Another tournament, another good run, however, ultimately, Indian Wells has proved to be another example of Andy Murray’s inability to take his game to the next level as he was soundly beaten again by Novak Djokovic.
The near misses are really adding up for the British No.1, and it is now just about time for the tennis world to stop expecting Murray to win the biggest events against the biggest players. A great player he may be, but the 27-year-old cannot be classed in the same bracket as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Djokovic.
Some of you may think of me as being unnecessarily pessimistic, he is a two-time Grand Slam champion after all. However the stats don’t lie and recently his record against the big boys just doesn’t match-up at all.
If you add up Murray’s total head-to-head record with the trio – it doesn’t make for pretty reading. 44-24 is the how it looks. Perhaps most shockingly though, Murray has not beaten any of them since 2013 – when he beat Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.
The Serbian has made up for that defeat in London by winning their last six matches. The most recent of course coming in their Indian Wells semi-final which looked more like a Grand Slam round one match for the world’s best player at the moment, rather than a genuine challenger – far too easy.
It isn’t just Djokovic either though. Murray used to be one of those rare species who had the formula to beat Federer, but the Swiss legend experienced a hat-trick of wins over the Scottish star in 2014, including a near double-bagel in their most recent encounter at the ATP World Finals.
Nadal may not be at his best at the moment, and a tie between the two on current form would be a great match, but the Majorcan has still enjoyed wins in eight of their last nine matches – unless you count a walkover in 2012.
This horrible record for Murray really has to change soon, or he faces the prospect of never adding to his Grand Slam haul. He’s unfortunate to be playing in an era of such great players, and in recent years it has really held him back.
It’s no use for him coming so far in these tournaments if he’s just going to be reduced to his knees against the best players. I may not have been writing this if Murray gave Djokovic a run for his money, but it wasn’t the case.
Somehow, Murray needs to find a winning formula in the big matches or he will be left behind in the history books; nobody remembers the runners-up.