Novak Djokovic: Tennis Star Will Fail to Repeat as Australian Open Champ

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 17, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia wipes his face in his first round match against Paul-Henri Mathieu of France during day one of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Michael Dodge/Getty Images

After what Novak Djokovic did to Ryan Harrison in Day 3 of the 2013 Australian Open, it may well be blasphemous to declare that the 25-year-old Serbian won't repeat in Melbourne.

Djokovic, after all, won the first set against Harrison in an astounding 20 minutes and committed just 16 unforced errors in the entire match (per ESPN).

But this is less about the two-time defending champion and more about who he will likely face in the final, Andy Murray.

While I join many people across the globe in believing Djokovic is the best player in the world, I like Murray's chances in Melbourne this year.

First of all, Murray has more confidence than he ever has after winning his first career Grand Slam singles title against Djokovic in the U.S. Open last year. He also beat the ageless Roger Federer to capture the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics.

But it's not just Murray's confidence that has soared. Most importantly, he is a much more composed player on the courts. Remember his epic meltdowns back in the day? He still shows frustration from time to time, but the key is that he doesn't let it get to him as much anymore.

That was evident when Murray won the first two sets against Djokovic in the U.S. Open, watched Djokovic bounce back to win the next two sets, and then put the Serbian away in the fifth set, 6-2. That would have never happened in prior years. Murray would have let his emotions get the best of him and choked.

Last but not least, I like how Murray looked in Brisbane to start off the 2013 campaign, and he has momentum. That was clear when he breezed past Robin Haase in the first round on Day 2 of the Australian Open.

Djokovic may have a 10-7 career record against Murray, but Murray knows that he can beat Djokovic in a Grand Slam tournament now and that is what matters. While Djokovic may have a better overall campaign than Murray this year, I like the 25-year-old Brit's chances in Melbourne.


What are your thoughts?

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