Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray as it happened

World number one Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray in three sets at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

7 November 2012 Last updated at 23:06 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1657: 

    So it is Djokovic who nudges ahead in the head to head battles against Murray, with the Serb having now won four of their seven encounters this year. The London edition wasn't a classic in the New York or Shanghai mould, but it was a close, and sometimes tense, encounter nonetheless. More importantly, Djokovic's two wins means he tops Group A and will qualify for the semi-finals if Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Tomas Berdych in the evening match. We'll be back for more live text commentary at about 19:30 GMT for the Berdych Tsonga ding-dong. Bye for now.

  2.  

    Jade Oldcorn on Twitter: "Another Murray-Djokovic classic, feel for Andy! Played well today."

    Jack Whiteside on Twitter: "How satisfying must it be to be as good as Murray and Djokovic."

  3.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Lipsy Pennell on Twitter: "From what I saw that was excellent match! So close."

    Alex Haworth on Twitter: "The end of that match was pathetic from Murray, from 15-40 made 4 errors and didn't make a clearly nervous Novak win the match."

  4. 1644:  
    Andrew Castle, BBC Sport

    "It's not a must-win match to go through match but every match they play is a must win match. The worry for Murray is that Djokovic is continuing to improve as well. It's centimetres here and there between these two. Murray's done well."

  5. 1643:  
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "He only lost a handful of points in the first set but Djokovic, being the best player in the world, was able to respond. The early part of the third set I didn't think were good signs, that's when he was starting to get a little bit frustrated and talking to the guys on the court. But he responded well and went on to play great tennis and you think Murray's going to go on and win this. I think Murray can play better. If he can keep the consistency of the first set he's going to win the final match of this group."

  6. 1639: 

    Novak Djokovic after beating Andy Murray in three sets: "I hope you guys enjoyed it because we really pushed each other up to the last ball. It could have gone either way. It was enjoyable to be part of this match. In the opening game he played some great shots and lost only a couple of points on his first serve throughout the first set so I couldn't do anything about it. I'll just enjoy this victory. I don't want to play my part in calculations. I have to walk my dog tonight. It's my turn. That's my primary focus now."

  7.  
    Djokovic 4-6 6-3 7-5 Murray

    Djokovic prepares for what he hopes will be the final furlong, and such is the hush around the O2 you can almost hear one of the spectators blink. The world number one lazily nets for 15-30 and a lone fan shouts "come on" as Murray earns two break points thanks to a picture-perfect overhead smash. Djokovic though, nostrils flaring, rescues the situation and a lame Murray return then presents the Serb with his first match point. The rivals embark on another nervy rally, with Murray's patience faltering and Djokovic raises his arms in the air.

  8.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 6-3 6-5 Murray

    "Novak! Novak! Novak!," sing a cluster of supporters, proving that not everyone seated at the O2 is flying the Murray flag. One overzealous fan suffers the wrath of the tutting majority, though, when he shouts the Serb's name just as Murray prepares to unleash a serve. Murray in trouble. Two break points Djokovic... The Brit saves one, but a sublime backhand return from Djokovic forces the Scot to send his crosscourt forehand long. Djokovic celebrates with a stentorian roar, and why not - he's within a game of victory.

  9.  
    GET INVOLVED

    SwissBiddy on Twitter:‏ "Andy Murray is no respecter of blood pressure! Go for it, lad!"

  10.  
    Djokovic 4-6 6-3 5-5 Murray*

    Djokovic serving to stay in the match... Applause echo around the arena as Murray pounces on a clumsy Djokovic forehand to whip a wonderful crosscourt winner into no man's land. Djokovic, looking as if he has lead in his trainers, barely moves and his backhand consequently drifts beyond the baseline for 15-30. Murray, with the speed of a panther, scampers towards the net but pushes a volley long to allow his opponent to level at 30-30 and despite the Scot's best efforts the Serb holds. Even stevens. Oof.

  11.   
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    Djokovic has the job of serving to stay in the match. Murray really has to focus on this first point and try to get into an early lead. He has that bit of momentum with him."

  12.   
    Andrew Castle, BBC Sport

    "You just cannot put Andy Murray away. This is wonderful to watch and these two are going to be producing it for years to come."

