Andy Murray appears to fire a jab at Novak Djokovic on Instagram
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have already had a friendly rivalry, yet that may be tested by an Instagram comment served up by the Scot.
Murray won two of his three Grand Slam titles after beating Djokovic in finals at the US Open and Wimbledon, while also losing five major finals against the Serb.
Despite that rivalry, has always been strong between two of the greats of the modern game, yet Murray offered up comments on Djokovic that may not be welcomed by the 24-time Grand Slam champion on Instagram.
Footage of Djokovic hitting a shot directly at Roger Federer and hitting the Swiss player at the 2014 Shanghai Masters was posted on Instagram, which inspired Murray to make this comment: Totally legitimate play. Great shot. However, when Rafa clocked him in Canada and Norrie in Rome he reacted like “how dare you?”.
The comments sparked plenty of debate on social media channels, with Djokovic’s comments after he was hit by Norrie in the match mentioned by Murray confirming he was not amused when he was on the receiving end.
“Those are the things that we players know in the locker room it’s not fair play, it’s not how we treat each other,” he said after the incident back in May.
Norrie did not see what the fuss was about, saying of the smash: “I apologised straight away and I didn’t see him. I looked up and hit the ball down low. I didn’t see him turn and concede the point.
“I wanted to win, it was one of those matches where he’s one of the best players in the world and I wanted to play my best and compete as hard as I could.
“I didn’t think I was in his face at all. I think, if anyone knows me, I’m pretty vocal in some matches. It was a regular tennis match for me.
“I was feeling my hip a little bit and I took the medical time-out. It is within the rules. And for him also it’s in the rules to start the match on his time – being late.”
There is an unwritten rule in tennis that the etiquette of the sport ensures you do not hit your opponent deliberately with the ball.
Murray’s comments suggest he has no problem with some rough house tactics on court, even if he is still a huge admirer of Djokovic and everything he has achieved in the sport.
“I think what he achieved at the US Open, and also for the whole of this year, is incredible. To still be doing what he is physically at 36 is very impressive,” said Murray of Djokovic.
“The motivation and the drive to keep winning and keep performing at that level, it’s brilliant. I think of all those guys, Roger, Rafa, they have all had long careers. But certainly none of them, I don’t think, have played at the level that Novak is just now at this stage of their careers so consistently.
“I said that after Wimbledon, everyone was saying it was a changing of the guard, but it wasn’t for me,” explained the Brit in an interview with the BBC.
“It was quite clear Novak had won two of the first three slams and was very, very close in the final of Wimbledon. He proved that he’s the best player in the world again yesterday and like I said it’s up to the youngsters to improve enough to take him.
“I don’t think he’s going to stop at 24 titles, but you never know how long it will last. Physically, motivation, whether someone like [Carlos] Alcaraz improves – he’s an amazing player Alcaraz, he’s brilliant, but to do what Novak is doing on a consistent basis is different.
“It’s not the same as doing it for 15-20 weeks a year like Novak is doing, every time he steps on the court. I do think that Alcaraz will soon get to that level but I don’t think this is going to be the last time that Novak wins a Grand Slam.”
It will be interesting to see Djokovic’s response if he is asked about this Insta talking point in his next press conference.
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