Murray falls to Djokovic

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Andy Murray was unable to prevent Novak Djokovic from retaining the Qatar Open title today. The Brit's 28 match winning streak ended in a tightly fought 3-6, 7-5, 4-6 loss.

Murray has never beaten Djokovic after losing the first set, and soon found himself in trouble in the eighth game of the match. A sequence of inexplicable unforced errors handed Djokovic a break, and the Serb held the advantge to take the set.

Djokovic broke early in the second set before serving for the match at 5-4. Murray fended off three match points before finally breaking back. A stupendous service hold followed, before Djokovic lost the plot. The Serb - already down a warning for an earlier infraction - smashed his racquet, earning a second warning and a penalty point.

Murray took advantage of Djokovic's rage, breaking the Serb and forcing a deciding set. The momentum was now with the Brit, who earned a 0-30 chance for a possibly decisive break at 3-2. The chance was wasted, and it was Djokovic who earned the decisive break in Murray's next service game.



"Its a tough one to lose," said Murray, 29. "It was high level tennis, some of the points were physically tough. But it's a great way to star the new year and I look forward to the next few weeks."


The margins between these two have never been smaller, but Murray will be disappointed at small lapses at critical junctures that let Djokovic take the win. Next up is the Australian Open starting on the 16th January. Murray reached the final last year and will likely need to reach the semis to retain his number one ranking.
Fair report Boogers and do agree that the margins have never been smaller.  I would rather Andy's run ended here than at the Australian   Open.
January 07, 2017, 10:20 PM
By sengamac

I agree Senga, also there's no shame in losing so narrowly to a player who held the #1 spot for goodness knows how many weeks until it all came to a grinding halt at Wimbledon last year.  It might sound a bit perverse, but I'm actually quite glad to see Novak getting back to something approaching his former self, although I'll be surprised if he gets back to dominating the sport in the way he did before.
January 08, 2017, 03:22 AM
By Aileen

Cheers Phil. Yes, the margins are so small, yet so crucial.
However, Andy needs to get away from that "behind the baseline" default position, if he is to have more success against Nole. 
Faster surfaces will increase his chances, hopefully.
January 08, 2017, 08:06 AM
By blueberryhill

Very encouraging report. I definitely share your view that it was an encounter on eye-level. Yes, Andy could have played the big points with more determination as he did at the MPs. What was frightening though was the regularity and precision with which Djokovic once again hit his shots and with which he dominated the tour over years.
January 08, 2017, 09:26 AM
By counter_ puncher

Fair report, thanks Phil.  Although the H2H is so much in the joker's favour, this match really did have the feel of a close rivalry.  And there was some amazing tennis from both men at times.  If they both remain fit and healthy, their rivalry could very much dominate the sport for the rest of the year.  I just hope that Andy can start to shift the balance of that H2H in his favour and build on his victory at the end of last year.   Now if he could do it at the AO that would be just perfect (though I'd happily take the joker not making the final instead!).
January 08, 2017, 01:18 PM
By Ruthie

While I always want the balance to tip in Andy's favour, close rivalry between these 2 can only be a good thing for tennis excitement.  Which is now growing for AO.
Plus Andy picked up extra points so pluses on both sides.
January 08, 2017, 06:16 PM
By circe

I had the feeling before the match that the loser would win the Aussi open.  Gosh, I hope I'm right!  I also felt that this match mattered far more to the Joker than to Andy.  Djokovic seems to be getting more and more aggravated in the past 6 months - I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't win another A.O. or even make it to the finals.  Looking forward to seeing the draw this Friday.
January 08, 2017, 11:26 PM
By Big V

Good report, Boogers, many thanks. Some super tennis throughout this tournament and much of it was in Andy's matches because he was put to the test many times. Why Novak has to fake tiredness etc is beyond me but I didn't think Andy was as affected by them so much this time.
January 09, 2017, 12:36 AM
By janscribe

I had the feeling before the match that the loser would win the Aussi open.  Gosh, I hope I'm right!  I also felt that this match mattered far more to the Joker than to Andy.  Djokovic seems to be getting more and more aggravated in the past 6 months - I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't win another A.O. or even make it to the finals.  Looking forward to seeing the draw this Friday.
Oo I like this prediction.
January 09, 2017, 09:11 PM
By circe

I had the feeling before the match that the loser would win the Aussi open.  Gosh, I hope I'm right!  I also felt that this match mattered far more to the Joker than to Andy.  Djokovic seems to be getting more and more aggravated in the past 6 months - I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't win another A.O. or even make it to the finals.  Looking forward to seeing the draw this Friday.
Do you have form on this, or is just a random hunch?  Both players looked to be happy with the outcome of the match on Saturday, so I hope they meet again at the AO with a reversal of fortunes.
January 09, 2017, 09:55 PM
By Fiverings

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