Murray vs. Djokovic: How Scotsman Can Upset Djoker in Australian Open Final

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIJanuary 26, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts during the men's singles match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day three of the ATP World Tour Finals at the at O2 Arena on November 7, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Andy Murray downed one of the toughest challenges of his career after knocking off Roger Federer in a five-set semifinal match.

Now he must overcome back-to-back Australian Open defeats at the hands of Novak Djokovic in order to capture his second ever Grand Slam title.

Murray did the unthinkable against Federer, besting the Swiss legend for the first time in a Grand Slam.

Federer was rested and had everything going in his favor, including the return of his dominate serve. He went through the first four rounds without having his serve broken once by his competition.

But what does Murray get for finally getting the better of Federer in a Grand Slam? What does he get from this monumental achievement in his career?

Murray gets a matchup against Djokovic, the world-No. 1 male tennis player and defending tournament champion for two years and running.

From one mountain climb to another.

That’s okay, because as steep as the hill may seem, the climb won’t be nearly as difficult. If there is anyone that can unseat Djoker right now, it’s Murray.

The past few months have shifted favor in Murray’s direction, after he upset Federer in London to win the male single’s gold medal. Later in the year, he upset Djokovic to win the U.S. Open, his first Grand Slam title.

Now, he has the chance to secure a second-straight victory in big matches over Djoker.

If a win in Melbourne, after all Murray has achieved recently, didn’t propel him to the world’s No. 1 ranking, it’s hard to imagine what it would take.

So what does Murray need to do in order to complete his improbable and successful run?

Djokovic will be rested after knocking off David Ferrer, his semifinals opponent, in straight sets. Their match lasted under 90 minutes, which was significantly shorter than Murray and Federer’s five-set marathon.

Rest is definitely on Djoker’s side.

That could favor the defending champ, as Murray’s previous U.S. Open victory over him came during a five-set marathon in New York.

If Murray can capitalize early on then he can win, but it’s going to take a perfect performance early on. If they duel it out into the fifth set, the advantage will shift to Djokovic from a pure endurance and history aspect.

In order to get the early upper hand, Murray must mix it up with fresh and varied approaches. Being predictable and allowing Djokovic to settle in early will do nothing but hurt his chances as the match develops.

He also needs to bring the intensity early and often in the match. Last year, Murray had a two to one advantage over Djoker heading into the fourth set, but wore down and didn’t go for the kill. Murray didn’t ease up, but he didn’t finish him when he had the chance.

He’ll need to pounce on him early and finish him before he has any ideas of a comeback bouncing into his head.

One thing’s for sure, it’s not going to be easy. Murray is in for the fight of his life, but it’s one that he can win if he plays to his potential and within himself.