The Australian Open final was supposed to be a joyous occasion for Andy Murray, whatever the scoreline was to be. It was supposed to mark the sign of great progress made in 2015 following a disastrous 2014.
Therefore, when you look at the 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-0 win for Novak Djokovic in their final which went on for nearly four hours, it would seem that Murray could be congratulated for pushing the world no.1 so hard.
However, we all know it wasn't quite as simple as the numbers written on a scorecard, and the initial aftermath and reaction has not been favourable towards the Briton – rightly so. Even the sport's most distinguished names are slating the former Wimbledon winner; Pat Cash said that he needed to “have a hard look in the mirror.”
Questions are being asked of Murray's attitude and ability to remain calm under pressure as he completely hashed up a great opportunity of winning in the Melbourne final at his fifth attempt with some regrettable on-court behaviour.
In the third, having cancelled out Djokovic's early and finding himself a break of set to the good, Murray became effected by his opponent's apparent mind games. The Serbian star appeared to be struggling with cramp in between points in the heat of the Rod Laver Arena, unsurprising considering the intensity of the first two sets and his mammoth semi-final duel with Stan Wawrinka.
It truly looked as though Murray was believing we would win his third Grand Slam without needing to fully put-away Djokovic and he took his foot off the pedal.
Obviously, though, Djokovic was certainly not a spent force and he took advantage of Murray's complacency to wake up and destroy his fellow 27-year-old in the second-half of the match.
As soon as the tide had started to turn against him, Murray lost his head on-court, much like we have seen before, as he threw his racquet in anger more than once and screamed with rage as he struggled to keep control. The Aussie crowd, having won them over in the days before, were now booing the Brit.
In the post-match conferences, Murray appeared to accuse Djokovic of deliberately feigning injury. All that should be said to that comment is: so what?
The two-time Grand Slam champion has really let himself down and harmed his image, and this could have been the chance to rebuild it.
His attitude reeks of a child in the playground when he loses a football match; 'I was beating you, how dare you get better all of a sudden and beat me', it's a Grand Slam final, does he just expect to coast through against a guy like Djokovic?
So what if the Serb feigned an injury, it's a mind game and it's an incredibly vital tool in elite sport – and, hey, it worked too...
This is not the first time that Murray was thrown his toys out of the prom and it is something that Amelie Mauresmo must work on him with. How rare is it to see the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic, even when visibly angry, react in the way that Murray did and completely relinquish their concentration in a Grand Slam final?
Until he grows-up and realises that he's a professional sportsman at elite level and that sometimes you have to forget what the other player is doing, unfortunately Andy Murray will never be considered a great – what a shame.
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