Novak Djokovic is looking to claim a second successive US Open title and the Serb will be confident that he has the game to beat Andy Murray in the final at Flushing Meadows tonight.
Novak Djokovic is the reigning US Open champion and the world number two is the hot favourite to claim a second successive title in New York when he takes on Andy Murray this evening. Here are five reasons to suggest that odds of 4/9 on the Serb are entirely justified:
1. Djokovic is the reigning US Open champion
Djokovic won an absolutely thrilling US Open final against Rafael Nadal last year at Flushing Meadows and he clearly knows how to win under the lights at Arthur Ashe. He has not been fazed by the pressure of coming back as the defending champion and, if anything, looks more confident this time around. He should be, having won four of the last eight Grand Slam titles.
2. Djokovic has been the form player in New York this year
Djokovic has dropped just one set so far in his run to the final at Flushing Meadows, which makes him by far the most in-form player in New York. His lost set came in gale force conditions against David Ferrer on Saturday and once the winds had calmed down the number two seed crushed the Spaniard. Other than that, only Juan Martin Del Potro, beaten in straight sets, has even taken the defending champion to a tie-break (which Djokovic won 7-3).
3. Djokovic 8-6 Murray
And it should really be Djokovic 8-5 Murray as one of Murray's credited victories is in Cincinnati last year when the Serb was forced to retire due to exhaustion. Both players may be the same age (they are separated by 7 days) and grew up together but it has always been Djokovic who has had the better of their exchanges, having never been behind in the head-to-head record since turning professional. The confidence of playing an opponent that you know you can beat is absolutely huge and it will be a key factor at crunch moments tonight.
4. Djokovic's will to win has returned
It was strange, and somewhat disappointing, to see Djokovic go out meekly in the semi finals of both Wimbledon and the Olympics. He then looked very flat in the final of the Cincinnati Masters. However, since arriving in New York he has looked focused and some of his reactions to points won against Ferrer in Sunday's semi final were spectacular to watch. The famous 'roar' is back in Novak's play and he will be channeling all of his energy on coming past Andy Murray tonight.
5. Murray looks vulnerable on serve
Murray may have put in some good performances in New York but he has also delivered some very sketchy ones with breaks frequent in both his match with Alex Bogomolov and Feliciano Lopez. Lopez, like Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych, took a set off the Scot and that is a cause for concern. In both his quarter final and semi final Murray actually gave up the first set before hitting full stride. Against Djokovic, if he gives up the first set then he may well be giving up the match.