year.
Since then he defeated Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 and Stepanek 6-3, 6-3 today. The match against Stepanek was played in windy conditions and he did well against the oldest player at 38 years of age to make the quarterfinals of an event since Connors in 1995.
Djokovic seems to be carrying on where he left off last year before he lost to Murray at the World Tour Finals. Obviously, he was not very pleased with that loss and has been training his ass off in the offseason.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 5, 2017
He’d love to play Murray in the final of Doha to set the record straight. Murray has been less convincing than Djokovic having needed a tiebreak in each of his first three matches. Today he defeated Almagro by the same scoreline that he defeated Melzer in the previous round(7-6, 7-5).
He is also playing Berdych next who defeated Tsonga 7-5, 6-3 today. He only leads Berdych 10-6 in the head-to-head so that could be a tough match for him if he doesn’t improve.
Djokovic plays Verdasco who he leads 8-4 in the head-to-head. Verdasco can be dangerous but Djokovic will probably be too solid for him. What I saw from Djokovic in the wind today was very solid and he still looks like the old Djokovic.
He just allowed Murray to get under his skin a bit during the second half of last year but with the Doha and Australian Open titles that would be history.
- Zverev Defeats Federer at Hopman Cup
Yesterday the rising youngster Alex Zverev defeated Federer 7-6(1), 6-7(4), 7-6(4) at the Hopman Cup. The Hopman Cup is not a tour event but Federer will be taking every match seriously knowing that it is his only preparation for Melbourne after being out of the sport since Wimbledon last year.
He has since fallen to number 16 in the rankings but it is nice to have him back. I think Zverev would have given everything as well knowing that beating Federer under any conditions would be a big win for him.
19-year old Zverev made a big move last year when he won his first title in St. Petersburg and rose to as high as number 20(currently 24) in the rankings. He is one of the brightest young stars in tennis if not the brightest.
The win over Federer was more proof of his potential which he is fast delivering on. As for Federer, I bet he is just happy that he is able to play. His ranking won’t help his draw in Melbourne but it will be interesting to see if he can do some damage.