  13.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 6-3 4-5 Murray

    Djokovic treats a 132mph first serve as if a granny had just kicked a beach ball towards him for 15-30. Murray varies play by advancing to the net, and it's a ploy with works wonderfully well as the Brit levels at 30-30 thanks to a lovely volley. "Come on," roars the world number three as a Djokovic forehand drifts long and another errant Djokovic forehand sees the Scot to nudge ahead for the first time in what seems like an age.

  14.   
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "You can see that positive body language now and the way Andy is focusing on every point. You want to show him a video of when he is complaining to his box."

  15.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Stuart Wisbey on Twitter: "I love how Djokovic is dressed all in black like a Disney villain here to try and steal from Prince Murray of Britain."

  16.  
    Djokovic 4-6 6-3 4-4 Murray*

    Two wayward Djokovic groundstrokes give Murray, and his fans, encouragement. And Djokovic's forehand once again falters to end a nerve-janglingly tense rally. Two break points Murray. Judy Murray is on her feet. The spectators are, if not in full voice, then certainly raucous and the screams reach a crescendo when a challenge goes Murray's way, ensuring parity is restored in this set. Wow!

  17.   
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "It was almost as if Djokovic was showing signs of frustration there. Better signs for Murray. Murray hasn't played his best tennis but he still has a chance to get himself back into this third set."

  18.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 6-3 4-3 Murray

    The clock ticks towards the two-hour mark and Murray produces a razzle-dazzle of a serve, with the usually elastic Djokovic only just managing to get a little bit of graphite on the return. Undeterred, the world number one bounces back into contention and earns himself a break point, although another menacing Murray serve into the rib cage takes the game to deuce. Roars of encouragement from the London crowd as the Scot effortlessly moves to advantage and, once again, the man from Dunblane wriggles free.

  19.  
    Djokovic 4-6 6-3 4-2 Murray*

    "When I play Andy I need to be ready for long rallies and a physically demanding match," said Djokovic ahead of this tussle, and that has certainly proved to be the case so far, with sweat seeping from the Serb's every pore during the changeover - an indication of the effort both players have made. Djokovic perhaps not galloping towards the finishing line, but an easy hold ensures he's closing in on victory.

  20.   
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "If Murray keeps holding he knows he will have three games to break Djokovic's serve and when you return as well as Andy does you will get opportunities."

  21.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jade Oldcorn on Twitter:‏ "It wouldn't be a true Murray-Djokovic match if it didn't go the distance." #finalshowdown

  22.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 6-3 3-2 Murray

    Djokovic, with a vice-like grip on this game, ratchets two points for 30-0. The Australian Open champion, though, loosens his grasps by netting a backhand and follows that up with another wayward effort. The Scot, back in the game, as they say, seems to have it in the bag, but plonks a delicate backhand volley into the barrier. Momentum swings Djokovic's way as the Serb ekes a break point. Danger averted, though, when the Serb sends a forehand long. Hang on, Andy, just hang on... and the Scot survives, sending Djokovic this way and that before unleashing a crackerjack of a winner.

  23.   
    Andrew Castle, BBC Sport

    "From 0-30 and break points down Murray survives and now it is still a long way to the finishing line for Djokovic."

  24.  

    From anonymous, via text: "Sat testing a new IT system at work, so far the BBC tennis page is working fine...better test it for another set just to be sure!"

  25.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Robert Ladak on Twitter:‏ "Djokovic worried about flash photography disrupting his game. I'd be more worried about Murray's shorts blinding him."

  26.  
    Djokovic 4-6 6-3 3-1 Murray*

    What can Murray do from here, against the world number one, a man he has know since he was 11 years old? It's a start as bright as his shorts for the Scot as he takes advantage of a net cord, unleashing and unstoppable winner for 0-15. Djokovic's forehand is, however, now a potent weapon and he's finding the line with consummate ease and Murray is starting to creak like the floorboards of a haunted house.

  27.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 6-3 2-1 Murray

    Murray clearly annoyed and talking to himself with worrying regularity. Three break points for Djokovic... the Serb nets a backhand, but the Scot crumbles from the baseline and fails to find the target with a crosscourt backhand.

  28.  
    Djokovic 4-6 6-3 1-1 Murray*

    "Great slice, great slice," I think I hear Murray telling himself, even though the opening point goes Djokovic's way. A scream from a line judge signals that Djokovic was wayward with a groundstroke, but the Serb, looking a bit quizzical, opts to challenge and is successful. The duo then embark on a 26-shot baseline slug-fest, and it's Murray who loses patience. The annoyed Scot screams at himself in frustration and, perhaps, loses concentration as Djokovic scrambles from his clutches.

