Serbian Novak Djokovic the defending champ and #1 seed will play Scot Andy Murray, the #3 seed, for the Australian Open's Men's Championship on Sunday, Jan, 27th at 5:30 PM or 1:30 AM EST in the U. S. Djokovic has won 10 of their 17 matches to date with Djokovic having the last two wins in the final two ATP events of 2012. Both are right-handed 25-year-olds, and Murray at 6'3" is an inch taller. This match could go either way depending on who wants it more.
Murray earned his finals place by beating Roger Federer in the semi-finals for the first time in a major 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2 in exactly four hours. Murray did not play the tie-breakers well getting passed at one point on a wicked crosscourt backhand winner by Federer. Yet, Murray stayed with it. Possibly the 31-year-old Federer did not have the legs after back to back five setters.
Djokovic had a much easier route, or rout, to the final by soundly beating clay court specialist David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in 89 minutes. Djokovic struck 30 winners and 16 errors while Ferrer had only 11 winners with 32 errors.
Murray with 25 singles titles has only one Grand Slam title to 5 slam titles out of 9 finals for Djokovic for 34 total titles, and against each other they are tied at 1 to 1 in Slams. Djokovic beat Murray in last year's tournament in the semis, and Murray's win came in the finals of this past year's U. S. Open. Murray will mix up different tactics in his play, depending on how successful his forays to the net are will determine the outcome against his opponent who just likes to crush the ball.
It's hard to say who will win in what will probably be a five setter, and become a war of attrition. It will be hard to pass last year's epic 5 hr. 53 min. match when Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal in the longest Grand Slam final in the Open era. Plexi-cushion, not the fastest synthetic hard court surface, and the temperate conditions bode well for the dogged determination of Djokovic. However, with two players who seem to be on top of their games at the same time, the slight edge might go to Murray and his new found faith and "big" game.
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