There was hope heading into the Australian Open men’s singles final that the red-hot form of Russian star Daniil Medvedev could stop the dominant Novak Djokovic freight train.
The world No.3’s 20 consecutive victories on his way to the grand slam final had many thinking he would be the one to finally topple one of the ‘Big Three’ in a grand slam final – hopes which were quickly dashed in a straight sets drubbing.
For many it was yet more proof that Djokovic was best positioned to outlast long-time rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the battle for the most grand slam titles.
Andy Murray, one of just four players outside the aforementioned ‘Big Three’ to win a grand slam since 2010, said Djokovic’s performance at the Australian Open showed the next generation still lacked the big game experience needed for grand slam success.
After missing the Australian Open due to a coronavirus diagnosis in January, Murray couldn’t bear to watch much of the tournament such was his disappointment to miss out.
The final was too tantalising to pass up though, but confirmed to the Scottish star that the gap between Djokovic and the rest was vast.
“It’s different standing to return or to serve in a grand slam final, than a quarter-final or a semi-final, when you are coming up against someone who’s won 17 of them,” Murray said.
“It’s pretty intimidating and the younger guys have not shown that they are particularly close.
“At the US Open, (Dominic) Thiem did what he had to do to win the event, but if Novak hadn’t put a ball through the line judge’s throat, it would have been the same outcome, I think.”
Andy Murray couldn’t watch Aus Open
Andy Murray has revealed he could not bring himself to watch the Australian Open and unfollowed other tennis players on social media after he was forced to miss the event with coronavirus.
The former world No.1 was unable to travel to Australia because of an untimely bout of COVID-19 and while his colleagues did battle in Melbourne he competed at a lower-level tournament in Italy.
“I didn’t watch any because I wanted to be there myself,” Murray said.
“It was a struggle to be honest.I stopped following all the tennis players I follow on social media and stuff because I just didn’t really want to see it.”
The tournament finished on Sunday in familiar fashion with Novak Djokovic winning a ninth title thanks to a straight-sets win over Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles final.
It struck another blow for the old guard of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer against the younger generation.
“I expected the final to be closer to be honest but I also know how good Novak is there and when he’s on his game and obviously highly motivated,” Murray said.
“I saw before the final Medvedev said something along the lines of Novak having immense pressure on him, which is true.
“But those guys have been at the top of the game, they’ve been dealing with immense pressure their whole careers and they know how to deal with it and perform at their best level when it matters.”
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