Thursday, September 5, 2013

Novak Djokovic is better than Andy Murray and any other opinion is wrong

Here are the numbers...

Grand Slam Titles:
Djokovic: 6
Murray: 2

Weeks at No. 1:
Djokovic: 97
Murray: 0

Top 10 Wins:
Djokovic: 94
Murray: 66

Djokovic: 37
Murray: 28

Career Record:
Djokovic: 517-131
Murray: 420-131

Yet the only number that Andy Murray fans want to talk about is the head-to-head, since the US Open in 2012, in grand slam matches, which Murray leads 2-1 (that's a lot of parameters). Others will talk about Murray's 8-7 lead in the head-to-head since half way through the 2008 US Open Series (an odd place to chose). The only matches they really want to talk about are those in the London Olympics, US Open, and Wimbledon, because those are the only tournaments that exist to Murray fans. Murray fans don't want to realize that the clay season does actually exist. Nor do they want to realize that Murray lost matches after having match points at three consecutive tournaments during "the best year of his career."

The truth is that Novak Djokovic is far better than Murray, and the recent head-to-head is a terrible indicator for which is the better player. Let's take a closer look at the head-to-head for the two players.

Djokovic leads the all-time series 11-8 with two matches on grass, two on clay, and 15 matches on hard courts. Djokovic leads 2-0 on clay, Murray leads 2-0 on grass, and Djokovic leads 9-6 on hard.

That's an interesting breakdown of which surfaces they have met on, when you consider that there are more than twice as many weeks of the exclusively clay season than the entire grass season. So why is it that they have met on grass (Djokovic's worst surface) as much as they have met on clay (Murray's worst surface) even though there are four times as many clay tournaments that both play in every year than grass?

The reason is that even though grass is Djokovic's worst surface, he is still good enough on grass to get deep into tournaments, whereas Murray struggles to get past the early rounds on clay.

Because both players are ranked in the top four in the world, it is impossible for them to meet before the semifinals at any tournament. For the two to meet in a tournament, both players have to reach the semifinals at the tournament, and Djokovic has been holding up his end of the deal. Since the start of the 2010 season, Djokovic has reached the semifinals at every single grass tournament he has entered and reached the final 40% of the time. However, Murray has reached the semifinals just four times in the last 20 of the main four clay tournaments, reaching the final at none of them. In fact, Murray has never reached any kind of an ATP World Tour tournament on clay.

No wonder the head-to-head is as close as it is. Murray isn't even good enough to play against Djokovic unless he is playing under the perfect conditions.

Even though the numbers clearly show that this isn't even a tight battle for who is better between Murray and Djokovic, that doesn't stop fans and even members of the British media for claiming that Murray is better. Matt Cronin reluctantly tweeted that Murray's chances of being the unofficial player of the year are slim.

"Thinking unless Gasquet or Wawinka win USO that Murray out of unofficial Player of Year contention. More than likely will be Rafa or Novak"

Just the fact that he thought that was tweet-worthy is nuts. Nobody needed to tweet that Ryan Harrison won't be qualifying for London this year.

Never before in his career has Murray been more overrated than he is now, but don't tell anyone from the UK that.

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