Novak Djokovic’s sweep of Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final reinforced a fundamental fact, says Andy Murray.
The former world No. 1 says Djokovic’s ninth AO title shows younger players “aren’t particularly close” to overtaking the Big 3.
In fact, Murray asserts had Djokovic not been defaulted from the 2020 US Open for accidentally hitting a lineswoman in the throat, he would have won Flushing Meadows again too.
“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,” Murray said. “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.
“The younger guys, for me, they’ve not shown that they’re particularly close. Obviously what happened 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 be the same outcome I think.”
Two-time Olympic gold-medal champion Murray makes his return to the ATP Tour today when he takes on Egor Gerasimov in his Montpellier opener.
Murray was initially awarded a wild card into the Australian Open, but was unable to travel down under after contracting Coronavirus. Murray says recent practice sessions show him he can still compete with the elite if he can stay healthy and play consistently.
“I play in practice with lots of top players and I know how I get on against them. If I was getting smoked when I was practicing, I wouldn’t keep going through it,” Murray said. “But I know the level I am playing at. Provided I can stay fit for a period of time and get good practice and matches in, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to compete with the best players.
“Obviously playing your Rafas, Novaks, Rogers, Medvedevs, Thiem, it’s difficult. That would have been the case when I was ranked right up at the top of the game. I still feel like I can compete for big events. I wish I was able to show that in Australia. I was ready to do that. No question.”
Photo credit: @Cincy Tennis