Andy Murray’s defeat of Novak Djokovic in the US Open final last September gave rise to hope of a renewed rivalry between the pair at the pinnacle of the sport. The Serb’s victory against Murray in the Australian Open final this morning was achieved at a canter towards the end and served, for British fans at least, as a sobering reminder of Djokovic’s brilliance.
It appears unlikely Murray will ever join the likes of Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Djokovic as six time Grand Slam winners. A week older than Djokovic, Murray holds only one Grand Slam title and his relative weakness on the clay courts of Roland Garros will always hamper his prospects of becoming a serial champion.
Compared to the Briton, Djokovic’s style of play is better suited to clay and he will now set his sights on adding the French Open to his title collection. If he were to win, he would become only the fifth male player in the Open Era to win a career Grand Slam. Certainly, with Roger Federer on the wane and Rafael Nadal battling his knees as much as his opponents, he will fancy his chances. Moreover, judging from this year’s Australian Open it is evident that the next generation of players, led by Milos Raonic and Bernard Tomic, are still too green to challenge the very best.