Nole extends his amazing streak to “38”! (Rome – SF)

It was the best clay-court match of the season and the toughest one in Novak Djokovic‘s amazing streak. Andy Murray couldn’t do too much in the very first game (Djokovic hit four winners) but the Brit was playing very well after that, despite winning only one game in the 1st set. He had a double set point to win the 2nd set 6-2. The 3rd set was scintillating, both guys played their best tennis albeit Djokovic had some troubles with his standard accuracy, which allowed Murray to play harder from the baseline than in the two previous sets. Djokovic led *3:1 (30/30), afterwards Murray *4:3, Djokovic broke back only to lose his serve again after a long 9th game (three deuces) in which suffered cramps. Murray leading 5:4 on serve had 30/15 – served a double fault! [Djokovic was also two points away from defeat in the Miami final against Nadal, but on his own serve then]. On the third break point for Djokovic, Murray served a double fault again (just four d.f. in the whole match)! Serving Djokovic, 5:5 (0/30) and Murray plays a combination  of dropshot and lob – Djokovic gets the point though, with a convincing overhead, 6:5 for him… Murray at 15/30 in the following game, this time he is two points away from defeat – serve and backhand volley, Djokovic chases but falls spectacularly on the court. Another point, and another Murray’s successful volley, intelligent service winner (1st-“2nd serve”) and a tie-break! Both have very good records in deciding tie-breaks at the main level (Djokovic 8-4, Murray 11-4):
1:0 Djokovic – fantastic rally, Murray’s moon-lob allows him to make a transition from defensive to offensive but misses relatively easy forehand volley, D’Joke raises his hands
2:0 Murray’s backhand error
2:1 Murray’s backhand DTL
3:1 Murray’s backhand error again
4:1 Djokovic’s cross-court forehand winner
5:1 Murray plays serve and volley – lucky slice return by D’Joke and puts away a backhand passing-shot
Italian spectators scream “Nole! Nole!” during the change of ends
5:2 Murray’s ace
6:2 Djokovic’s combination of backhands: drop-shot & lob
7-2 Djokovic’s backhand drop-shot once more (furious Murray slams his racquet on the ground)
Last two points
The Serb wins 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2) in 3 hours 2 minutes and roars in ecstasy… “Obviously it’s a great run,” said Murray about Djokovic’s 38-match winning streak “I’m just disappointed with myself that I should have ended it tonight. I’m one of the best closers in tennis and I very rarely, especially against the best players, lose matches when serving #. But I played a bad game and I made two double faults. It was good match and I had chances to win. He played very well in the first set and I did not really get into it. I think after that, especially towards the end of the second and third sets, there was some very good tennis
# Prior to tonight’s match, Murray lost only once at the main level serving to win – it was five years ago in Barcelona, to Ferrer 6-4 6-7(4) 1-6 serving at 6:5 when broken at ‘love’
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