Hip, Hip, Murray!

Andy Murray has done what previously seemed impossible: beating Novak Djokovic in the first quarter of the season. Murray took his new game and attitude, courtesy of coach Ivan Lendl, to the Serb, defeating him in Dubai 6-2 7-5. Djokovic, while starting out strong, faltered early in the first set, giving Murray the break.

[caption id="attachment_220" align="alignright" width="322" caption="Andy Murray celebrates after winning his men's singles semi-final match against Novak Djokovic"][/caption]

The most telling stat of the game is that Djokovic only won 6 of 40 return points on Murray's first serve, a dismal 15%. Djokovic's rise to dominance was based on his ability to return even the best serves. He did, however, win 75% of Murray's second serve points, but Murray served at 71% for the match, so Djokovic only saw 16 second serves.

This is most certainly a confidence boost to the oft self-deprecating Murray. Murray, who was the only man other than Roger Federer to beat a fully healthy Djokovic (Nishikori beat a severely injured Djoker in Basel) in 2011, handed the World #1 his first loss of the 2012 season. Murray will face Roger Federer in the final who squeaked by Juan Martin del Potro 7-6(5) 7-6(6).

Federer, much like Murray won almost all of his first serve points, 40/45 to be exact. Unfortunately for Federer fans, the reoccurring theme of break chances lost struck the Maestro today. He was 0/6 on break points, but never let JMDP see a break point on his own serve.

Federer is looking to win his second title in as many tournaments. Federer beat del Potro to win the Rotterdam title two weeks ago, and will look to take down one of the few players that has a winning record against him, Andy Murray. Murray is 8-6 against Federer, with their last meeting coming in the World Tour Finals in 2010, where Federer won. Federer is 3-2 in finals against the Scot, with 2 coming in major finals. Murray has won the past 2 finals, though.

My Pick: Federer 6-4 6-7 7-5

Match time is 10am Eastern Time, and is available on www.ESPN3.com. Enjoy!

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