Andy Murray’s career has reached new heights, recently knocking Novak Djokovic off the top spot to become world number one, whilst Djokovic himself holds the current Australian Open title with another five in the bag. With this in mind, are we destined for another Murray – Djokovic final on 29th January? The probability of this is looking increasingly likely as both players are in good shape and, being seeded one and two, are on opposite sides of the men’s draw.
With this final a likely scenario, we wanted to look in to each of the player’s stats and delve deeper into their rivalry over the last few years to potentially suggest a winner in the first Grand Slam of the year.
- When looking at the player’s individual stats, Djokovic is ahead of Murray in most comparisons, although it should be noted that the Serb turned pro two years before the Scot.
- Djokovic has won 25 out of their 36 meetings, boasting a 69% win percentage over Murray.
- Djokovic has won five out of seven Grand Slam finals against Murray.
- Djokovic has also won 21 out of 30 matches against Murray on hard courts.
- Djokovic has won all five of their meetings at the Australian Open.
- At the beginning of their rivalry, both players seemed to be reasonably matched.
- In 2014, Djokovic won all four of their clashes and continued this trend in 2015 with Murray only winning one out of their seven meetings.
- In 2016, the gap had closed with Djokovic winning three to Murray’s two.
- As a large percentage of tennis games are played on hard court, the trend when highlighting only hard court matches follows a very similar line.
- From 2012 onwards, Djokovic has had the upper hand on this surface.
- When Murray and Djokovic have faced each other in five set matches, Murray has only won two out of ten matches, once in straight sets and once in five sets.
- In the last seven Australian Opens, Djokovic has faced Murray five times – four times in the final and once in the semi-final.
- Murray has reached the final of The Australian Open five times, losing to Djokovic on four of those occasions.
- Djokovic beat Murray in the 2012 semi-final and went on to take the title that year.
- Djokovic has never lost an Australian Open final.
- Last year, Murray had a 90% win rate in comparison to Djokovic’s 88%.
- Murray also won more titles – winning nine in comparison to Djokovic’s seven.
- Andy Murray is the current ATP Men’s singles number one with Djokovic a close second.
- 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka is currently ranked fourth. He has three Grand Slam titles to his name and could potentially be a threat on Murray’s side of the draw.
- Despite returning from injury and currently ranked 17th, Rodger Federer can never be discounted as a danger.
- Milos Raonic (third) and Rafael Nadal (ninth) are on Djokovic’s side of the draw and could be a potential threat to him achieving his seventh Australian Open title.
In conclusion, although there are Grand Slam champions such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka, top-level players such as Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych, and exciting new breed players such as Dominic Thiem in the mix, we believe the chances of a Murray – Djokovic final in the 2017 Australian Open to be very high. Murray is the current world number one, he had a 90% win rate and collected more titles than Djokovic in 2016, setting himself up in good stead to finally break his run of defeats against Djokovic in The Australian Open. Now with his improved physicality, conditioning and obvious improvement Murray must feel he has as good a chance as ever to finally topple his great rival in Melbourne.
However, we are backing the current Australian Open champion as he has something to prove to the man who stripped him of his world number one crown. Djokovic, who recent parted with coach Boris Becker, might not have had a strong end to 2016 but he already holds six Australian Open titles and has beaten Murray every time they have met in the first Grand Slam of the year. We’ve already highlighted the fact that the Serb has a 21 out of 30 match win rate on hard courts against Murray, but he also prevailed in their recent meeting in the final of the 2017 Qatar Exxon Mobil Open, which could give him a psychological edge should the pair meet in Melbourne this month.