I wasn’t very surprised that world #1 Novak Djokovic retired from the Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati against an avenging Andy Murray.
Novak’s 2011 record is unreal, 57 matches won against 2 match losses (Federer and Murray), so his body had to give out at some point. Looking flat and deflated Djokovic tried to give the fans their moneys’ worth but pulled out of the match at love three in the second, after Murray took the first set six four.
Murray played a smart match, picking up on Djokovic’s lack of energy, Andy played retriever and got the ball back in play to let the Serb implode all on his own. The timing could not have been better for Novak, with the 2011 US Open starting in just over a weeks time, the grinder needs a little bit of rest – it can be hard winning all the time right? I thought it was the right move to exit the match, I mean, he’s got enough points to not be threatened by Murray so any extra rest will favor Novak. The question remains, is Novack Djokovic actually injured? Highly doubtful, he is probably more worn out than anything else.
Certainly he’s saving himself. The two-time US Open finalist (’07 & ’10) is ready to finally be crowed champion for the first time, there’s really no need to push himself to the limit right now. There would be nothing more disappointing than Djokovic getting seriously injured right before one of the biggest tennis tournaments of the year.
Djokovic is the heavy favorite to win in Flushing Meadows this year, so he clearly doesn’t want to disappoint, I expect to see a refreshed and determined Serbian champion ready to take it to the limit and dominate at the 2011 US Open.