The world number one Novak Djokovic is through to his third successive AO final by pretty much running through the Spaniard David Ferrer. The result didn’t surprise me as I didn’t think Ferrer had the game to beat Novak if the Serb was anywhere near his best. While I expected a straight sets win, I thought it would be closer than the eventual score line of 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Djokovic was just too damn good for the soon to be world number four.
There is nothing more to write about this match. Novak Djokovic makes his 4rth AO final in 6 years on the new surface that looks tailor made for his style of play. Whoever gets him the final will have to play out of their skin to beat him.
The second semi will be played on Friday night. And I find myself asking the same question I have asked every year at the Aussie Open; why do they play the 2 semis on separate days? How hard is to schedule them on the same day? It’s not going to affect the winner of the second semi that much as they still gets a day off but it seems so odd to wait for an entire day to find out who the second finalist is!
That being said, the second semi-final should be a cracker of a contest. Roger Federer versus Andy Murray is a strange match up or should I say their head to head so far is strange. I always thought Federer should be easily ahead in their head to heads but it is Murray who holds a slight lead, 10-9. It is to Murray’s credit that he has been able to do that; his game has that variety and defence to frustrate Federer at times. The Swiss, who probably looks at tennis as an artistic expression, gets frustrated when he is unable to paint the court with his dazzling game. His big losses to Safin, Tsonga, Del potro didn’t irritate him that much but the ones he had to take at the hands of Canas, Nadal & Murray (for both, the initial ones only, mind you) left him visibly frustrated.
While Murray was able to get the better of Federer on the best of 3 sets format, the Swiss undoubtedly had easier times at the Grand Slam level winning all four matches while only dropping a solitary set. Andy did get a victory at the Olympics final but keep in mind, Federer was pretty much gassed out by an extremely long and emotionally draining semi the previous day with Del Potro. I am also not that convinced by Murray’s maiden Grand Slam victory last year at the US Open. He was clearly nervous but was helped by the fact that Djokovic was downright terrible in handling the windy conditions that night. Even after taking a 2 sets lead, he let Djokovic back into the match. But he did play well in the final set to take it 6-2 I think. Point is, has Murray improved enough to consistently win against the biggest boys in the game right now? I, for one, haven’t seen the evidence till now but can nevertheless see the progress.
Another thing to consider is the timing of the match. The semi will be Murray’s first night match of this year’s Open while Federer has played his last four under the lights. Will that be a big factor? Apparently the ball moves slower during the night and this is will make it a bit easier for Andy and Federer would always prefer faster conditions
And how much will Federer’s 5 set win in the QF take out of him. One way of looking at it is that he has been tested and now knows what areas he needs to fine tune. Murray had it pretty easy so far, maybe a bit too easy?
If his serve is on and forehands clicking, then my pick to win is Federer. However, he can get a bit inconsistent these days, which isn’t that big a surprise considering most guys his age usually retire or don’t go deep in the tournaments anymore. Andy Murray, with his magnificent defence, will also make Federer play more shots to win each point but the Swiss has tons of experience and variety to counter it as well. Murray has got a good serve as well but he doesn’t go for the kill during a rally as often as Federer and that could be decisive. As always, I am gonna pick Federer to come though! 🙂