World No 1 Andy Murray has come out in defense of Novak Djokovic after the Serbian came under a lot of criticism following his second round exit in the Australian Open at the hands of World No 117 Denis Istomin. The Brit stressed on how tough it is to “keep up the intensity week after week”.
"I think everyone needs to give him a bit of a break. It is hard to keep up the intensity week after week, that's why everyone has been so impressed by the group of players at the top of the game over the last few years," Murray said in his column on the BBC website.
"I think the players themselves are a lot more understanding, as we know how difficult it is and how incredible the consistency has been over the last few years. It's almost inevitable it will drop off at some point."
If you compare it to every other tennis player in the world, his last 12-18 months have been phenomenal.
Djokovic, who was dethroned by Murray at No 1 towards the end of 2016, lost to the 30-year-old from Uzbekistan 6-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-7, 4-6 after taking a 2-1 lead in the match in the third set. It was the first time since 2007 that Djokovic had failed to reach the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, and the first time ever in his career that he'd lost to a player ranked outside of the top 100 in a grand slam tournament.
"If you compare it to every other tennis player in the world, his last 12-18 months have been phenomenal," wrote Murray.
"Everyone was surprised by Novak's exit in Melbourne, for sure. But out of the last few grand