Murray under microscope after Melbourne Park meltdown
Wednesday, 4 February 2015 00:00
MELBOURNE (Reuters): Andy Murray blamed Novak Djokovic’s physical problems in their Australian Open final on Sunday for throwing him off his game but that could hardly explain the meltdown that saw the Scot lose 12 of the last 13 games.
After levelling at one-set apiece, Murray led 2-0 in the third but collapsed to lose the match 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 under the lights of Rod Laver Arena, his fourth defeat in Australian Open finals and third to Djokovic.
The Serb tumbled to the court a couple of times early in the third set and was almost limping between points, but after saving a break point at 3-3, the top seed stormed to his fifth Melbourne Park title without any sign of physical distress.
“The third set was frustrating because I got a bit distracted when he, like, fell on the ground after a couple of shots,” twice grand slam champion Murray told reporters.
“It appeared that he was cramping, and then I let that distract me a little bit.
“That’s what I’m most disappointed about, not so much the fourth set because I think, especially at the end of it, he was just going for everything, and it was going in. But the third set was more frustrating for me.”
Murray was asked whether there was a deliberate element to Djokovic’s struggles.
“I would hope that that wouldn’t be the case. But, yeah, if it was cramp, how he recovered from it, that’s a tough thing to recover from and play as well as he did at the end,” Murray said.
“So, yeah, I’m frustrated at myself for letting that bother me at the beginning of the third set, because I was playing well, I had good momentum, and then just dropped off for like 10 minutes and it got away from me.”
Djokovic said he did not suffer cramping or any serious injury and described his problems as a “physical crisis” that lasted 15 or 20 minutes due to the taxing nature of the contest.
“I was just weak,” he said. “You know, just the length of the rallies. Even though I went through this moment, I believed that I was going to get that necessary strength.”