Murray forecasts an end to Djokovic’s dominance

Andy Murray does not expect Novak Djokovic to be able to repeat his sensational 2011 next year.

The Serb goes into this week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London as the undisputed world No 1, holder of three grand slam titles and having lost only four matches all season.

For a player who began the year looking to build on the solitary grand slam he won in Australia three years ago, it has been a remarkable achievement.

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Assessing his friend’s prospects for 2012, Murray said: “How many times have players had pretty much the best year in tennis and then repeated it next year? It doesn’t happen in sports.

“Like Barcelona in football...they’re the best team, but to win back-to-back Champions Leagues, even though you’re the best, it’s so tough, the margins are so small.

“A lot of things have to go your way.”

Murray was an early victim of Djokovic’s annus mirabilis, the world No 3 being brutally outplayed in an Australian Open final from which he took months to recover.

The defeat looked less horrible as Djokovic went on a run of 41 consecutive victories through to the French Open semi-finals, but for Murray the fact his conqueror was the Serb made it harder to take.

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The pair were born a week apart, with the British No 1 the elder, and their careers had taken similar paths before Djokovic’s huge jump this season.

They will clash again this week having been drawn in the same group for the O2 event, and Murray – who opens today against David Ferrer before Djokovic meets Tomas Berdych – now sees his rival’s success as a sign of encouragement.

He added: “I didn’t (match up to him) in Australia.

“I was disappointed with that match and I had to learn from that and realise why I didn’t that day.

“But other times I have played against him we always have a lot of long rallies, we have similar game styles and we both make a lot of returns.

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“I feel like it is pretty even in a lot of respects. This year he has really carried it through.

“He was struggling a lot at times last year, not just losing matches but struggling with his serve.

People were saying, ‘Is Djokovic ever going to win another grand slam? Is he good enough to do it?’.

“And it just goes to show that everyone is good enough to do it, it’s just whether you can play your best tennis at the right moments and gain that confidence that he’s had this year.”