Djokovic ready for Murray test
Originally published on: 03/08/12 00:00
Djokovic has been taken the distance by both Fabio Fognini and Lleyton Hewitt at the All England Club and the world No.2 says that Murray, who has dropped just one set thus far, presents a huge challenge in their first ever meeting on grass.
“He's a home favourite, a hero, somebody that carries the tennis in Great Britain,” said Djokovic. “The whole nation will be watching and hoping he can get to the finals and win a medal for his country. This is absolutely normal. I will try to focus on every point, focus on my game. Obviously I will have to play on top of my game in order to have a chance to win."
The Belgrade native has beaten Murray in eight of their 13 previous encounters, including an epic win in the Australian Open semi-finals this year, but Murray has won two of their last three best-of-three-set battles – in Dubai and Cincinnati – and is expected to provide even more of a challenge for Djokovic on grass.
Based on his own experiences of playing in front of partisan crowds, Djokovic, who won the bronze medal in Beijing in 2008, believes the Brit is fortunate to have home advantage.
“I love playing at home,” said the Serb. “I won the tournament a couple of times back in Serbia. We won the Davis Cup at home. There is a great support when you're playing in front of 20,000 people. It's just a special feeling when you're representing your country. You cannot experience that kind of cheer and support from your own people when you are actually playing in an individual event."
Murray and Djokovic are third up on Centre Court on Friday, after Roger Federer takes on Juan Martin del Potro and Victoria Azarenka faces Serena Williams.