Australian Open 2013: Djokovic braced for ‘demanding’ Murray final
Australian Open 2013: Defending champion Novak Djokovic says he is braced for a "very demanding" final against Andy Murray
Novak Djokovic says that he is braced for a “very demanding” final against Andy Murray at the Australian Open on Sunday.
The world number one booked his place in the Melbourne showpiece courtesy of an emphatic 6-2 6-2 6-1 victory over David Ferrer, in a rapid one hour and 29 minutes.
For US Open champion Murray, it was a different story as he was forced to a fifth set against Roger Federer despite dominating Friday’s semi-final.
The third seed eventually secured a 6-4 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 win, reaching his third Australian Open final in the process.
The last three meetings – US Open, Shanghai Masters and ATP World Tour Finals – have gone the distance, and Djokovic expects the same on Sunday.
“Considering the fact that every time we played in last probably six or seven encounters, it was always a long matches, physically very demanding, going three sets and five sets in Grand Slams, I guess we have to expect something similar to happen, long rallies, and I’m ready for that,” said Djokovic.
The Serbian is bidding to become the first player to win three successive Australian Open titles since 1967, when Roy Emerson made it five-in-a-row.
Despite Djokovic being slight favourite, Murray’s triumph in Flushing Meadows last August means a very close final is expected.
And the top seed believes the British No1 fully deserved his first Grand Slam title.
“The US Open final was a very entertaining, very interesting match obviously to be a part of but the circumstances that day that were quite strange,” he added.
“The wind for semi-finals and finals was just incredible. I’ve never played on a stronger wind. So it was more of an adjustment for him and me.
“He managed to come out as a winner because he found his way in those conditions. He adjusted better. He won his first title.
“As I said after, I thought he absolutely deserved it because he’s been around as a top player for many years. He played in many finals of Grand Slams. He finally won his title.”