Murray - advantage Djokovic

Scot believes semi-final scheduling could play a part

Last updated: 29th January 2011  

Murray - advantage Djokovic

Murray: gruelling semi-final

I think it helps him. It's not an excuse, I had it last year but I think the more rest you can have the better... I am hoping physically I will be okay. But yes, I am sure every player in the draw would rather have an extra day.

Andy Murray
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Andy Murray admits Novak Djokovic's extra day's rest may give the Serb a slight edge in Sunday's Australian Open final.

Murray's gruelling four-set semi-final against David Ferrer was played 24 hours after Djokovic advanced with an impressive straight-sets victory over defending champion Roger Federer.

Djokovic said he intended to watch the Murray-Ferrer match "in bed eating popcorn" and he will have been delighted to see it develop into a war of attrition lasting three hours and 46 minutes.

"I think it helps him," said Murray. "It's not an excuse, I had it last year but I think the more rest you can have the better.

"It's not like the US Open, though, where I would be playing again in 13, 14 hours' time, I still have the whole of tomorrow. I won't practice until late tomorrow and then I have the whole of Sunday to get ready.

"So I am hoping physically I will be okay. But yes, I am sure every player in the draw would rather have an extra day."

Murray has a 3-4 record against Djokovic but has won their last three meetings in straight sets.

"If I had lost those three I would have been 7-0 against him so they were big moments for me," said Murray.

"I won against him a couple of times in Masters Series finals. When I won my first Masters Series in Cincinnati (in 2008), that was a big win for me.

"The wins meant a lot to me at the time but I don't know if they will have a bearing during the match tomorrow.

Tough match

"I expect a very tough match. I am not expecting him to hand the match to me just because he has lost the last couple of times. I am going to have to work incredibly hard."

Djokovic has struggled with heat exhaustion in the past but the 7.30pm start should be late enough for the temperatures to have dipped below an expected daytime high of 40 degrees Celsius.

"It's in the evening so I wouldn't expect it to be too much of an issue," added Murray.

"If it is an issue for him then that's obviously an advantage for me. But I am not going into the match thinking it will be a problem for him. We will just have to see what happens when we get out there."

The clash between the world number three and world number five will be the first grand slam final in three years not to feature either Rafael Nadal or Federer.

And while it has been suggested it is good for the game to see new faces competing for the major honours, Murray was only focusing on himself.

"Personally if people thought it was better for the game if Roger and Rafa were in the final then I am not really bothered," he added. "It's better for me if I'm in the final.

"I think those two have been great for the sport and I am sure they will continue to be for the next six, seven years, however long they are both playing.

"But from a personal point of view, I would rather be in the final than be home watching Roger and Rafa playing again."

The Scot will be attempting to become the first British man to win a grand slam singles crown since Fred Perry in 1936 on Sunday.

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