Novak Djokovic Wins final Australian Open 2011 | Novak Djokovic beat Andy Muray final Australian Open 2011
Novak Djokovic Wins final Australian Open 2011: Andy Murray handed a vibrant, hungry Novak Djokovic his second Australian Open title today in two hours and 39 minutes of truly wretched tennis.
At the third time of asking, the Scot could not win a set in a grand slam final. He did not even get close, as Djokovic won 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
This was one of the Scot’s poorest displays in a long-time, perhaps on a par with his defeat by Stanislas Wawrinka in the US Open last year. He moved with the bounce of a sloth, served meekly and lacked any of the vim that had carried him this far.
Whatever ailed Murray he employed the Rafa Nadal no-defence defence, refusing to blame any injury.
On court, the evidence was clear. He did not like the tension in his racket or in his soul. He was leaden, sullen, beaten. He blinked, tugged at his leg, shouted at his mother, swore at the seagulls and whatever conversation he was having with himself would have been a very black dialogue indeed.
But his passion was misdirected; it was not his team or the seagulls who were losing this final; it was him.
Djokovic ignored it all. He served with outstanding consistency, blasted six aces past his static opponent, broke him seven times out of 18 opportunities and was rarely in trouble.
At least Murray did not cry this year, as he did when losing to Roger Federer in last year’s final. Indeed, Murray looked for an instance in the glare of the lights as if a mild hysteria had invaded him, smiling with what surely was embarrassment on the podium.
“Try to keep it together this year,” he joked, something he clearly could not manage during a match in which his opponent played classic Murray defensive tennis to grind him down.
Murray’s post-match summary for the crowd was from the handbook of good manners. “You had an unbelievable tournament,” he said to Djokovic, “and deserved to win. I look forward to playing against you in the future. I would like to thank my team …”
And so on. In fact, at key stages of his meltdown he looked as if he wanted to strangle his team. “Calm down,” he gestured after losing the first set; “Shut up!” he screamed, after losing the second.
Much will be made of his choking or otherwise; the ghost of Fred Perry will be exorcised. Neither is completely true. Simply, he struck Djokovic on a night when the Serb would have beaten anyone in the world – maybe even a fully functioning Nadal or Federer.
He had already put Federer away in the semi-final; this was better than that; at one point he looked as if he would nil Murray in the second set, but the No5 seed battled hard to hang on to his credibility.
It’s not history that weighs Andy Murray down. It’s Andy Murray. There are too many of him.
The one who turned up at Rod Laver Arena was in few respects related to the buzzing, positive player who had come through six pulsating matches for his date with destiny, and he practically gift-wrapped this title for Djokovic.
Murray will come back. In what shape is an intriguing question. This will either further harden his resolve or send him into a funk. And not even he is sure which direction he is heading.