Sunday, January 30, 2011

Duck Unbroken

Well, that was a bit... anticlimactic.

Despite not having a horse in this race, I was - I confess - a tiny bit excited against this final. I thought we could see five sets. I thought we could see a real battle. I thought we would finally see British tennis break its 150,000 year old duck.

Being half a Brit myself and having a British tennis playing cousin, I was pulling for Murray tonight. A little bit. Andy Murray is emphatically not my fave. But considering Djokovic definitely isn't either, I had to pick one of them, and Murray it was.

And he was so freaking disappointing. There is a name, and the name is Safina.

Sure, Ivan Lendl took four finals to win his first one. Kim Clijsters was sitting on zero for many for a long time. But they are the exception, rather than the rule. And just like last year, the question has to be asked - will Andy Murray EVER win a Slam?

But enough of this. I don't want to be too mean. I have a British tennis playing cousin after all, and knowing what the media are going to do to Murray tonight, I don't want to add fuel to the fire.

Novak Djokovic was genuinely the best player this week. Anyone who beats a member of the Great Fedal Bromance has got something going on, and he was totally superior this week.

I don't normally break into paeans of praise for Djokovic. It is not a secret that I am not a fan. But he deserved this one. I felt, before the match, that it was Murray's turn, but once I saw the match, I knew it wasn't to be. Murray didn't play great, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Novak played awesome. Like, majorly awesome.

His defense in particular this tournament has been out of this world. I still rate Rafa as the best defender on tour, but Novak is up there in the ranks. Some of the shots he played tonight - and, indeed, this fortnight - have been incredible. He has played amazing tennis. And he has showed why he has consistently ranked higher than Andy Murray.

It's been a long time coming - congrats on your second major, Nole.

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