That was Ivan Lendl’s pre-match predictive description of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray’s Australian Open semifinal match. Two of the top returners on tour clashing. Two of the fastest men on tour doing battle. This should be a match with a lot of breaks of serve and long points. In short, pain is the best description for what this match will involve just as it was at the Australian Open.
- Each man has beaten the other in 2012.
- Murray has had two walkovers in this event and may not be as match tough.
- A Djokovic win combined with his Australian Open title gives Nole the inside track for finishing 2012 number one.
- A Murray win combined with his win in Dubai and near miss in Melbourne gives Murray momentum to finally breakthrough at a major this year.
My Pick – I think Andy Murray wins in three sets. Call it an unreasonable faith in Ivan Lendl, but I think Murray has absorbed enough from Lendl already to beat Nole in a baseline war of attrition. In a slam, I’d likely still pick Nole because until Murray wins a major his history of tightening up in the biggest stages must be considered. In Miami, I think Murray wins a painful three set tilt.