Having developed a formidable rivalry over the years on ATP tour, tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray remain great friends off the court. The duo fought against each other 19 times in the finals of an ATP tournament as the Serbian leads the tally with a total of 11 victories.
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Andy Murray of Great Britain, Novak Djokovic of Siberia, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain attend a ceremony for Carlos Moya’s retirement during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
On account of Murray’s unfortunate injury in 2017 and his dip in rankings, there haven’t been any contests between both the players either at majors or at Masters events.
Both Djokovic and Murray last played against each other at the 2017 Qatar Open. Despite different journeys, the duo always practiced together as and when an opportunity arises.
One such chance came up at the Tokyo Olympics earlier today. The world number one, who joined the Serbian team on Wednesday began to practice right away in the scorching heat of Tokyo.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis Training – Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan – July 22, 2021 Novak Djokovic of Serbia during training. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Injury woes of Murray denied the possibility of a matchup with Novak Djokovic
Murray, on the other hand, have been practicing for a few days now. The Brit will play both singles as well as the doubles event in Tokyo by partnering with Joe Salisbury.
Coming to the singles draw, Murray has a tough first-round matchup against young Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Brit lost to Felix in the second round at US Open last year. With intense competition from youngsters, it has become incredibly difficult for Murray to make a solid comeback.
Even at the Wimbledon Championships, the former world number one was ousted by Denis Shapovalov in straight sets. While Murray is fighting hard to stay on top of his game, Djokovic is enjoying an exceptional season this year.
The Serbian star won all the three grand slams of the year and is going for gold at Tokyo Olympics. Djokovic was handed an easy draw in Tokyo as there weren’t any major threats to the Serb till quarters.
VIDEO: @DjokerNole practicing sleeveless today
— Novak India Fans (@NovakIndiaFans) July 22, 2021
Djokovic and Murray met at Tokyo Olympics for a practice session
Novak Djokovic will start his Olympics campaign this Friday against Hugo Dellien. Ahead of their respective first-round matches, both Djokovic and Murray got together to hit a few balls at the Ariake tennis center.
— Andy Murray Fan Club (@MagicMurrayFans) July 22, 2021
Leon Smith, who leads the British tennis contingent at Tokyo tweeted about the practice session between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.
“Standing there pretending to be taken seriously in front of these two guys, but anyways, great seeing these two practising together tonight”.
Standing there pretending to be taken seriously in front of these two guys……but anyways, great seeing these two practising together tonight #Tokyo2020 #TeamGB @Olympics @ITFTennis pic.twitter.com/I1v7sWJ9cE
— Leon Smith (@LeonSmith) July 22, 2021
Judy Murray also tweeted a photo of the two players as they meet ahead of their practice session at Tokyo.
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) July 22, 2021
Even though the possibility of a Djokovic-Murray matchup at the Tokyo Olympics seems highly unlikely, fans will be privileged if both of them can face each other one more time on the ATP tour.