The Australian Open is quickly approaching its end. On the men's side, only the top three seeds remain. Out of all three seeds, Andy Murray has had the least trouble getting to the semifinals. Now this is partly due to the fact that Murray has had the easiest draw out of the three players, but also because Murray hasn't given his opponents a chance.
When Murray senses that he is the one controlling the tempo of the match, he simply does not take his foot off the gas pedal. On that note, Roger Federer is in for quite a battle in his upcoming match with Andy Murray.
Federer struggled against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals and nearly lost a hold of that match until finally finishing in the fifth set. Murray has set up opportunities for himself and given them away in the past, but after the US Open that's all a thing of the past. Murray finally has the killer instinct inside of him; he has the ability to sense when he has to go for the win.
At this stage in the game, it’s more about mentality and tenacity rather than actual shot-making. And watching Murray play, his style can only be described as explosive. His movement, groundstrokes, and serves have all been explosive without any significant fluctuations. Murray has that aggression and commitment that's required to beat the Federers and Djokovics of the game.
Look for Murray to utilize his return and go for a break early in each set to turn the tide quickly. Murray’s game is heavily dependent on momentum and if he can grab an early break it’ll be hard to stop him.
If Murray does in fact get past Federer, the ultimate test awaits.
Djokovic, after a five-set thriller against Wawrinka, has dominated his next two matches en route to his third consecutive final down under. In the most tense and crucial of situations, Djokovic has consistently produced shots that others may deem fearless to say the least. However, Djokovic’s biggest problem is that he goes into mental lapses and sets himself up for those pressure situations.
Against Murray he’s not going to be able to dig himself out anymore. Like we saw at the US Open, Murray can sense mental lapses through body language and play style. If Djokovic plays too passively and begins to display negative body language Murray is going to be way too ready for that.
The sheer hunger is enough for Murray to be destined to win his second major. With the recent dominance of Djokovic, Murray is just itching to get his turn at the top of the podium. But instead of waiting for his turn like previous years Murray’s going to go get it, regardless of anybody else’s plans.