Djokovic or Murray? Our men's final picks

by: January 25, 2013

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What Djokovic needs to do to win:

The defending champion will want to use his topspin shots, exceptional defensive skills, and baseline ball control to stretch the court and make Murray hit his forehand on the run. The game’s top returner must make inroads on Murray’s second serve and use his backhand down the line to hit behind the speedy Scot at times.

What Murray needs to do to win:

The rangy Scot possesses a more penetrating serve, can mesmerize with his finesse and is more comfortable at net. Murray must serve as effectively as he did in his five-set win over Roger Federer—he served 64 percent and hit 21 aces against no double faults—hit his forehand with authority, and move forward when opportunity arises to finish at net.

Our Picks:

Djokovic has been playing with supreme professional focus and quiet confidence. Murray had to go the five-set distance to beat Federer, but won’t have the legs to stay with Djokovic.

Murray served superbly against Federer, but Djokovic can do more with his return. The way Nole is looking, Murray will need a flawless performance to win, and that’s too much to ask against the No. 1.

Djokovic is riding a 20-match Melbourne winning streak and has beaten Murray two years in a row on this court. He has an extra day of rest and gets the slight edge in what could be a thriller.

He’s won close and he’s won brilliantly, and the world No. 1 won’t want to lose two straight Grand Slam finals to the world No. 3. The Serb is made for this court, having won Down Under three times already.

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