How Murray can beat Djokovic in the final
Published 25/01/2013 | 13:24
Here are five areas in which Andy Murray can make small gains as he targets his second grand slam title.
Murray has often been criticised for being too passive during matches, something he cannot afford to do against Djokovic. Murray has to take the initiative in rallies, otherwise he will find himself pushed around the court by his opponent's metronomic groundstrokes.
No one in world tennis is better than Djokovic at slugging it out from the baseline, as he proved in his demolition of David Ferrer. Murray needs to be selective in deciding when to change it up, but by throwing in the odd drop shot and net charge he can break the rhythm of the world number one.
Murray's second serve remains his Achilles heel. In arguably the best performance of his career - against Roger Federer in the Olympic final - he won 63 per cent of points on second serve. And while it is unrealistic to expect a repeat of that figure, it gives him an indication of what can be achieved if he gets this facet of his game firing.
Murray found out here last year how costly it can be to lose intensity. In his semi-final with Djokovic in Melbourne, Murray won an epic third set to move ahead but then played a careless fourth, losing it in 25 minutes as Djokovic hit back. It handed the momentum back to the Serbian who went on to claim the decider.
Although this is an area Murray has improved since linking up with coach Ivan Lendl at the start of last year, his petulant side occasionally re-emerges. Djokovic has the ability to seize on any psychological lapse.