Why is there a 17 Slam difference between Djokovic and Murray?

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Because only one could become the heavyweight champion of the world and it turned out to be Djokovic.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Two players in Novak and Andy who have so many striking similarities, it's hard to believe.

Born a week apart (May 15/22nd, 1987), both stand around 6'2.5", both have outstanding backhands, both incredible movers and defensive players, both primarily baseliners, both amazing returners, both possessing incredible fitness and shot consistency. Both broke out and reached major finals in 2008, both prefer HC and have won Wimbledon, and both were members of the 'Big 4'.

In terms of two ATG level players, Andy and Novak to me are the most similar ever - and frighteningly were born just a week apart.

I've read many times on this forum that Murray even possesses some advantages over Novak: he has been called a better returner of big servers, a faster first serve, much better touch and slice, better volleys, and even better tactical awareness and tennis IQ. All of these are largely consensus if you read older threads such as this: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/ranking-the-big-4-in-each-department.605410/

He was even regarded to have more potential than Novak pre-2010, given his performances over Bo3 and finals runs in 2010 Australia and USO 2008.

There is no excuse of 'weak era' or 'technology difference' or 'match-up issues' - they played the exact same field at the exact same time in the exact same era of tennis. They are as comparable as any two players could possibly be.

So what makes the difference, between the 3 Slams for Andy and the 20 Slams for Novak? Or - if we want to exclude injury luck - the 3 Slams for Andy and 12 Slams for Novak before Andy's hip injury?
Novak had the mental advantage over Andy.
 

goldengate14

Professional
It's like the difference between becker and sampras. Difference between Novak and Andy is a bit wider than them.
Peak becker and peak sampras never crossed paths. Watch becker matches in 1989. His serve and groundies were way bigger than when Sampras peaked in 1993.
 

Mivic

Semi-Pro
I always found the difference in ability (particularly offensively) between the two to be most obvious and pronounced when comparing their respective successes against Nadal, which is a match-up in which both men are forced to exploit their full shot-making repertoire in an attempt to hit through one of the best defenders the game has ever seen.

While Djokovic is capable of mixing up pace and spin on the forehand side i.e. hitting crosscourt with heavy topspin in order to exploit Nadal's relative weakness in movement towards his backhand side vs his forehand side and then blasting flat balls DTL when something short presents itself, in addition to his ability to redirect play and inject pace with his backhand DTL, Murray is often unable to find answers to Nadal's defensive capabilities and as a result he is forced into neutral rallying situations and attempting to beat Nadal at his own game.

Not only is Djokovic more proficient in the match-up against Nadal from an offensive standpoint with more weapons in his arsenal but it is also clear that he is extremely comfortable playing this aggressive brand of tennis (the match-up is mostly on Djokovic's racquet vs Nadal and the latter is forced to adapt, clay notwithstanding), while Murray is most definitely not (the match-up is on Nadal's racquet on all surfaces vs Murray and the latter is forced to adapt). Therefore, by comparing the respective successes and tactical outlooks of the two players in a match-up in which both men are required to display their full offensive arsenal from the baseline, it becomes clear that Djokovic's default setting is that of an aggressive baseliner, which is obviously more conducive to ATG level success, while Murray's is that of a counterpuncher/scrapper, in spite of the many surface level similarities between the two.

Even prior to Djokovic's breakthrough in 2011, all of this was already apparent, and as such it was clear that if Djokovic could overcome his serving/mental/fitness issues, he would be better placed to establish himself as an ATG than Murray.
 
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The Fedfather

Hall of Fame
The way I see it, Djokovic is marginally better in most categories where they are at a similar level and just outright better in other important ones, mainly FH and serve (1st + 2nd), mental strength and focus.

Andy has the advantage at the net but when you play in a baseline era that alone is not going to get you that far.
 

Kralingen

Legend
Man, if you re-read the first page you might actually believe that Djokovic and Murray are equal players aside from injury and a 2nd serve.

