Andy Murray: With Djokovic Finding His Touch, a New Rivalry Is Born

Jake RoddCorrespondent IIIMay 16, 2011

ROME, ITALY - MAY 14:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates a point during the tie break in his semi final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain during day seven of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre  on May 14, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

I was left home alone yesterday, and for once, had to make a decision on what to do. Usually, my parents leaving means a long spell on the PlayStation, frying my brain. Yet, last night, I made a different decision, which turned out to be both educational and fun. Woop, model student right here.

That decision, as you may well have guessed, was to watch Novak Djokovic take on Andy Murray. It was, as you may have heard, an extremely close match. Djokovic extended his winning run, while Andy was sent home. Tragic.

Yet, if Andy is feeling up to it, he can reflect on what that match may mean for the future of his career. Andy Murray is a great tennis player, no doubt about it. He is not brilliant on clay, yet still gives other players something to think about.

He certainly gave Djokovic something to think about. He was a couple of points away from being beaten! Yet, he came through, the mark of a true champion.

What made the encounter so gripping for me, was the quality of the tennis played. As you may know, the longest rallies are on clay, as the ball travels slower. This was certainly the case with Djokovic and Murray, with both players involved in constant baseline slogging matches. Hm, i'll rephrase that later.

The quality of the match didn't waver as time dragged on, infact, it improved. Both were still playing with flair and strength, producing a marvelous encounter. Anyway, instead of telling you how great the match was, I'm going to tell you how good other matches will be.

The answer to that, is very.

They will be playing against each other for years to come and they both have a very similar game. Djokovic has improved greatly, his forehand and backhand are now lethal, as well as his serve and net game. The same can be said for Andy Murray.

As I said, the two play in a very similar way. They are very strong from the back of the court, but they also enjoy coming into the net. How many points I saw in which a player was at the net, I don't know.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, both are very strong on both the forehand and backhand wings. This makes points longer, as neither the Serb or the Scott are liable to too many errors. Hence incredibly long rallies.

Also, the two perform very similarly to each other. Novak Djokovic has won two more titles than Murray, but he does have that small Grand Slam in that cabinet, too. The experience that the two players have at their respective ages is astounding. Though Murray is yet to win a Slam, he knows what it feels like to be in and around that winning area.

Rumors have it that the two are good friends. This will also help their rivalry, as they will practice together, and will know each others game inside out, making head to heads impossible to call.

Playing tennis myself, I always find it hard to play aggressively under pressure. So, I was impressed at how hard Djokovic in particular hit the ball, even when within points of losing. This makes the match all the more entertaining, simply because no player will back down. I could learn a thing or two from them, that's for sure.

Anyway, the point is, look forward to many more encounters between these two.