Owning an Event
For a player to pile up a lot of major title, he tends to need to own one event. Jimmy Connors won 5 US Open titles, Bjorn Borg won 6 French Open titles and 5 Wimbledon titles, Andre Agassi won 4 Australian Open titles, Pete Sampras won 7 Wimbledon and 5 US Open titles, Roger Federer has 7 Wimbledon titles, 5 US Open titles, and 4 Australian Open titles, Rafael Nadal has 7 French Open titles. Novak Djokovic has now joined Agassi and Federer with 4 Australian Open titles.
The surface in Melbourne so perfectly matches Novak’s game that it is conceivable that he will win several more. Andy Murray is the only other player who benefits nearly as much from the conditions at Rod Laver Arena. Murray has posted a 23-4 record over the past 4 Australian Opens. Djokovic has been the man to eliminate Murray in 3 consecutive years. Djokovic has a great chance to match or surpass Agassi and Connors’ career totals of 8 major titles. If he is to get to 10 majors or more, my guess is that at least 6 titles will have to come in Melbourne. Regardless of the future, it is clear that Novak Djokovic clearly owns the Australin Open right now.
Andy Murray is #2
The computers will say otherwise, but Andy Murray is currently the second best player in the world. So long as this loss does not drag him down, Murray should be Djokovic’s most compelling rival in 2013. I hope coach Lendl can keep Murray moving forward. After all, Murray’s first serve and variety might be more well received at Wimbledon and the US Open than they were in Melbourne. The difficult thing for Murray fans to consider is just how close he came to being up one set and one break early in the second set.