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No Invitation For Rivals… As Murray Ties The Knots

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Murray (left) and Nadal

Murray (left) and Nadal

World No 4, Andy Murray is getting married today in his hometown in Dunblane, Scotland, but his more famous rivals and contenders would not be present at the nuptials. Murray was also said to have turned down a seven-figure sum that was offered to him by celebrity magazines to cover his wedding.

The Scot will wed his longtime partner, Kim Sears, at the Dunblane Cathedral today, but the affair won’t exactly be filled to the brim with tennis royalties. “Not invited,” World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, told reporters after defeating Murray at the Miami finals last week when asked if he would be attending the wedding ceremony. “But I wish him all the best.”

Even Murray’s closest friend of the big four, Rafael Nadal, was not included on the guest list. The Scot has other famous acquaintances that have also been left out, including former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. Murray claims not to have any celebrity friends and accordingly, invited only people he and his fiancée felt close to and spent a lot of time with.

This is a surprising statement as he spends almost 10 months of every year with his rivals and other players on the tour. Some tennis analysts have said that his rivals were left out because his relationship with them hasn’t been so good, especially over the last year. No other player has been publicly asked if they would attend the wedding, but they have all indicated indirectly that they wouldn’t attend as most have set up training blocks for the weekend.

The most famous name to have made the list is former British tennis star, Tim Henman. Others who made the guess list include Jules Rojer, a Dutch doubles player. Murray was reportedly offered deals worth more than one million pounds ($1.9 million, N250 million) from magazines OK! and Hello! for photographs of the wedding, but turned them down.

As for the finer details, Murray said he was leaving that in the capable hands of his soon-to-be wife. Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Andy Murray of Scotland have met 26 times and Djokovic leads the head-to-head 18–8. They have met in eleven tour finals, including five at Grand Slam tournaments, and Djokovic leads 6–5.

The five Grand Slam tournament finals the two have met were the 2011 Australian Open, in which Djokovic won in three sets, the 2012 US Open, where Murray defeated Djokovic in a record-equaling match almost five hours long to claim his maiden Grand Slam title, the 2013 Australian Open with Djokovic prevailing in four sets, the 2013 Wimbledon Championships where Murray won in straight sets and the 2015 Australian Open with Djokovic again prevailing in four sets. Djokovic has won both of their matches on clay, Murray has won both their matches on grass, and Djokovic leads on hard courts, 16–6. The two are almost the same age, Murray being a week older than Djokovic. They went to training camp together, and as juniors, Murray won the first match they played together. The rivalry has become an important part of both men’s careers.

Between May and August 2013, they reigned as the two highest-ranked male players in the world, with Djokovic having held onto the top spot since November 2012, and Murray having reclaimed the No. 2 ranking in May 2013 before relinquishing it to Rafael Nadal in August the same year. Due to the lack of contrasting styles, because they both play defensive baseline games, many analysts and fans have found their matches to be less compelling than the other rivalries of the Big Four.

2006 Madrid Masters Round of 16 This was the first professional match Murray and Djokovic played together, in the round of 16 at the ATP 1000 Madrid Masters in 2006. This was the first of 12 matches at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments the two would play, with Djokovic being the eventual winner in three sets. 2008 Cincinnati Masters Final Notable for being the first final the two played professionally, at the 2008 Western & Southern Open. This was Murray’s first ATP 1000 final, and Djokovic’s 6th in total. Murray beat Djokovic in straight sets, both completed in tiebreaks, to claim his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. 2011 Australian Open Final Murray and Djokovic played their first 7 professional matches at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, and didn’t meet in a Grand Slam tournament until the 2011 Australian Open in the final.

Djokovic beat Murray in straight sets to win his second Australian Open title in just over 2 and a half hours. 2011 Rome Semi-final This was their second professional meeting on clay. Djokovic was dominant in the first set, breaking Murray three times and winning it 6-1. Murray then held his serve and broke Djokovic once to win the second set 6 games to 3.

Djokovic then rallied to a 3 to 1 lead in the deciding set but Murray rallied back to serve for the match at 5 games to 4. However, two double faults from Murray allowed Djokovic to break back and win the match after a deciding tiebreak. 2012 Australian Open Semi-final Djokovic and Murray met each other in the semifinals of the Australian Open in 2012, which was one of the longest and closest fought matches the two have ever played, at 4 hours and 50 minutes long. Murray took a two sets to one lead in the third set, before Djokovic came back in the last two, claiming victory in five sets. Djokovic later went on to defend his title against Rafael Nadal. 2012 US Open Final.

This was the second Grand Slam final the two played, and the first time the two had met at Flushing Meadows. After a 4 hour, 54 minute long final, Murray defeated Djokovic to claim his first ever major title, making him the first British man to win a Grand Slam title since Fred Perry in 1936. Murray claimed the first two sets, the first in a 24 minute tiebreak, and the second by 7 games to 5 after being 4-0 up at one point, before Djokovic levelled the scoring to take the match into a deciding fifth set, in which Murray regained his prior momentum and emerged victorious.