Either:

Djokovic as a potential GOAT player is way overrated in TTW's eyes
or
Murray had an ATG ground game and simply got unlucky with injuries
or
the 2nd serve is the most important shot in the modern game
or
people really don't know how to describe what Djokovic does well?
 

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
murray is just upper middle class man's hewitt, nothing more than that.......djoko on the other hand is a GOAT candidate who can do many things so much better than murray on the court.......plus he is a mental giant, murray isn't.......
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Lol....I always think that the Tennis Fairy was about to bestow all her magic on baby Andy but only managed to get so far when she got kidnapped by Srdjan and forced to bestow all the rest on baby Novak instead. ;)

In all seriouness Novak has been much more mentally strong and consistent and also has enjoyed much better fitness than Andy. I believe both these factors to be important in explaining the huge discrepancy in number of titles won. :cool:
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
murray is just upper middle class man's hewitt, nothing more than that.......djoko on the other hand is a GOAT candidate who can do many things so much better than murray on the court.......plus he is a mental giant, murray isn't.......
Lol.....Murray....upper middle class? I think you're getting him confused with Tim Henman! :D
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I always found the difference in ability (particularly offensively) between the two to be most obvious and pronounced when comparing their respective successes against Nadal, which is a match-up in which both men are forced to exploit their full shot-making repertoire in an attempt to hit through one of the best defenders the game has ever seen.

While Djokovic is capable of mixing up pace and spin on the forehand side i.e. hitting crosscourt with heavy topspin in order to exploit Nadal's relative weakness in movement towards his backhand side vs his forehand side and then blasting flat balls DTL when something short presents itself, in addition to his ability to redirect play and inject pace with his backhand DTL, Murray is often unable to find answers to Nadal's defensive capabilities and as a result he is forced into neutral rallying situations and attempting to beat Nadal at his own game.

Not only is Djokovic more proficient in the match-up against Nadal from an offensive standpoint with more weapons in his arsenal but it is also clear that he is extremely comfortable playing this aggressive brand of tennis (the match-up is mostly on Djokovic's racquet vs Nadal and the latter is forced to adapt, clay notwithstanding), while Murray is most definitely not (the match-up is on Nadal's racquet on all surfaces vs Murray and the latter is forced to adapt). Therefore, by comparing the respective successes and tactical outlooks of the two players in a match-up in which both men are required to display their full offensive arsenal from the baseline, it becomes clear that Djokovic's default setting is that of an aggressive baseliner, which is obviously more conducive to ATG level success, while Murray's is that of a counterpuncher/scrapper, in spite of the many surface level similarities between the two.

Even prior to Djokovic's breakthrough in 2011, all of this was already apparent, and as such it was clear that if Djokovic could overcome his serving/mental/fitness issues, he would be better placed to establish himself as an ATG than Murray.
Let's make it simpler and look at their matches vs old Fed. Wimb 2015 is the prime example of what separates Djokovic from Murray.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Let's make it simpler and look at their matches vs old Fed. Wimb 2015 is the prime example of what separates Djokovic from Murray.
Fed was after revenge against Murray at 2015 Wimbledon. He admitted as much ahead of the match when he commented to an interviewer that their last meeting at Wimbledon had been in the 2012 Olympic final when Fed famously got a shellacking from Andy. He was keen to return the favour and played absolutely lights out to make sure he did.

Bottom line is that Djokovic was already in Fed's head in a way that Andy wasn't as soon proved to be the case in the final.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Except this Mainad fanatic, nobody in their right sense of mind would ever have felt that Murray and Novak were same level talents, the British media might have hyped Murray a lot as they are doing to Raducanu now (I hope this doesn't ruin her) but Novak was the first guy who started making slam finals and even stole a HC slam in 08 at a time when even established prodigies on the tour (like claydal) had not won a HC slam till then, that itself told us what was in store for the future, then Novak was losing to Nadal on clay and believed Nadal is beatable. Novak was losing to Fed at USO and later even won over Fed.

