Australian Open 2011: Men’s Final Preview

Written By: achangeofends - Jan• 30•11
Novak Djokovic of Serbia smiles during a news conference at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 29, 2011. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas (AUSTRALIA – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

Well, this is new. Tonight, we will see a men’s major final between two guys, neither of whom are Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. Instead, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will fight it out for this year’s title. Both guys are familiar with playing in Rod Laver on the final night of the Australian Open. Andy Murray was a finalist just last year, losing to Roger Federer in straight sets. I think this loss was particularly devastating for Murray. It was his second Slam final, so it wasn’t a new experience for him. He had a winning record against Federer and I actually think he almost expected to win. But, Roger Federer is Roger Federer for a reason. He turns it up at the big moments and that’s why he has 16 Grand Slam titles. I actually took heart from the fact that Murray shed a few tears in his post-match speech, as he apologized to British fans for not being able to end their title drought. No, I wasn’t reveling in his misery (I actually felt genuinely bad for the guy,) but it was nice to see that he actually cares. Murray’s tough to read. He’s not the most forth coming guy on tour and win or lose he tends to look pretty surly.

Anyway, the whole Federer and Nadal didn’t make the final thing is a story for another day. Tonight belongs to Djokovic and Murray. The media has made sure that Andy Murray enters Rod Laver tonight with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and they’re kind of right. This is an amazing opportunity for Murray to score his first Grand Slam title. He’s competing against a peer, rather than a tennis legend. Djokovic already have a Slam title, but these two are fairly evenly matched. They grew up together in juniors and by all accounts are pretty good friends. Both have great backhands and are some of the best returners on tour. Djokovic has a slight edge in offensive play, but Murray’s got better anticipation. While odds makers have given Djokovic the role of favorite, I beg to differ. I think both guys have an equal opportunity to win out there tonight.

Andy Murray of Britain attends a training session before his men’s singles final match on Sunday at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 29, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (AUSTRALIA – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

Taking a quick peek at the road to the final, I’d give Djokovic the edge. He’s only dropped one set all tournament and has been playing some of the best tennis I’ve seen from him. I think he’s really benefited from the cooler temperatures in Melbourne this year. He also played some incredibly tough opponents, dispatching both Tomas Berdych and Roger Federer in straight sets. To be honest, I think if Novak plays at the level he played at in the Federer match, he will win the title. Unlucky for him, today was pretty much the first hot day in Melbourne for the last two weeks, and sometimes he lets the heat get to him. The match is played at night though, and they’ve closed the roof on Rod Laver for the afternoon, so I would say the weather is probably a negligible factor.

Personally, I like both of these guys, but I think it would be nice to see Andy finally win. If you made it this far, you’ve listened to me ramble for long enough. We’ve only got about an hour and a half before showtime, but feel free to chime in with your own predictions.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic d. Andy Murray in 4 sets

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2011-2017 A Change of Ends All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

Theme Customization by Fitr Theme Options