Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic: Who is the Better Player?

Djokovic defeats Murray in Miami finalIt seems almost as if Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic tennis careers have been in constant alignment.

Born just a week apart – they both celebrate their 28th birthdays in May – the pair even learned their craft together as teenagers in Spain.

Since then, they have met in countless tournament finals – 11 to be exact, as well as in many other classic matches.

So who tends to get the upper hand? And who has developed into the better player?

The Champ vs. The Nearly Man

When you consider their Major records, it’s a no-brainer. The Serb has won eight Grand Slam singles titles, and has been ranked number one in the world for nigh on three calendar years.

In 2012, Djokovic became only the fourth player in history to reach all four Grand Slam finals although the French Open still eludes him.

But he’s won the big ones on eight separate occasions – five Australian Open titles, two Wimbledon wins and a single US Open championship, and this has secured his legacy as one of the best players to ever pick up a racket.

For Andy Murray, the title of ‘nearly man’ must be starting to wear a little thin. He has appeared in eight Grand Slam finals… but only lifted the trophy on two occasions (Wimbledon in 2013 and the US Open in 2012).

His career has been beset by injuries, but his finals record suggests that there is a lack of the killer instinct that Djokovic boasts in abundance. The fact that he has lost four of those majors to the Serb perhaps sums up this discussion quite nicely.

The Battle of the Aussie Open

It was surprising then that the Scot entered his 2015 final against Djokovic in Australia as the man most likely to – according to the bookmakers anyway, for whom ‘Murray favourite for Aus Open’ was a regular headline.

It was perhaps the way in which he had disposed of his Wimbledon conqueror Grigor Dimitrov, home favourite Nick Kyrgios and the dangerous Tomas Berdych en route to the final that had convinced the bookies he was the man to beat.

And they looked to be correct as the players shared the opening two sets, both going to a tiebreak. But from then on Djokovic champions’ instinct kicked in; and he took the last two sets 6-3, 6-0 with ease.

This tied the Serb level on eight Grand Slam victories with court legends Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi. He’s still got a lot of work on his hands to catch Roger Federer on 17 wins however.

And for Murray, well, he’ll be hoping to shake off that nearly man tag during the 2015 season.

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