Djokovic Will Have His Chance for Revenge Against Murray in Doha Final

So we got the final I’m sure most people have been hoping for after Djokovic saved five match points in his 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3 win over Verdasco and Murray defeated Berdych 6-3, 6-4.

I couldn’t watch the Djokovic match due to my poor Internet quality but on the highlights, I saw Djokovic was 2-6 and 6-7 down in the tiebreak. He was also up 4-2 in the first set after which he slumped badly to lose the first set and go down 0-2 in the second set.

It’s not every day that you see Djokovic get broken three consecutive times. It must have been a bad day at the office but what matters is that he won with the help of his characteristic mental strength.

Losing to Verdasco would have been a pretty big setback at this point and I am still not sure how first of all he got into that situation and second of all found a way out. But it is not the first time we see Djokovic save match points.

His mental strength is up there with the best of all time. The match with Verdasco may boost his confidence as well before playing Murray, knowing how close he was to exiting the tournament.

Who knows what to expect from the second final between these two in as many events. I am just glad it is the best final possible. Djokovic would obviously love to turn the tables after what happened in London last year.

If he can win that would give him a nice boost before the Australian Open and he will probably be the favorite to win his seventh title. If Murray wins that would be two consecutive final wins over Djokovic and it could give him a mental edge if they meet in the Melbourne final again.

  • Things Heat Up in Brisbane

In Brisbane today there were some interesting results as Raonic defeated Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and continues to look like a serious threat to the likes of Djokovic and Murray.

Wawrinka also came from a set down to defeat Edmund 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4 and Dimitrov continued his good form from last year with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Thiem. Finally, Nishikori easily defeated Thompson 6-1, 6-1.

So we have Raonic vs Dimitrov and Wawrinka vs Nishikori in Brisbane which is a strong semis lineup for an ATP 250. Raonic is the defending champ after defeating Federer last year and he is probably the favorite to go all the way.

  • Highlights

Posted in ATP 250, Doha.

13 Comments

  1. Verdasco is a vastly improved player from last year, when he lost 2 & 2 to Novak at the same tournament. According to the commentators he has new coaches and has built up his strength so that he feels confident he can stay in the long rallies, be patient and not rush and try to finish the points early. And there were some REALLY long rallies – something like 31 shots at 4 all in the 2nd set when Novak had game point against him. It was pretty thrilling overall. To give Verdasco his due, he played lights out and probably should have won (Novak’s words, not mine) if he hadn’t made a few too many UEs. It was very windy, so I guess going for shots a few cm from the line was risky, so Novak wasn’t as aggressive as we might like. It’s like he’s playing ‘not to lose’ rather than to win, whether because of conditions or still feeling his way I don’t know.
    Having said that, a couple of months ago Novak would probably have mentally shrugged his shoulders and would not have had it in him to fight back the way he did, so that’s a positive. It was torture seeing him get into that position, but for large parts of the match Verdasco was simply the better more aggressive player.
    But, it was just great to see some fighting spirit and mental strength in Novak again. I still think he could do with a good coach to stand alongside Vajda and not the kid he seems to have taken on as his co-coach – they have apparently been friends from childhood, but that’s not necessarily what he needs IMO. Oh Boris…
    Anyway, it was a great fight back and hope he can do something great today.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey Lynsey, happy new year. Thanks for the info my stream was a disaster and I was very frustrated that I could not watch. Fortunately, today I had a perfect stream for the final and what a match it was! Incredible. Starting in my post now.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Happy New Year Ru-an! You missed a match that was pretty hairy for Novak fans, but the final was much better. No wind, so Novak was able to be more aggressive, which let’s face it he had to be if he was going to stand a chance. The brain burp at the end of the second set was no fun, but he came through in the end. So happy…great start to the year.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you! ‘Brain burp’ nice one I prefer that over brain fart. I guess Nole needed to be more clinical but Murray also did well to fight back. I’m sure he will learn from it and get the job done in straight sets next time 👍

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Certainly hope so Ru-an… yeah, the best tennis players only burp… :-) They both did extraordinarily well, but the best man won, of course! Hope nobody starts suggesting these two are boring – I’m still a wreck!

    [Reply]

    Marcus Reply:

    Djokovic/Murray is becoming the match to watch
    If Federer or Nadal got through in the place of one of them, it would probably be a lesser quality finals match the way things are at the moment

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Of course. Look what Nole did to Nadal in the final last year. No contest.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It looks like they are taking the rivalry to a new level because that certainly wasn’t a boring final. Murray has raised his game but Nole is still too good. His best level is just unplayable. At times I thought Murray could take advantage of Nole’s sometimes poor net play but the rest of his game is so good that it is still good enough to win. The highest level I’ve seen yet.

    [Reply]

  2. Well Djokovic/Murray are the strongest players in the world and a great finals match to show it
    Federer and Nadal wouldn’t last three against either of them

    Just the movement off the ball by both, is way off the richter scale superior to Federer/Nadal

    Best match of the year so far

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Agree Marcus tremendous quality. No chance for Fedal.

    [Reply]

    Marcus Reply:

    Whilst Djokovic/Murray speed of movement is high quality so is the shotmaking

    No asterisks against either of them at the moment

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It looks like they are taking the rivalry to another level!

    [Reply]

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