  29.  

    Phil Murray (no relation), via text: "Riveting stuff to brighten up an otherwise dull if very scenic cross-pennine rail journey."

  30.   
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "Now that Murray has that service game under his belt he has his nose in front and can start putting some pressure on Djokovic."

  31.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 6-3 0-1 Murray

    This is it. The final set. Murray gambolling on the baseline as he prepares to send down those venomous serves of his. The Scot is on song, winning four points on the trot with Djokovic failing to conjure any power on the returns.

  32.   
    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "It wasn't too much of a long shot that this would go to three sets after the previous matches we have seen. There's nothing between them. You can't really say one has played better than the other. Djokovic has responded well to losing the first set. The response when he broke serve in the second showed he is here to win this match."

  33.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tamsyn Ellwood on Twitter:‏ "This is @andy_murray tennis. It could be a long afternoon yet."

    Travis on Twitter: "Murray is an impregnable wall of defence. Amazing stuff so far, but as we know against Djokovic, it ain't over till it's over."

    Chris Harvey on Twitter: "Don't show any weakness Andy!!!! Still needs to learn the art of the pokerface a la Federer."

  34.  
    Djokovic 4-6 6-3 Murray*

    Triple set points for Djokovic... and the 25-year-old Serb needs just the one, ensuring this match goes into a decider. Eight winners from the clinical Serb in that second set.

  35.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 5-3 Murray

    Oohs from the crowd as a sizzling Djokovic backhand finds the line, but that's the best Djokovic can offer in a game which is always within Murray's grasps. The Serb changes tact by coming towards the net, but his volley bounces beyond the baseline and it's an easy hold for the Scot.

  36.  
    Djokovic 4-6 5-2 Murray*

    Djokovic comes out on top of a slicing contest, with Murray biffing a backhand wide for 30-15. And the world number one ensures he'll at least serve for the set as a crackerjack of a serve into the wings puts Murray on the back foot, with the Scot's reply sailing into the tramlines.

  37.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 4-2 Murray

    "Frustration building for Djokovic," says Tim Henman in the BBC Two commentary box. The Serb, so far, failing to fathom a way of rattling the Scot. Ah... What do I know. Just as I type those words Djokovic decides he's doing a-ok, actually - stretching every sinew to dab a volley into the open court for his first break point of the match. Murray opts to serve and volley, which proves to be the wrong option as replays show his effort was millimetres long of the baseline.

  38.  
    Djokovic 4-6 3-2 Murray*

    In a blink of an eye Djokovic is at 40-0, and Murray can only tamely direct a return into the tramlines to gift his opponent a trouble-free game. Just the one break point so far in this match which suggests we could be heading for a tie-break.

  39.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 2-2 Murray

    Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer rings around the 02. I wonder what it's like hearing your own song reverberating around the arena while you're in the crowd, watching a tennis match. I guess I'll never know. The line judge hollers "O.U.T!", which Djokovic unsuccessfully challenges, allowing Murray to move within a point of holding serve, and a wayward Djokovic backhand bounces beyond the baseline for an easy peasy hold.

  40.  
    Djokovic 4-6 2-1 Murray*

    Grunts and groans from the Brit as he uses every ounce of energy to inch ahead at 15-30. Fortune favours the Scot when a net cord goes his way for break point, leaving Djokovic hapless and waving his arms in despair in the middle of the court. The Serb puts all his eggs in one, er, driving forehand and replays show the world number one's risky effort touched the baseline. Djokovic's high risk strategy pays dividends, the Serb heading for the changeover having held. Just.

  41.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Laura Lambert on Twitter: "Ridiculous improvement in Andy's forehand, whips it with such pace on ever wider angles! But drop shot not as clinical as it was."

    Matt Armstrong on Twitter: "Murray to level his head to head record with Djokovic by the end of the tournament."

    Chris Harvey ‏on Twitter: "Deary me, put on some proper coloured shorts Andy. This is a prestigious tennis tournament, not some Blackpool holiday camp."

