Andy Murray spurned numerous chances to end Novak Djokovics unbeaten run today. The Scot served for the match in the third set before ultimately falling short, Djokovic emerging victorious 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2).
Murray barely got a look in during the first set, such was the power, accuracy and aggression flowing from Djokovics racquet. Such was the mismatch between the two, the Scot failed to hold serve or win a single point on his second serve throughout the entire set. A solitary break of serve in the third game was as good as it got, and the rampant Serb looked certain to canter to victory.
Djokovic was unable to reach the same mesmeric heights in the second set. The Serb started to make a few unforced errors and wasn't able to find the same width and depth that he had earlier. Murray meanwhile raised his own level and capitalised, breaking in the sixth game before a drama free service game sealed the set.Read more (198 words)
Djokovic by now looked to have hit a physical brick wall and was showing visible signs of discomfort; whether this was genuine fatigue, gamesmanship or a combination of both, only he knows for sure. Regardless, both players were playing sublime tennis. Five breaks of serve were exchanged, before Murray found himself serving for the match at 5-4. The Scots inner demons rose to the surface and he duly double faulted twice to hand the break, and initiative, back to Djokovic.
Murray was able to force the set into a deciding tiebreak, but a lack of first serves and several unforced errors allowed Djokovic to record his 38th consecutive victory.
There are positives to take from this match, and the 2011 clay court swing has shown that Murray is definitely a contender on this surface. Ultimately though, he will be disappointed to have squandered a golden opportunity to reach his first clay court final. The manner of his capitulation when serving for the match raises the same old questions about his ability to perform at the very highest echelons, and the same serve and forehand frailties were in evidence once again.
Murray will next play at the French Open.