Andy Murray says Novak Djokovic lacked 'fight' in his ATP Finals defeat

Andy Murray felt Novak Djokovic lacked ‘his usual fight’ as he slumped to a straight sets victory to Daniil Medvedev in the ATP Finals group stages.

Murray, the former world No. 1 from Dunblane, is well placed to assess Djokovic – he’s faced the current world No. 1 36 times at tour level – and felt his old nemesis wasn’t willing to engage in long rallies with the Russian.

After his 6-3 6-3 win, Medvedev – who impressed Murray with his relentless baseline striking – booked his spot in the semi-finals, where he will face Rafael Nadal.

Five-time champion Djokovic, however, faces a shootout with Alexander Zverev on Friday afternoon. The winner will face Dominic Thiem.

Having been disappointed by Djokovic on Wednesday night, Murray insists he will have to seriously improve if he’s to have any chance of going on to win the final edition of this tournament at the O2 Arena.

‘I watched pretty much all of it. The start of the match was brilliant,’ said Murray during a Twitch chat with Gael Monfils. ‘Both guys were playing very well. A lot of long rallies. Medvedev was moving so well.

‘Novak played up at the net a lot last night, he started moving forwards but yeah Medvedev was too solid. And Novak from about 4-3 in the first set after a long game, once he went a break down, I don’t know, he didn’t seem like he had his usual fight.

‘Medvedev, the whole match, was super solid. He served unbelievably well, getting lots of free points from his serve. At one stage I think over 50% of his serves weren’t getting returned, which against Novak is obviously a great number.

‘Novak was up at the net trying to finish the points, he was trying to use a lot of drop-shots as well, which weren’t that effective last night. But very, very good performance from Medvedev. Like I said, Novak started the match well but didn’t finish it particularly well.’

Murray suggested Djokovic was looking to ‘conserve energy’ but it was a tactic that was flawed against someone as solid as Medvedev.

‘I think Medvedev has been playing extremely well, I expected it to be a tough match,’ added Murray.

‘But yeah it looked a little bit like Novak was conserving energy a little bit, like he didn’t want to play that many long rallies after the first set.

‘He was trying to finish points up at the net, which against Medvedev you have to fight and work unbelievable hard for every point because he stands extremely far back on the return, he puts a lot of returns in play, he’s so solid at the back that you need to be willing to play long rallies with him.

‘It didn’t seem like Novak wanted to do that so much last night. I don’t know the reasons exactly why but now obviously it’s a straight knockout for Novak.

‘We’ll see if he changes the tactics and mentality as the event goes forward now. It was a great performance from Medvedev but Novak will have to improve if he wants to win the event, for sure.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Source: Read Full Article