Post-Match Analysis: Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray
He did it. In three straight sets Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic to become the first men’s singles champion since 1936. Djokovic didn’t make it easy, at times leading Murray in both the second and third sets, and fighting to break Murray’s serve in the final game. Yet Murray showed extraordinary skill and resilience, trading blows with Djokovic in the rallies and finding answers to the kind of shots that the No.1 seed’s other opponents had often found unanswerable. The tension in the final game was almost unbearable, but Murray finally took it to win the championship 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
IBM SlamTracker analysed both players’ past performance to isolate three keys to the match: targets that, if hit, would give that player the best possible chance of winning the title. Djokovic’s keys were to win more than 64% of the four to nine shot rallies, to win more than 12% of his first serve points with an ace, and to average between 5.2 and 6.2 points in each game when he was returning service. Murray’s keys were to win more than 57% of the points when returning Djokovic’s second serve, to win more than 55% of the points on second serve, and average less than 5.2 points per game when serving. This third key was in direct opposition to Djokovic’s third.
In the end, Djokovic won none of his keys to the match. He won only 45% of the medium-length rallies, won just 6% of his first serve points with an ace, and there were 6.6 points per game when Murray was serving and him returning. Break down the match into sets, and Djokovic still only managed one solitary key in the first set, averaging 6 points per game when returning.
Murray, however, won the first of his keys, winning 59% of second serve return points, and performed so well in his first serve and return games that coming short on points in his own second serve didn’t matter. He actually won only 56% if his second serve return points in the first set, but won 57% and 71% in the second and third.
Murray’s first serve percentage across the match was 64%, and he won an impressive 72% of his first serve points, which meant that winning only 42% of his second serve points wasn’t a disaster. Djokovic had the higher first serve percentage by a whisker, at 65%, but won only 59% of his first serve points and 41% of his second serve points. Most importantly, Djokovic couldn’t match Murray’s performance in his return games, winning just 39% of receiving points to Murray’s 48%. 40 unforced errors and 4 badly-timed double faults didn’t help his chances either.
This was an incredible match, packed with epic rallies, last-minute saves and gutsy holds of service. It was enough that Murray lifted the trophy after 77 years of waiting, but to do so against such a powerful and determined opponent makes the achievement all the more inspiring. A worthy climax to this most thrilling of Championships.
For the full match report visit wimbledon.com