Rematch of last year’s final between these two that Novak was able to take in 4 sets.
Despite dominating in all categories Roger Federer in the first two sets, the Serb lost the 3rd but that was quickly forgotten and he then went on to win the 4-th and book his place in the final.
“He definitely maybe dropped his level of play just ever so slightly in the third set,” said Federer. “But that’s all it takes. It’s not easy to keep playing the way he was playing. You can’t read all the serves all the time. I started to get a few more free points. I started to get more opportunities on his service games, as well.
“Margins are small out there. Even in a match like tonight where the first two sets run away. You can’t get discouraged. You have to keep going, stay aggressive. I think my game started to come more and more.
“My rhythm, my timing, all that, was a bit off in the beginning. He took advantage of that and did an unbelievable job for a long, long time tonight.”
Djokovic shared his views on the match:
‘’These were probably the best two sets I’ve played against Roger over my career. This was I think a different level than from before. I’m just very, very pleased that I was able to perform the way I did from the very beginning till the end.’’
Djokovic leads the h2h with Murray 21-9 and has been dominant play continues as he breezed through the draw and those 2 weeks, with only bummer, his unforced error count and 5 sets against Gilles Simon in the 4-th round.
Murray is now standing on Novak’s wat of record tying 6-th Australian Open crown and 11-th Grand Slam title in his career.
Andy had to come from 2-1 sets down to overcome a previously unbeaten in 2016 Milos Raonic. The match lasted just over 4 hours and was really close throughout with the Canadian’s level dropping a lot in the 5-th
“When you play against someone who is tough to break like Milos, you need to protect your own serve to put pressure on them,” said Murray. “I think at the end of the fourth set I did very well. I won some of the break points I faced. I came up with some good second serves. I changed the position of the second serves on a few points. Served close to the lines. That was big.
Raonic took a MTO in the beginning of the 4-th for a upper right leg problem
“Obviously if the injury affected him significantly at the end, then that’s tough, especially at this stage of an event. As the player, it’s obviously very tough when that happens. I’ve been in that position myself many times before, as well. It’s not easy.”
“It was tough, but in the tie-break he didn’t miss one first serve,” Murray said courtside about losing the 3rd set and going down 2-1. “He has one of the best serves in tennis but I got a slightly better read on it as the match went on. That was the key. He definitely slowed down in the fifth set, which was unfortunate for him. He was struggling with his movement. You just have to deal with your side of the net as best you can.”
About his chances against Novak, Andy said
“Last year here is a good match for me to look at because the tennis, in my opinion, wasn’t miles apart,” said Murray. “It was a very close match for three sets. 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. I need to do it for a very long period if I want to get the win. That’s my challenge on Sunday.
“I have a very good shot on Sunday if I play my best tennis. I don’t think many people are expecting me to win on Sunday. I have to just believe in myself, have a solid game plan, and hopefully execute it and play well. There’s no reason it’s not possible for me to win.”
This is Murray’s 5-th Aus Open final and Novak has stopped him 3 times while Roger once
Djokovic has won 3 in a row against Murray in Grand Slam action and those matches were all decided in 4 sets. The last win from the Scot came in the 2013 Wimbledon Final, and in straight sets as well.
Novak has had an extra day of rest to prepare for the clash
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