The 2016 Australian Open men’s singles final is set, and the match that we’re all sick of will take place on Sunday from Melbourne Park. Andy Murray advanced to the final on Friday night as he defeated Milos Raonic in a five-set affair. Raonic held a lead in the match, and he was the favorite after taking a two-sets-to-one lead. However, as is often the case with the taller players, Raonic bumped into late-match body problems that cost him a chance to be more competitive.
After the match Raonic took to Instagram to communicate with his fans:
“It’s infuriating for the tournament to end on this note and to have to face this knot in my stomach. But it’s not the end. Not by any means. I am better than that and I will overcome the challenges my body presents to me.”
For Raonic, the key to the future is to get his seeding as high as possible for future Grand Slam events. He’s the type of player that cannot play long matches round after round with any hope of continuously winning them. As soon as the match against Murray went to the fifth set, it was 99% decided in the Scot’s favor.
The 720 ranking points Raonic banked will help him improve his seeding. However, he needs to be healthy for the Master Series events ahead of the French Open in order to have a chance of getting into the top four. Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo, Rome, and Madrid are big tournaments for Raonic at this point in his ever-improving career.
The last match at the 2016 Australian Open looks like nothing more than a repeat performance. Novak Djokovic has been sizzling ever since suffering a minor scare in the fourth round. Matches against Kei Nishikori and Roger Federer were highly touted, but the Serb cruised through them with barely a patch of bad tennis. In fact, his first two sets of play against Federer have been described as all time great tennis as he made the Swiss Maestro look like a player ranked outside of the Top 50.
Unfortunately, Murray versus Djokovic is not a match that holds a lot of intrigue in the context of the Australian Open final. Murray does have nine wins over the Serb in thirty chances. However, the Scot is 0-3 against Djokovic in the Melbourne Park final. Murray has been good for a set in the final, and he played Djokovic to a five-setter in the semifinals in 2012, but the World No. 1 remains the easy favorite.
The players’ route to the semis
|Rd||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray|
|1R||Bt. Chung, 6-3 6-2 6-4||Bt. Zverev, 6-1 6-2 6-3|
|2R||Bt. Halys, 6-1 6-2 7-6||Bt. Groth, 6-0 6-4 6-1|
|3R||Bt. Seppi, 6-1 7-5 7-6||Bt. Sousa, 6-2 3-6 6-2 6-2|
|4R||Bt. Simon, 6-3 6-7 6-4 4-6 6-3||Bt. Tomic, 6-4 6-4 7-6|
|QF||Bt. Nishikori, 6-3 6-2 6-4||Bt. Ferrer, 6-3 6-7 6-2 6-3|
|SF||Bt. Federer, 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-4||Bt. Raonic, 4-6 6-4 6-7 6-4 6-2|
The men’s final will play on what will be very early Sunday morning in North America (7:30 pm Melbourne time). Up first is the women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber as the 2016 Aussie looks to repeat champions from last season in the both the men’s and women’s draws.
Murray had this to say about attempting to take down the world’s number one tennis player.
“A lot of things are important when you’re playing against the best players in the world,” Murray said after his win over Raonic.
“I need to execute my game plan very well and not have any lapses.
“He loves playing on this court. We’ve played a bunch of times this year, but hopefully, this will be a different result.”