It is not the first time that Novak has been defeated when all odds were favouring him. Let’s take a look at five such instances when Novak was unexpectedly defeated.
- 2012 US Open Final (against Andy Murray)
This match is considered to be one of the best of the Murray- Djokovic rivalry. Murray had lost his first four grand slam finals and many expected it to be his 5th loss in a row. The match started on a high note with the first set containing long gruesome rallies between the two. It was a 54 shot rally and the set went to a tiebreak in which Murray prevailed12-10. The tiebreak was the longest in a Grand Slam final lasting 24 minutes, with the set being 87 minutes. In the next set, Murray took a 4-0 lead. Though Djokovic clawed back to 5-5, Murray would eventually seal the set 7-5. Djokovic took the third and fourth sets comfortably 6-2 and 6-3 and it looked like the Serb was going to pull out his 9th successive 5 set victory. However, Murray slammed the breaks to win the fifth set 6-2 and became the first man from Britain to win a grand slam since Fred Perry in 1936. The match lasted 4hr and 54 min and was characterized by a very high level of physicality.
So why did Djokovic lose this match ?
The best answer to this question is probably fatigue. Djokovic had played the men’s semifinal against Ferrer on Saturday and probably didn’t have much in the tank left for the 5th set.
This is what Djokovic commented on his defeat.
“Well, any loss is a bad loss. There is no question about it,” Djokovic said. “I’m disappointed to lose the match, but in the back of my mind I knew that I gave it all. I really, really tried to fight my way back.”