Miami final preview: Murray vs Djokovic
Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:55
Sony Ericsson Open ATP Masters 1000 final, 1.00pm EST / 6.00pm UK
Murray and Djokovic might as well be twins. Born a week apart (their poor imaginary mother!), the careers of the two 21-year-olds have been compared and contrasted ever since the Scot turned pro in 2005, two years after the Serb emerged on the Tour.
And now, since Murray reformed Big Three as the Big Four in 2008, the pair are playing cat and mouse for ownership of that world No.3 spot.
That won’t change hands this week. Djokovic’s run to the final means that, whatever the outcome of the Miami final, he will remain just ahead of Murray – and close in on Federer.
Instead, they can focus on the second Masters 1000 final of the season – which they both enter in great form. Djokovic got the better of a flustered Federer in his semi-final with a promising display in difficult conditions.
But the form-player of 2009 so far is Murray. just two ATP Tour defeats – and we’re in April! – and two titles already to his name thhis year, the Scot has broken serve more often than any other player in Miami and looked in ominous form against Juan Martin del Potro in the second semi.
It is a world apart from their meeting here two years ago. Then, Djokovic was the Tour’s golden child, and obliterated Murray 6-1 6-0 in the semi-final. It was the third of four unanswered victories for the Serbian, and surely the most painful.
But in 2008 Murray broke his Djokovic jinx, first beating the Serbian in the Rogers Cup Masters before proving it was no fluke by claiming the Cincinnati Masters title at the world No.3’s expense in the final.
And Murray is talking a good game ahead of the final. “I feel confident and I’ve had a really good run so far this year,” said Murray. “I’m not going to put any extra pressure on myself for the match on Sunday.”
For all his good form, however, Murray knows that for now Djokovic is the man to beat. He has a Grand Slam to his name. He has a couple more titles than Murray under his belt. His earnings are already past the $10 million mark.
And he is world No.3. Sure, Murray can’t take that away from him this weekend – but he can take a step closer to parity as he continues his bid to emerge from behind the Serb’s shadow.