Murray was a weak submissive weakling in those days, Roddick thrashed Murray at 2009 wimbledon and showed him his place, had Murray been an ATG and in a league above Roddick then he would have beaten Roddick and played Fed later in the final...... but then Murray's level was never even close to ATG level, he has a low peak..
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Fed was after revenge against Murray at 2015 Wimbledon. He admitted as much ahead of the match when he commented to an interviewer that their last meeting at Wimbledon had been in the 2012 Olympic final when Fed famously got a shellacking from Andy. He was keen to return the favour and played absolutely lights out to make sure he did.

Bottom line is that Djokovic was already in Fed's head in a way that Andy wasn't as soon proved to be the case in the final.
Definitely, Fed had forgotten all about the Wimbledon final in 2014. All he cared about was avenging the Olympics loss from 2012 :laughing:
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
Except this Mainad fanatic, nobody in their right sense of mind would ever have felt that Murray and Novak were same level talents, the British media might have hyped Murray a lot as they are doing to Raducanu now (I hope this doesn't ruin her) but Novak was the first guy who started making slam finals and even stole a HC slam in 08 at a time when even established prodigies on the tour (like claydal) had not won a HC slam till then, that itself told us what was in store for the future, then Novak was losing to Nadal on clay and believed Nadal is beatable. Novak was losing to Fed at USO and later even won over Fed.

Murray was a weak submissive weakling in those days, Roddick thrashed Murray at 2009 wimbledon and showed him his place, had Murray been an ATG and in a league above Roddick then he would have beaten Roddick and played Fed later in the final...... but then Murray's level was never even close to ATG level, he has a low peak..
Roddick-Murray Wim 09 was a close 4 setter tbh.
 

Kralingen

Legend
I always found the difference in ability (particularly offensively) between the two to be most obvious and pronounced when comparing their respective successes against Nadal, which is a match-up in which both men are forced to exploit their full shot-making repertoire in an attempt to hit through one of the best defenders the game has ever seen.

While Djokovic is capable of mixing up pace and spin on the forehand side i.e. hitting crosscourt with heavy topspin in order to exploit Nadal's relative weakness in movement towards his backhand side vs his forehand side and then blasting flat balls DTL when something short presents itself, in addition to his ability to redirect play and inject pace with his backhand DTL, Murray is often unable to find answers to Nadal's defensive capabilities and as a result he is forced into neutral rallying situations and attempting to beat Nadal at his own game.

Not only is Djokovic more proficient in the match-up against Nadal from an offensive standpoint with more weapons in his arsenal but it is also clear that he is extremely comfortable playing this aggressive brand of tennis (the match-up is mostly on Djokovic's racquet vs Nadal and the latter is forced to adapt, clay notwithstanding), while Murray is most definitely not (the match-up is on Nadal's racquet on all surfaces vs Murray and the latter is forced to adapt). Therefore, by comparing the respective successes and tactical outlooks of the two players in a match-up in which both men are required to display their full offensive arsenal from the baseline, it becomes clear that Djokovic's default setting is that of an aggressive baseliner, which is obviously more conducive to ATG level success, while Murray's is that of a counterpuncher/scrapper, in spite of the many surface level similarities between the two.

Even prior to Djokovic's breakthrough in 2011, all of this was already apparent, and as such it was clear that if Djokovic could overcome his serving/mental/fitness issues, he would be better placed to establish himself as an ATG than Murray.
Excellent post.
Lets face it, Murray is just a bin man bum - period.

Total rubbish, the fact he never won anything ever on the big stage confirms this.
He never beat peak Nedal on clay in Nedals' own back yard.
Or Federer, unless Fed just deliberately threw the match. ( And We all know Fed does this all the time )
And Murray certainly never ever thrashed Djokovic in straights at that meaningless little exho in SW19.
And Murray never ever ever beat Djoke and Fed back to back to win a worthless Olympic gold medal.

