Murray defeated by Djokovic

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Sony Open in Miami, losing 7-5, 6-3 to Novak Djokovic in today's quarter-final match.

The quality of tennis in the first set was very high, but the end of the set was marred by a controversial call concerning a Djokovic volley. This call seemed to unsettle Murray and he was broken to lose the set. Although he reacted positively to go a break up in the second set, the defending champion couldn't maintain his advantage and back-to-back breaks for the world number 2 enabled him to serve out a straight sets win.

Both players served very well in the first set, and hit their groundstrokes with excellent depth. Murray was notably aggressive in his approach, hitting the ball precisely and with power. Djokovic had two opportunities to break in the fourth game but the Scot saved both with good play - the first with a powerful backhand down the line which forced the Serb's reply long and the second with a forehand crosscourt winner.

The set continued on serve with no further break point opportunities until 5-5 when two double faults from the Serb gave Murray a break point. But he missed a forehand into the net which levelled the score to deuce and good serving allowed the world number 2 to hold.



With Murray serving at 5-6 down, the controversial point involving the Djokovic volley occurred. The replay on the stadium big screen appeared to show the Serb making contact with the ball over the Scot's side of the net, but the umpire maintained that contact was made on Djokovic's side first. This seemed to affect Murray's concentration and he made two unforced errors to go down 0-40; Djokovic took the set after the Brit sent a crosscourt backhand long.

Despite the frustrating end to the first set, Murray maintained his aggressive play to start the second set. He broke for a 3-2 lead in a game where he outplayed his opponent at the net, breaking with a delightful volley that Djokovic was unable to reach. But the Serb showed his mental resilience by breaking straight back, and holding with ease.

Murray then played a poor service game with unforced errors seeing him fall to a 0-40 deficit; a long rally ended with the world number 6 sending a backhand into the net. Djokovic broke for 5-3 and then served out the match to love. Although Murray leaves Miami as a defeated player, today was arguably one of his best performances this season, especially in the first set, and is an encouraging sign for the upcoming months.

Murray will be in Davis Cup quarterfinal action next week when Great Britain take on Italy in Naples.
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Thanks Katie. Fair and accurate once again
March 26, 2014, 10:45 PM
By angiebabez

Really enjoy your reports, Katie - thanks.
March 26, 2014, 10:46 PM
By Elly

Must have been tricky for you to write that, Katie.

Well done.. and very appropriate picture.
March 26, 2014, 11:03 PM
By scotnadian

Why is Djokovic playing the game if he doesn't know the rules?
March 26, 2014, 11:06 PM
By Grabcopy

^ This puzzled me also - you'd think after 20 years or so he'd have figured them out!
March 26, 2014, 11:26 PM
By wimbledonwestie

The call ruined the whole till then very high quality match. Damn.
March 27, 2014, 12:04 AM
By Coldmarek

Good report on a good match marred by the net incident.   Bad decision by the umpire but Novak could have owned up.    He must have known.   It looked like the whole face of the racquet was over the net.    I think he was a bit edgy just then and desperate for the point at the business end of the set.    Andy was probably thrown at being cheated by a so called friend.    That would be quite difficult to deal with.    
March 27, 2014, 12:14 AM
By Iluvandy

For the first time, I'll be rooting for Fed against Djokovic - he has shown his true colours as a cheater. Then again Fed is no better...

Really poor form from Novak but the umpire is a disgrace.
March 27, 2014, 12:21 AM
By syc23

I really don't think Djokovic will want to play Federer because Federer will be angry about blowing the Indian Wells title.
March 27, 2014, 12:23 AM
By Connor

I really don't think Djokovic will want to play Federer because Federer will be angry about blowing the Indian Wells title.

In my book they are both losers.   Neither worth supporting.   I suppose comms have to talk up their sport but I wish one of them would have the guts to call out any player who cheats.   
March 27, 2014, 12:35 AM
By Iluvandy

Seems like a very fair-minded report Katie; didn't see the match but heard there were some excellent exchanges and very high level tennis. Good to hear.
March 27, 2014, 02:25 AM
By janetx

Good report on a good match marred by the net incident.   Bad decision by the umpire but Novak could have owned up.    He must have known.   It looked like the whole face of the racquet was over the net.    I think he was a bit edgy just then and desperate for the point at the business end of the set.    Andy was probably thrown at being cheated by a so called friend.    That would be quite difficult to deal with.    
I agree Iluvandy, and this photo says it all about that incident.  Now if this isn't blatant cheating, then I'm the man on the moon, but I also hold the umpire responsible as it seems he doesn't he know the rules.  Andy should have been awarded the point, or at the very least the point played again.  It would be interesting to know how Novak's fans feel about this, because if it were Andy I'd be looking for another player to support.  Thankfully though Andy is as straight as they come and isn't likely to change.




