A lot was at stake when Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray made their way to the Philippe Chatrier, in the second semi-final. Murray looking to enter his first Roland Garros final, while Djokovic was chasing his career slam.
It was expected to be a close encounter, with Novak having a slight edge over the Scot. The match began with some fine exchanges of backhands, the first two games alone took 13 minutes. The second serve was going to be the key, and Murray was doing a fine job of holding on to the brilliance of Djokovic. Murray was 0-30 up on Novak’s serve but squandered the chance to break. In the very next game, Djokovic broke to love and went 5-3 up. The player who wins the first set between these two, has generally gone on to win the match in the past. Things were not looking good for the British number one, as Djokovic wrapped up the set 6-3.
Djokovic broke again in the fifth game of second set. Murray’s game looked tired and the World number one was looking good to go two sets to love up. Murray was constantly dropping his second serve short and Novak was recklessly going after them, his attacking approach was proving too good to handle for the Scot.
Murray was crumbling under pressure. While serving to stay in the set he failed to put away an overhead smash at 15-40 and handed Djokovic the second set 6-3.
The way things were folding out, a comeback looked unlikely. Murray was desperately in search of a break, but Djokovic was simply sublime while serving his games out. In the sixth game, Murray saved a couple of break points to keep it on serve at 3-3. The duo had already played some incredible physically confronting rallies in the third set. Murray held on with a rapid service game to make it 5 all in the third. The French crowd was backing the Scot, obviously wanting the match to go into a fourth set. And finally for the first time, Murray had two break points. He broke Djokovic to go 6-5 up and now was serving to take it to a fourth set. A love hold gave the Scott the third set 7-5, just what the crowd wanted. It was the first set that the Serb had dropped this year at Roland Garros.
After taking a medical time-out, Djokovic began the fourth set on a great note, leading 1-0 and had triple break points on the Murray serve. At 15-40 Murray won an incredible 34 shots rally, and then went on to win the game, which was one of the finest yet. In the very next game, he broke Djokovic’s serve to love and was now serving to go 3-1 up in the fourth. This was surely lifting up its expectations. Murray now, was moving much better than Novak. But more twists were yet to come, as Murray looked keen on surrendering his service break when he missed another overhead shot, that gave Novak two break points. The world number one didn’t need a second invitation to latch onto it and made it 2-2 in the fourth. The light was getting dimmer as the clock hit 8:30 local time. The quality of tennis though, was only increasing. Andy came out of jail yet again at 15-40 by two mammoth serves and made it three all. He then went on to break Djokovic and took the set 7-5 to take us into a decider. But Djokovic showed us why he’s the best in the game right now, he crushed Andy Murray 6-1 in the final set. A not so exciting end, to otherwise a great match!
GSM Djokovic 6-3 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-1. He will now battle Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday for his first French Open title.
Let’s just take a moment and applaud Andy Murray for an incredible show over two days.