Back to Back Issues Page Newsletter---The REAL reason Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray
January 29, 2013
Dear tennis friends,

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic on winning his third consecutive AO title, his fourth AO title in total. What a fantastic 2 weeks of tennis.

Jeff Salzenstein, one of my favourite tennis coach and he himself was a ATP player before, gave his views on why Djokoic won the finals against Murray. Read his analysis and share with me if you agree with him.

From Jeff,

"You can look for multiple reasons why Djokovic prevailed in the finals of the Australian Open.

Here are 3 big reasons, but they don't actually tell the whole story the way I see it. Read the whole email to find out what I mean.

Reason #1: 2nd serve points won

Andy Murray won 46% of his 2nd serve points. Djokovic won an astounding 66% of points played after he hit a 2nd serve. This stat is absolutely unreal.

That means 2 out of every 3 point splayed off of his 2nd serve, he won. Novak is either better off the ground than Murray or Andy didn't put enough pressure on Novak from the first ball (or it could be something else...see the end of the email).

Regardless, the is the big stat that makes all the difference in high level tennis.

Imagine if you not only improved your 2nd serve but learned how to defend and be rock solid off the forehand and backhand point after point. You would win more matches, right?

Reason #2: Novak is a little more physical than Andy.

It appeared that Murray wore down in the 3rd and 4th sets.... or was it something else (see the end of the email). Djokovic's fitness level might just be a bit better especially given the fact that he played a long 5 setter against Wawrinka a few matches prior and was able to come back strong in his next matches.

Reason #3: Djokovic is a little stronger mentally

Both players have come a long way on this department the last 5 years. We have seen their maturation right before our eyes, and you'll continue to see these two get even more mentally tough (hard to believe).

But Novak seems to always find a way, even when he is down a set, or struggling to find himself. He has become the Houdini of tennis, escaping from dark places time and time again.

It takes incredible resolve to be able to access the will and spirit to keep fighting like he does time and time again.

Ultimately, Novak has the clear vision in his mind that he wants to be the best and because he has succeeded so many times in the past, he can draw on the infinite well of energy that propels him to victory almost all the time.

The Real Reason

I can't confirm this, but I believe Murray injured his hamstring or toe.

In the last 2 sets he appeared a half to full step too slow and was grimacing often. Even a small "tweak" with an injury would be enough to lose a war against most players, especially the best player in the world. Speaking from experience, when you feel a slight twinge in your body and it affects your ability to do what you want, your mind and spirit are impacted greatly...and that's usually not a good thing It can be a huge blow to your psyche and being able to battle point after point and win the upper hand is almost impossible. Sure, you can look at all the reasons why Andy's level dropped in the last 2 sets, but if he was in fact hurt (it looked like he was), the stats (2nd serve points won), the look, and the feel of the match would be dramatically impacted.

And so...

....when looking at how to get the edge and become the best player in the world, you must step beyond forehands and backhands and even your mental toughness. A player like Andy needs to take a long look at his training off the court to make sure he is not performing certain protocols that could contribute to injuries. It's not enough to chalk up an injury to "bad luck". Most athletes think that "bad luck" plays a role in injuries, but the reality is that with cutting edge training routines,you can significantly reduce the chance of injury in a big match. I'm sure Murray's team are looking at this aspect of his training and hopefully, they can uncover what might have caused the slight breakdown in his body later in the match.

Because the pros are very secretive about what they do to recover, we'll probably never know what Murray's current training and recovery methods entail (and what changes he might make)...

...but let's hope his team makes any adjustment necessary so he can play his best tennis while staying injury free in Grand Slam finals in the future."

Interesting analysis. Do you agree with Jeff? Share with me your views on the finals and I certainly look forward to hear them.

Committed to your tennis,



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