  42.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 1-1 Murray

    Murray, who changed his tight-fitting T-shirt at the beginning of the set, starts muttering to himself when Djokovic claws his way back to 40-30, but the 25-year-old Scot soon wraps up the game with a cool ace to level matters in what promises to be an intriguing second set.

  43.  
    Djokovic 4-6 1-0 Murray*

    The Labrinth's Earthquake which, I'm told, features Tinie Tempah, stops ringing around the arena and that signals the start of the second set. Djokovic sends down a few menacing missiles, holding to love for a far more comfortable start than he had in the opening set.

  44.   
    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "It's been quite a phenomenal set of tennis. At break point in the very first game it was a stunning backhand pass to beat Djokovic. I still see this match coming down to a point here and there. It is still wide open."

  45.  
    *Djokovic 4-6 Murray

    The Brit performing far better than he did in the first round-robin encounter against Tomas Berdych, and he soon finds himself 30-0 ahead thanks to a magical drop shot which Djokovic agonisingly pushes wide. Murray ratchets three set points and wraps up the opening set in merely 44 minutes when Djokovic sends a reply long.

  46.  

    From Christine, Birmingham, via text: "Love it when Murray has a tough draw - reached final at Wimbledon and won US Open! More tough draws please..come on Muzza!"

  47.   
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "Murray just really wants more of the same. You saw Djokovic's character there, he really didn't want to give that set away and I expect Djokovic to make Murray's life difficult here."

  48.  
    Djokovic 4-5 Murray*

    Djokovic serving to stay in the set and the Serb's nerves are made of the toughest teak as he races to 30-0. The Australian Open champ decides to challenge a line call and he does right, replays showing the ball bouncing on the line, but Murray drags himself back into contention at deuce and the spectators become a wee bit boisterous. Oh la la! The deftest of deft touches from Murray as he pats away a volley at the net for set point - yet his good work is undone in the next point as the off balance Scot sends a forehand long. Djokovic is not at the peak of his powers but avoids danger with a rasping forehand directed towards his rival's toes.

  49.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Matt Tebbutt on Twitter: "Glad to see Murray's tennis ability is better than his dress sense." #yellowshorts

    Jason Rosam on Twitter: "I'm enjoying @andy_murray's yellow shorts...He looks very good at the moment!"

    Stephanie Siu on Twitter: "I feel like a parent trying to decide which child she loves best whenever I watch Murray v Djokovic."

  50.  
    *Djokovic 3-5 Murray

    "Argh," says Murray, puffing out his cheeks and looking towards the crow black ceiling as he gifts Djokovic the first point of the game. The Scot's lady friend, Kim Sears, looks a tad anxious but there is no need for her to fret, not at the moment anyway, as her other half produces another sublime forehand winner and then an ace for 40-30. The London crowd applaud the Brit's efforts, but Ivan Lendl's arms remain folded. Obviously. A "come on" from Murray indicates the Brit has moved to within a game of winning the set.

  51.  

    David Law, BBC radio 5 live sports extra commentator: "This is a very different Andy Murray to the man we saw on the opening day against Berdych."

  52.  
    Djokovic 3-4 Murray*

    The Serb steps into the middle of the court, crunching a drive volley for 30-15 - and the first mutters of discontent from Murray as he errors to allow the world number one to edge further ahead at 40-15. A wild forehand from the Scot then allows the Serb to wrap up the game with ease. The jam-packed crowd a tad muted at the moment.

  53.  
    *Djokovic 2-4 Murray

    Stat time: So far this year Murray has conjured 497 aces in 68 matches while the chap on the other side of the net has 484 aces in 82 matches. Murray has a 74% first serve percentage win in 2012, while Djokovic is at 75%.

    Back to the match, a double fault earns Djokovic his first point on the Murray serve. The Serb then attempts to wallop a forehand into the corner but his effort clips the net, sending the fully yellow ball beyond the tramlines.

  54.  

    Andrew, from Newcastle, via text: "A Murray win here really opens up the draw for him as it would most likely give him Ferrer in the semis and I always think Murray has the beating of him."

  55.  
    Djokovic 2-3 Murray*

    The camera focuses on Peter Gabriel, once of Genesis, before switching back to the tennis where Murray nets to give his opponent a trouble-free hold to 15.