March 27, 2014, 02:51 AM
By Aileen

Why is Djokovic playing the game if he doesn't know the rules?
^ This puzzled me also - you'd think after 20 years or so he'd have figured them out!
It seems not Westie - and Andy, bless him, isn't holding the umpire responsible -

Murray remained gracious in defeat though, alleviating any blame from Steiner.

“It’s a hard one for the umpire to call,” he said. “It’s just frustrating.

“His racquet was over the net. It’s quite clear, you can see it on the replay. I’m not angry. It maybe had a slight bearing on that game, but I was still up a break in the second set.”

Djokovic admitted he was unsure of the rule and acknowledged the incident had a detrimental effect on his opponent.

“Obviously that distracted him,” he said. “Maybe the rule is you cannot hit on his side with the racquet. I’m not sure.”


That, coming from a player who's been a pro for 11 years, beggars belief.  I had very rudimentary tennis coaching, but I still knew that rule.  To put it bluntly I think Djokovic is lying in an attempt to save face.
March 27, 2014, 03:10 AM
By Aileen


Novak said right in the moment that his racquet went over based on the video I have seen. If that is the case, I do not see it as "cheating." Andy said to the umpire "Even Novak said the racquet was over." When Novak approached Andy he said "I didn't touch it" because he was clearly thinking about the FO incident; but he answered yes that the racquet went over. If he felt it was wrong and that it was "cheating" why would he not lie then? Instead he admitted it went over.  imo, it was an umpire mistake and it was unfortunate.
March 27, 2014, 03:14 AM
By janetx

Novak said right in the moment that his racquet went over based on the video I have seen. If that is the case, I do not see it as "cheating." Andy said to the umpire "Even Novak said the racquet was over." When Novak approached Andy he said "I didn't touch it" because he was clearly thinking about the FO incident; but he answered yes that the racquet went over. If he felt it was wrong and that it was "cheating" why would he not lie then? Instead he admitted it went over.  imo, it was an umpire mistake and it was unfortunate.
If that's the case, it might have been better if Djokovic had had the good sense to address the umpire and not just talk to Andy, although I doubt it would have made the umpire change his mind because they don't like being accused of making mistakes.  The worrying thing is that there's been some other questionable umpiring of late, not helped by incompetent line judges, both of which I think the ITF should sit up and take notice of and take steps to rectify because it isn't fair on the players who are already playing with tiny margins for error.
March 27, 2014, 03:32 AM
By Aileen

Fair enough Aileen. I think you make good points.
March 27, 2014, 03:38 AM
By janetx

I think Novak's smile when Andy went over to discuss the issue says everything that needs to be said.  He cheated.  Notwithstanding the umpire's decision he could have conceded the point. But, he did not.

I agree with Aileen, the suggestion that a player of his standing  does not know the rule is ridiculous and offensive. What a message to give to young people aspiring to enter the sport. 
March 27, 2014, 03:54 AM
By myren

Aileen, I think he (Novak) did dispute an umpire's call a few days ago and conceded the point to his opponent but I cannot remember who he was playing. 
March 27, 2014, 04:05 AM
By myren

Novak gave a point to Robredo. But it was a different situation. Umpire said to replay ball and Novak said he wouldn't have had another shot so just give point to Tommy and Umpire went with that. You can see it on youtube. Today's point looked a bit different because Nole would've or could've put the ball away. Andy hit a short defensive shot on Novak's forehand and Novak was running to net to put it away and his racquet went over, as he said quite openly and to Andy himself. But the umpire would not overrule when Andy discussed it with him. The umpire in the other situation looked at hawkeye and said okay. The umpire in this situation could see the replay but for whatever reason remained adamant.
March 27, 2014, 04:15 AM
By janetx

It's basic double standards from Novak. Against Robredo he gave the point to Robredo as he was winning and playing an opponent he knew he could beat. Against Andy where fine margins count, he does as little as possible to get the point overturned
March 27, 2014, 04:34 AM
By The Gnome

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