This match equals the record set by Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander as the longest US Open final in history, as well as the second longest major final in the Open Era, behind the 2012 Australian Open final (which also featured Djokovic). It also featured the longest ever tie-break in a US Open final, with a 12–10 final score in the first set. 2012 Shanghai Masters Final This was the first meeting between the two players in any match since the 2012 US Open final. Andy Murray was the two-time defending champion in Shanghai and was going for his third successive title, whilst Novak Djokovic had just won the China Open the previous week. Andy Murray took a close first set before the second set went to a tiebreak.

Murray had five championship points but Djokovic saved them all to win the tiebreak 13–11 (the longest tiebreak between the two players, eclipsing the 12–10 first set tiebreak won by Murray at the recent US Open final) before going on to win the final set and deny Murray his third successive Shanghai Masters title. 2013 Australian Open Final This was the second time (after 2011) that Djokovic and Murray had met in an Australian Open Final. Djokovic was the two-time defending champion (having beaten Murray in 2011 and Nadal in 2012), while Murray looked to win his 2nd consecutive Grand Slam.

Murray was coming off an exhausting five-set win over Roger Federer in the semifinals, while Djokovic breezed to an easy 89 minute, straight sets victory over David Ferrer. The first set was a tightly contested one. Djokovic had 5 break points, but failed to convert any of them, as Murray won the 1st set. Murray and Djokovic again went to a tiebreak in the next set, but Djokovic capitalized on a key double fault by Murray to win the 2nd set. The first two sets lasted a combined 2 hours and 13 minutes.

But then it was all Djokovic from there, and he won in four sets, becoming the first man in the Open era to win 3 straight Australian Open championships. The trophy was presented to him by former Australian Open winner Andre Agassi, whose record of four Australian Open titles overall Djokovic had matched. 2013 Wimbledon Final Just 12 months after his loss to Roger Federer at the previous year’s tournament, Murray made it through to his second consecutive final at Wimbledon, where he would face Djokovic in the fourth Grand Slam final between the two.

This meant that Murray and Djokovic had contested three out of four Grand Slam finals dating back to the 2012 US Open. Murray had to fight back from a break down in both the second and third sets, ultimately winning the last 4 games of the match after being down by 4 games to 2.Leading by two sets and 5 games to 4 in the third, Murray raced into a 40–0 lead in the final game, gaining three championship points. However, not to be outdone, Djokovic fought back strongly, first to deuce, after which he held three separate break point opportunities. Murray managed to save each of these, before Djokovic hit the ball into the net twice to hand Murray the title, the first by any British man since Fred Perry in 1936.

The straight sets victory meant Murray tied Djokovic at 2 wins each in Grand Slam finals, leading by 5 to 4 in their total finals head-to-head. In addition, the loss marked the first time in 80 Grand Slam matches that Djokovic had failed to win a set, his previous straight sets defeat coming against Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon in 2010. In the trophy ceremony immediately after the final, Murray said in his speech that the final game was “the toughest I’ve ever had to play in my career”, and that his concentration was so high during the closing minutes of the match. Djokovic conceded that Murray was the better player on the day, and that he “absolutely deserved to win today”. 2014 US Open Quarterfinal.

 

This was the second time the two have met at the US Open. The first two sets were tightly contested with Djokovic taking the first set and Murray taking the second, both in tiebreaks after Murray made comebacks when down 4 games to 1 in the first set and 3 games to 1 in the second set. However, Murray’s fitness dropped in the third set with stiffness in his back and hips, allowing Djokovic to break Murray twice and take the third set 6 games to 2. Both players held their serve in the fourth set until Djokovic broke Murray’s serve when leading 5 games to 4, winning the match in four sets and advancing onto the semifinals. This loss to Djokovic resulted in Murray dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since 2008.

2015 Australian Open Final This was the third time (after 2011, 13) that Djokovic and Murray had met in an Australian Open Final. Djokovic was the four time champion (having won in 2008, 11, 12, 13), while Murray made his 4th Australian Open final. Djokovic was coming off an exhausting five-set win over Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinals, while Murray beat Tomas Berdych in 4 sets. The first two sets were tightly contested ones. Djokovic took the first set in a tiebreak as a Murray backhand sailed long. In the second set, Murray made the push taking the set in a tiebreak, after failing to convert a set point earlier in the set.

After Murray broke early for a 2-0 lead in the third set, Djokovic would win twelve of the next thirteen games, including the last nine in a row, to take the match and the championship 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-0, becoming the first man in the Open era to win 5 Australian Open championships. The trophy was presented to him by former Australian Open winner Roy Emerson, who holds the all-time record of six Australian Open titles overall. Their last two meetings were the semifinals at Indian Wells, where Djokovic won 6-2,6-3 and the finals at Miami Open, which the Serb also won 7-6, 4-6, 6-0. In their last ten meetings, Djokovic had laughed last, winning all the matches.


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