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December 3, 2020

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Andy Murray defends Novak Djokovic amid ‘motivation’ question marks

3 min read

Djokovic was defended by Murray (Picture: Getty)

Andy Murray has no worries about the ‘motivation’ of Novak Djokovic, despite the world No. 1 being thrashed by Lorenzo Sonego in Vienna.

Djokovic, the world No. 1 from Serbia, bounced back from the astonishing 6-2 6-1 defeat to the Italian lucky loser by cruising past Diego Schwartzman in his opening match at the ATP Finals.

After the defeat Djokovic suggested that clinching the world No. 1 ranking – something he had achieved that week – had an impact on his performance.

‘I’ve done what I needed to do and why I came here. I move on completely fine with today’s result and looking to the next chapter,’ said Djokovic after the defeat.

Gael Monfils – the French tennis player – and Murray discussed Djokovic’s form, with Monfils admitted there had been ‘worries about the shape of Novak after he played very bad in Vienna’.

Monfils believed Djokovic had answered those fears with a ‘statement’ win over Schwartzman and Murray, the three-time Grand Slam winner from Dunblane, believes it’s simply a case of his priorities lying elsewhere.

‘Just quickly on the motivation or Novak’s shape,’ said Murray. ‘You have to remember sometimes what these guys – Roger [Federer], Novak and Rafa [Nadal] – achieve.

Djokovic started well in London (Picture: TPN/Getty Images)

‘There’s so few things that they maybe haven’t done or a few things that their legacy depends on. These are the sort of events that are important to that.

‘I know some of the other tournaments on the tour – they’re still important events but in terms of their motivation and their drive and their focus, these events: the tour finals, the Grand Slams, the Masters, if you ask them I’m sure they’re the events they’ll say they want to peak for and win.

‘So I think both of those guys [Nadal and Djokovic] will be extremely motivated this week.’

Looking back on Djokovic’s 6-3 6-2 win over Schwartzman, Murray admitted it was a nightmare match-up for the diminutive Argentine.

‘It’s a tough match up in these conditions, especially, for Diego,’ added Murray.

‘Novak defends so well on these courts, serves better, bigger reach… it was always going to be a tough one for him.

‘He’s not getting anywhere near as many free points to beat Novak and win more than 55 or 60% of the baseline rallies – it’s just not going to happen. That’s why the result was as it was.

‘That angle there to stretch Diego off the court that Novak has those shots. It makes it very tough for someone like Diego out there.’

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