I just stumbled across a clip on You Tube that I felt I had to share to back up my insistence that Novak Djokovic did try some gamesmanship against Andy Murray. The 2015 Australian Open Men's Final will be remembered for all the wrong reasons and will leave a sour taste in the mouths of tennis purists for a long time.
The following You Tube clip shows the rather 'B Grade' acting skills of Djokovic not just in the Australian Open final but also in a match against Del Potro where it is even more pronounced. I am beginning to believe that the Serb is a player who as well as being talented with a racket is also a player with a gift of being able to dictate through other means.
Tennis has always been a sport where the stronger mind prevails over talent. I often give examples of my old hero's, Borg, Wilander, etc and how they had an aura of invincibility about them in the 70's and 80's. They used to have a look about them that gave their opponents nothing in the way of ideas on how they were feeling physically or mentally.
They were different from Connors and McEnroe who left it all out on the court but even the latter two players never resorted to injury acting. They knew they would be out there for a while so it was simply a matter of punching the time clock before and after the match and putting in a hard day's work in between.
Looking back on that era I would suspect that if an injury fake was made on court followed by a rather speedy recovery the locker room may have resembled something more like a boxing ring than a place to relax.
Andy Murray has done his best to down play the whole saga and credit to him for that, after all what can he say ? If he openly comes out with 'Novak faked an injury to change my mindset' well he may just bring the sport into disrepute just as Novak seems to have done with his actions.
It will also look like sour grapes however Andy has openly admitted he was distracted by Novak so that in itself proves one thing.
Andy's mind is no where near of the caliber of the players ahead of him as you only have to count up their Grand Slam victories to see it. Roger, Rafa and Novak own a resume that look and sound more like an Around The World holiday diary than a tennis player's victory list. 'Called into New York, Paris, London and Oz, spent some time tasting the culture, got a 'post card' to prove it'.
Unfortunately for Murray he may just go down in history as a player who was the 'weaker' of a 'Famous Foursome' who dominated World Tennis for many, many years. Still, he has won two Slams, a fantastic achievement, he simply doesn't own anywhere near as many 'post cards' as the other three.
So back to the original head line, did Novak deliberately do some acting of sorts to put Murray off his game ? It will be the topic of conversation for a long time to come but please take a look at the following shared video from You Tube and make up your own mind.
It looks damning for Novak without a doubt. My personal view is that the Serb Champ was in fact in trouble as his opponent's level was at it's peak and he was struggling for answers. If he had not given Andy anything else to think about then perhaps the match would have slipped away from him. I believe he tried something that is well within the rules of tennis but definitely not in the 'morally correct' book of tennis.
A brilliant tennis player is Novak but I am not a fan, too many other things overshadow his real talent. Give me a fighter any day but I am not interested in actors. I will go see a movie for one of those......