|Smiling for a while – Murray will reign supreme surely|
After my predictions over a week ago were proved only slightly correct, the ATP Tour Finals 2016 produced the expected result in an Andy Murray victory and a microcosm of the 2017 season ahead.
The week itself was more of a reflection of Murray’s career to date in microscopic form; the Scot was both sublime and shoddy as pressures, concentration and temperament both helped and hindered him at times. As will be the defining mantra of the Scot’s legacy however – it was perseverance and an inner belief that helped him over the line.
After an unexpectedly gruelling semi-final win over the indoor-favouring Raonic, the final showdown was something of a breeze for the new emphatic World Number One.
Djokovic was sub-par and often downright wasteful, a reflection both of his continued drop in confidence and the growing aura of his opponent who I imagine inflicts an air of futility to his opponents who will wonder just what they can do to grind him down.
Tellingly it is players like Djokovic who may struggle more in the new Murray era, we had seen how when the two clashed before – such is their similar playing styles – that it would be a battle of confidence/self belief over anything else (which Novak will lose more often now surely). Instead expect the Wawrinka’s of this world to give Murray more headaches, at least if the Swiss doesn’t implode first. Look no further than the aggressive gameplan adopted by Nishikori last week for this already in motion.
An intriguing battle at the top then for next year, it will be fascinating if Murray can indeed build on this new status and truly rule, or will he be as susceptible as others now that he is the leader of the pack.
Image courtesy of the Guardian website