  56.  
    *Djokovic 1-3 Murray

    "Both of us are very good retrievers so often the points will go on a lot," said Murray before this match. It took the pair 12 minutes to complete the opening three games so both whizzing through these initial tussles. Djokovic's radar faltering slightly from the baseline; Murray sending the Serb hither and tither and completes another comfortable hold with a venomous forehand which grazes the baseline. An impressive start from the Scot.

  57.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Simon Richardson on Twitter: "Strap yourselves in, set phasers to 'enjoy'. This is going to be a long one."

    Cameron Fawcett on Twitter: "I think the conditions suit them both, but i see Murray in three."

    Matt McGladrigan ‏on Twitter: "Oh, what an opening game between Murray and Djokovic."

    Give us your thoughts on the action, using the #bbctennis hashtag.

  58.  
    Djokovic 1-2 Murray*

    Djokovic in control at 40-0, but gives Murray, clad in bumblebee yellow shorts with matching shoelaces, a whiff by lazily directing a forehand into the tramlines. Murray however finds the tramlines in the next point and the Serb calmly heads for an energizing drink with his a game, finally, in his back pocket..

  59.  
    *Djokovic 0-2 Murray

    A colossal serve down the 'T' takes the Olympic champion to 40-0 and his opponent can merely net the Brit's second serve and it's an easy hold.

  60.   
    Miles Maclagan, BBC Sport analyst

    "It's been a huge year for Andy Murray, he's really come through as a player. He actually hasn't won as many tournaments this year as in others but he's got the slam. If you told him he was going to win seven in a row at a slam next year but no others I think he would take that."

  61.  
    Djokovic 0-1 Murray*

    We've been told to get ready for a gruelling encounter as a set between these two regularly last over an hour and it doesn't take long for the duo to embark on their first lengthy rally, with the patient Murray forcing Djokovic to shoot long for 15-30. Murray, on the front foot, ratchets a break point - and the Scot secures the first game, ending a delightful rally by scampering towards the net and unleashing an irretrievable volley.

  62.  

    Novak Djokovic on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "Andy has had a lot of success in London, playing in front of his home crowd. We know a lot about each other and I'm sure we're going to come up with some good tennis. It's been a long year, every year is a new challenge, there is something new to learn from each experience. I'm sure I'm not the only player here that feels tired, we just have to keep it going for a few more matches."

  63.   
    Tim Henman, BBC Sport

    "There aren't going to be any secrets, they've played each other so many times. From the baseline they've got to look to be aggressive. If they leave the ball in the middle of the court it's going to give their opponent a chance to dictate play."

  64. 1356: 

    Murray and Djokovic limbering the muscles, the Briton practising the serve and receiving warm applause, as you'd expect, when he is introduced by the stadium announcer. One minute until kick-off.

    Here's what the US Open champion had to say before this afternoon's match: "Whether me and Novak would replace anything Roger and Rafa have done, I think that's a long way off. But I think some of the matches we've had this year were high quality, fun to watch, and I'm all for playing more of those matches if I can."

  65. 1352: 

    Here are the permutations: Djokovic will qualify for the semi-finals if he beats Murray in two sets - or if the Serb beats Murray and Tsonga triumphs over Berdych. Murray can reach the last four if he defeats Djokovic and Berdych beats Tsonga. Got it? Good.

  66. 1348: 

    As well as following the tennis via the live text coverage, you can watch Murray and Djokovic's going mano a mano live on this website and on BBC Two - and listen to the action on 5 live Sports Extra. The Briton is leading Djokovic out into the darkened arena to the sound of some modern music. Don't forget to tweet us your musings using the hashtag #bbctennis or lob us a text on 81111.

  67.  

    Greg Rusedski on Twitter: "Murray looking very focused and ready for today. Murray to win in 3."

  68. 1337: 

    Who will win this afternoon in the capital? I have no idea, but if this year's match stats are a gauge then this bout will be as tight as a tick. The world number one and the world number three have met six times this year, with three wins each. Both have one Grand Slam trophy for their endeavours in 2012 and their duels have resulted in epic encounters in Melbourne, New York and Shanghai.

  69. 1331: 

    We've had Borg versus McEnroe, Connors versus Lendl, Becker versus Edberg and, of course, Nadal versus Federer. These days, according to many, we are in the midst of another great tennis rivalry. It's Murray versus Djokovic, currently the hottest contest in tennis, and the childhood friends are about to embark on their seventh ding-dong of the year.

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