Tennis fans hoping for another classic as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic prepare for showdown at the O2


Following the early example set by Andy Murray in defeating number five seed Thomas Berdych, Novak Djokovic entertained the evening session crowd by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in his first match of the ATP World Tour Finals yesterday.

The world number one didn’t have it all his own way though, finding himself playing catch-up to the Frenchman for much of the first set. After successfully defending three break points, Djokovic weathered the storm to come through a first set tie break victorious. Unable to replicate the fight he showed in the first set, seventh seed Tsonga duly found himself match-point down inside 20 minutes of the second, a point that he lost by miscuing a straightforward backhand volley, much to the evident relief of Djokovic.

During his post-match press conference, the Serb said “It means a lot, especially here when you’re taking part in an event with the best eight players in the world”, and went on to say “Hopefully I can carry this on to another match against Andy in two days”.

With that statement, Djokovic refers to his burgeoning rivalry with number three seed Andy Murray, against whom he will play his next match of the tournament on Wednesday. This much anticipated fixture represents the 17th occasion the two 25 year-olds have faced each other since their first meeting in the 2006 Madrid Masters.

Djokovic currently leads Murray nine wins to seven, but of their last five encounters Murray has won three, including wins in the semi-final of the Olympics and the Final of the US Open. However, their head-to-head record over three sets is closer, with Djokovic leading 7-6.

The prospect of seeing these two heavyweights lock horns again will undoubtedly see the O2 Arena filled to capacity with eager tennis fans anticipating another memorable occasion. The semi-final of this year’s Australian Open produced the pair’s first five-set epic, in which Djokovic recovered from two sets to one down to win in just under five hours. The meeting replicated the final of the previous year’s competition, in which Murray was beaten in straight sets in less than three hours.

The British number one finally cast aside his Djokovic hoodoo last September by beating his old foe over five sets in the final of the US Open - the second encounter between the two that fell just short of the five hour mark.

Despite Wednesday’s match only taking place over three sets, Murray’s recent resurgence against his one-time tormentor suggests that another enthralling encounter between the two superstars may be in the offing. 

Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home