Djokovic Plays Smart; Exploits Murray In Australian Open Final

by Head Coach

andy murray djokovic australian open final Djokovic Plays Smart; Exploits Murray In Australian Open FinalAustralian Open 2013: Novak is no Joke-Ovic.

On Sunday, Novak Djokovic reminded us why he’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game after routing Andy Murray to win the Australian Open yet again.

This wasn’t terribly surprising though, because Novak is an absolute master at Melbourne. Of the six Grand Slams he’s won, four of them have been in the land of Kangaroos and Paul Hogan.

He’s been undefeated in Australia for three years running, and Murray was simply his latest victim. But what a victim!!

If there was anyone who could have toppled Novak, Andy Murray would have been on the shortlist.

He knows Djokovic’s game as well as anyone, and the two have been going face to face ever since they were juniors.

They were even doubles partners once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away.  Now, back to the present… icon wink Djokovic Plays Smart; Exploits Murray In Australian Open Final

In the Australian Open final, the first set certainly made it look like things would be pretty close. It lasted over two hours and Murray the Marvelous  just barely eked it out to win 7-6(2).

In the second set, there was a major turning point in the match that nobody wanted to see, well except Nole of course.

We started to see that Murray was suffering from a blister that was starting to really chafe him in more ways than one.

Though Andy Murray dismissed these feet blisters, saying they had no affect on him, they did.  He was still fighting incredibly hard, but he just wasn’t the same throughout the rest of the match.

His movement was affected, which made it harder to sprint to the corners and cover the court to catch balls over great distances.

And it would get still worse in that set. But Murray displayed that tenacity he’s so well known for and managed to at least make it a battle in the second, but still lost it 6-7 (3).

After that, however, it was all downhill for the blistered Brit. He was handily routed in the third set 3-6, as Djokovic started to play Murray’s injury against him.

The fourth set went by even faster, with Novak winning 6-2 and continuing his streak of Australian Open dominance. In truth, Murray just didn’t have a puncher’s chance after the skin on his feet started to rip.

I mean, maybe against one of the guys or gals at the park or local club, but not against the #1 ranked player on planet earth.

His foot issues were keeping him from moving around the court as quickly and as fluidly as he would need to if he wanted to topple someone as clever and crafty as Novak.

Now, Djokovic of course saw that Murray was plagued by his blister.  And he executed the best strategy possible. He began to systematically use it to his advantage.

He yanked Andy out of his comfort zone and reminded him of his injury as often as he could.  Forcing Murray to *RUN*, chasing the ball willy-nilly across the court, increased his FATIGUE and his PAIN. Ouch!

Cue sinister villain laugh right about now (Bwahahahaha….).  It really was like watching a cat torture a wounded mouse while putting off the inevitable bite to the head.

Now,  is it fair to win this way – to prey on the misfortunes of others? Well, it certainly isn’t pretty or nice, but all is fair in love and war (…and TENNIS).

And Murray and Djokovic are both warriors, are they not?

Now, as young tennis players (…still filled with childhood innocence), before we start to see how stiff the competition can really be, we assume that our opponents will and should feel bad for and take it easy on us when they see that we’re in pain.

…And vice versa.

But that’s not the way any player should act, if they want to be successful at this game that is. To be a true tennis champ, you have to find the weaknesses in your opponent’s game and exploit them – no matter what.

And sometimes, the weaknesses are more physical and less mental. So always keep your peepers peeled for difficulties the guy or gal across the net from you may be having.

That said, here are 5 great signs or cues to be on the look out for.  These can really help swing the outcome of the match heavily in your favor if you can detect them in time.

1. Busted Wheels:

Feet, legs, and the ability to bend them is a HUGE part of being able to win a tennis match. They’re the foundation that allows everything to function properly.

That said, if they’re favoring one leg to another, you’ve just struck gold.  Immediately upon detection, you want to take action.

Take advantage of that, and force them to run.  Make them wish they had put on some cross trainers like new balance. Make them run all over the court like Novak did to Murray, making him feel like a headless chicken.

The more court they have to cover the better…

Hit wide, to the corners, and slip in the occasional drop shot.  Whatever you do, just don’t let them sit comfortably in the middle of the baseline.  Turn them into a track star!

