The second men's semifinal at the Pacific Life Open, between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, was anti-climactic, mainly because Murray was still so beaten up and bloodied from his tangle with Tommy Haas last night that he said it playing the match was an "unprofessional" decision.
Murray suffered a left ankle strain in his match with Haas, but decided that he would give it a go today against Djokovic. He was beaten 6-2, 6-3. His entire presser was a bummer, during which he talked mostly about the injury and his immediate plans (he hopes to be fit again for the Sony Ericsson Open).
Obviously after the first couple of games, I kind of realized, you know, that when you can't change direction, and when the movement, which is generally the best part of your game, is missing, it's quite hard to play. So, you know, hopefully I'll learn for next time that it's, you know, best to be cautious rather than, you know, going out and playing the match.
For his part, Djokovic said:
It's not a pleasant sight to see your opponent playing like that. I think it was not so nice match to watch, and people certainly expected something more. For me, it was very important to stay focused, to stay in the match, every point, because Andy is kind of player who can come back right away, boom, he can make a break. He has great returns, great strokes. And I was aware of that. That's why I was really trying to stay calm.
But again, I have to say, it's not easy to see your opponent really struggling, you know, walking slowly, playing slowly, making a lot of mistakes. It just makes you play the same way.
But I'm really happy to get through.
The Djoker is already assured of cracking the Top 10, no matter how he fares against Rafael Nadal tomorrow. A reporter I don't know complimented Djokovic on his maturity, and his reply contained an interesting allusion to the discussion I had with him the other day about this Perfect Player business:
Well, thank you, very much for those comments. It's a compliment. But, you know, I cannot give certain -- something, a lot of comments about it because it's just the way I am. You know, it's just depending on the person.
On the other hand, it's all about practice. It's all about experience, you know. You see Federer, the way he acts now on the court, the way he plays, it's just perfect. You know, he really deals with the pressure and all the things so easy and looks so easy. So it's motivation when you see the player like that, it's motivation for yourself and for everybody else to reach this point where he is right now.
And, you know, I know that I'm really young and just reached the top 10 with 19 years old, but, yeah, I'm still looking forward to another challenges.
It should be an interesting final folks, feel free to use this post as the place to call the match.