Murray’s Olympic Gold puts him mentally above Djokovic ahead of US Open
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | August 15, 2016
Andy Murray’s year has got even better, as he followed final appearances in the Australian Open and French Open, and a Wimbledon triumph, by defending his Olympic singles crown in Rio.
The Scot dropped his third set of the tournament in a testing final against a fit-again Juan Martin Del Potro, but eventually ran out a 7-5 4-6 6-2 7-5 winner to be the first male tennis player ever to claim two singles Golds.
Murray’s victory not only further enhances his status in the game but also means he makes it two successive major events where he has got one over his old rival Novak Djokovic, who made early exits at both Wimbledon and now the Summer Games.
Serb superstar Djokovic was noticeably upset after losing to Del Potro in straight sets in the opening round at Rio, as he knew it was most probably the last chance he’d get to taste Olympic Gold – the one accolade missing from his trophy cabinet.
Djokovic on the decline?
After being shocked by Sam Querrey in just the third round at SW19, to see him miss out on a seasonal Super Slam and seeing his lead at the top of the ATP world rankings cut, are Djokovic’s powers finally waning?
Murray certainly seems to be taking full advantage of his slump at least, and looks to be finally stepping out of his childhood friend’s shadow as he aims to follow the Serbian in being forever known as one of the all-time greats.
After helping Great Britain to yet another Gold these Olympics after flying the flag for them in the opening ceremony, as well as leading them to the 2015 Davis Cup title, it is clear that the Scotsman has plenty of passion and fight left in him aged 29.
Now, after a brief rest from a gruelling tournament, Murray will put his full focus onto recapturing the US Open, that takes place from August 29th until September 11th.
Murray tempting price to win US Open
With odds of 2/1 to triumph with Coral, he certainly represents great value to claim a fourth Grand Slam, to put him just two behind the likes of greats Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg.
After his recent run and with Ivan Lendl rejoining him in his coaching set-up, Murray now has the mental edge over Djokovic, something he has never really been able to claim in the last two or three years especially.
However, what if the duo meet in the final? They have done so once before, back in 2012 when Murray won his maiden Grand Slam in a five-set epic.
Since then, though, Djokovic has dominated their head-to-heads (winning 16 of 19), which coincided with him becoming world number one claiming multiple majors and finally completing the Career Grand Slam – with the French Open this year being the final piece in the puzzle.
Murray now mentally above Djokovic
Murray also beat the Serb in the 2013 Wimbledon final, but has lost five other Grand Slam finals to him, including on the last three occasions and four times at the Australian Open.
It will certainly be an interesting test to see if Murray can overcome the even-money favourite in the US Open final; he certainly has the ability to, and no doubt former nine-time Grand Slam champion Lendl will be a huge help.
From there, being world number one for the first time in his career is certainly not out of reach for Murray in 2017, while he also aims to defend the Davis Cup title with GB after they reached the semis. They are the even-money favourites to go all the way again.