2. Inferior Strokes:

If your opponent is having trouble making a backhand work for example, don’t shy away from it. Make it your focal point.  Continue bolting your shots to his backhand side until he completely cracks.

Forcing him to use his wickedly reckless (…inferior) backhand stroke will keep him on the defense more often, putting you in a premium position to accumulate easy points and build a sizable lead.

3. Internal Implosions:

Is your opponent talking to him or herself or silently berating themselves, as if you can hear them saying “Stupid stupid STUPID!!!” OR “You should have had that shot. How could you miss that you big dope?!?”

If so, that should be blood you smell.  But listen, be careful.  It’s easy for the negativity to spread.  You want to stay focused, composed, and go in for the kill like tiger in the grass,  awaiting the perfect moment to really sink in your teeth and claws.

Nothing can devastate a person or player experiencing crisis more than noticing that his opponent is still calm: locked, loaded and consistently eating away at their game and winning chances.

So, don’t feel the need to go for the kill right away in this case. Just keep gnawing away point by point and game by game… taking small bites out of your opponents mental wounds. They may be small but will cut very deep.

4. Equipment Assault:

Did your opponent slam their staff into the hard concrete, smashing it harder than Simon Cowell would a young singer’s dreams?

If so, not only does this show you that his mind is coming undone at the seams, but it also shows you that he’s extremely vulnerable.

Make it a mental note, and attack!

5. Bumbled Body Language:

Are the shoulders slumped? Is their back hunched over? Is their head hitting their chest? If your opponent is exhibiting any of these symptoms, chances are they’re having a hard time with whats going on in the match.

They’re attempting to hold it in, but it’s leaking out through the things I just mentioned. Chances are, their confidence is fading. And when there’s no confidence present, they’ve got no chance. That’s right, no chance to beat you.

But this is key.  You’ve got to recognize it and attack it before they start to get a second wind or that small ray of light at the end of the tunnel, telling them that they can do it.

You want to make sure that they still believe that they’re the little engine who can’t. icon wink Djokovic Plays Smart; Exploits Murray In Australian Open Final

And you do that by making sure you strike your hardest at this point. That’s when you want to really step it up, ready the big guns and go for that knockout blow!

Now, I don’t just mean pummel him or her with a plethora of power shots. Do that, and you might begin to commit too many unforced errors, which can leave the door open for your opponent to hang around.

What I’m saying is, you want to bring up the intensity and aggression in your play. Extend outward on your shots. Go for it.

Play smart and use some extra strategic trickery. Why now, you ask? Because… They’re already wobbling essentially, trying not to fall flat on the mat.

That’s when they’re at their weakest. And tennis isn’t a game for the fair and sweet. That’s for the girl scouts and brownie troops, or little league softball.

You know, that’s the place where everyone is a winner no matter what and everyone brings home a feel good badge or trophy. Not here guys.

This is tennis, and it’s war. You want to put yourself in the best position to succeed and dominate, period!

It’s cut throat out there. You can be friends afterwards over a cup of hot cocoa. But during the match, it’s highly calculated and very meticulous, yet simultaneously pretty primal.

You should always be looking for the advantage. Heck, if your opponent has a cut, be ready to pour on extra salt. If he’s whining about how his serve isn’t working, tell him his return is really lousy too.

Now, don’t really do those last two things, those are just to help drive the point home. icon wink Djokovic Plays Smart; Exploits Murray In Australian Open Final I don’t want any player getting sued out there (…or beaten up).

You want to kick your opponent while he’s down so to speak. When he’s at his weakest, that’s when you put on your steel toed pair of Nikes or Adidas and BOOM! Let ‘em have all you’ve got.

Hey, don’t feel bad.  Your opponent is thinking the same thing, TRUST ME!

There are few things as satisfying in life as forcing an error, and Djokovic was very satisfied at the end of the Australian Open final. How satisfied do you wanna be?

For more details on how a tennis player’s body language can severely affect the outcome of a match, win or lose, visit this page.

And for 19 hours of tennis tips, tricks, and opponent-crushing strategies, click here.

All the best,



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }


I did not see that match …..One would thing that his trainers would

have figered out that potential problem ….a blister is caused by excessive

friction I believe a sock or shoe change at the onset of this would have

been beneficial…………….Joseph

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