Growing up on the tennis circuit, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have been like two planets in separate orbits. Their trajectories collide Sunday at the Australian Open.
The two men who have come to be considered as the best of the rest — that is, after Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — will contest their first match in a Grand Slam. One of them will walk away with the title.
As consistently high ranked players — Djokovic is No. 3 and Murray No. 5 — they start on opposite sides of the draw at majors, and that means they are almost certain to bump into the No. 1 or the No. 2 before they meet each other. Not this time.Djokovic beat defending champion Federer in the semifinals and an injured Nadal was ousted in the quarterfinals by David Ferrer on the other side of the draw, leaving the door open to Murray. Sunday's final will be the first time neither Federer nor Nadal have played a Grand Slam final since the Australian Open in 2008.
With one title already on Djokovic's shelf, the stakes on Sunday are higher for his friend.
Murray is being watched by a United Kingdom that has been waiting almost 75 years for a new men's singles champion.
With one title already on Djokovic’s shelf, the stakes on Sunday are higher for his friend.
Murray, who jokes dryly that he is considered British when he wins and Scottish when his loses, is being watched by a United Kingdom that has been waiting almost 75 years for a new men’s singles champion. Sunday may be his best chance.