I mean come on ! What has the Bin Man actually ever acheived ever ?

He just a total loser really.
( Yes I'm a TTW contributor, and I talk continuous sh1te waffle )

Thank you picmun. Educate these Murray haters

However the gap in achievements is undeniable. Why is this?
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Definitely, Fed had forgotten all about the Wimbledon final in 2014. All he cared about was avenging the Olympics loss from 2012 :laughing:
He certainly wanted to put Andy in his place as his pre-match comments indicated. Interestingly he started off the final against Djokovic in a similar vein making us all think he would get his revenge for the previous year's final too, then missed an easy put away which would have given him a break in the 1st set and then started to fall apart. I just knew then he wouldn't beat Djokovic. Although he managed to pull himself together enough to take the 2nd set breaker it was all one way almost inevitable traffic after that. Djokovic was already in his head and would stay that way whenever they met at Wimbledon, the infamous 40-15 being the final confirmation of that.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Roddick-Murray Wim 09 was a close 4 setter tbh.
If he was an ATG then he would have won that match and the final vs Fed would have gone 4 sets or 5 sets.
The fact that he was operating at a lower level than Roddick to lose in 4 sets shows that at his absolute best (2013) that match would have maybe gone 5 sets, thats it.

Hardly ATG level if you are going 5 sets with Roddick at your best, that is Roddick level and Roddick is no ATG, neither is Murray
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
If he was an ATG then he would have won that match and the final vs Fed would have gone 4 sets or 5 sets.
The fact that he was operating at a lower level than Roddick to lose in 4 sets shows that at his absolute best (2013) that match would have maybe gone 5 sets, thats it.

Hardly ATG level if you are going 5 sets with Roddick at your best best, that is Roddick level and Roddick is no ATG
Still it was a close match and not a destroying.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
He certainly wanted to put Andy in his place as his pre-match comments indicated. Interestingly he started off the final against Djokovic in a similar vein making us all think he would get his revenge for the previous year's final too, then missed an easy put away which would have given him a break in the 1st set and then started to fall apart. I just knew then he wouldn't beat Djokovic. Although he managed to pull himself together enough to take the 2nd set breaker it was all one way almost inevitable traffic after that. Djokovic was already in his head and would stay that way whenever they met at Wimbledon, the infamous 40-15 being the final confirmation of that.
I dared to believe for a few minutes when Fed went up the early break...

It's not just mental though. Djokovic's ability to change directions on the ball, keep the ball to a length and turn defence to offence are all better than Murray's. There's much more attrition in Djokerer rallies compared to the Murray/Federer match-up, which favours the younger and fitter man. Against Djokovic Federer has the added pressure of knowing that the longer the rallies and match goes the more it favours Djokovic. Murray can't impose himself on Federer in the same way, not as often anyway.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Still it was a close match and not a destroying.
Perhaps we need to frame out definition of close matches.

For me only 5 setters are close.

4 Sets most of the time if stretched to 5th set would end in defeat for the same guy, better guy always wins in 4, if somebody failed to close a MP in 4th and went to 5th nd lost then it means he wasn't good enough, as simple.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
Perhaps we need to frame out definition of close matches.

For me only 5 setters are close.

4 Sets most of the time if stretched to 5th set would end in defeat for the same guy, better guy always wins in 4, if somebody failed to close a MP in 4th and went to 5th nd lost then it means he wasn't good enough, as simple.
I disagree a 4th setter cannot be close as well but okay.
 

Sunny014

Legend
I disagree a 4th setter cannot be close as well but okay.
Thats fine, 4 setters involving tie breakers are close.

But this forum overrates the Big 3 to Godly levels, thats why Murray seems like an ATG.

But if you ask real champions then they deep down they believe that Big 3 are beatable at their best.

Boris Becker said that he could have beat Fed at Fed's best but there is no way to prove it, even Sampras believe he can beat the Big 3,
Gustavo Kuerten said he could beat Nadal once in a while at roland garros, that is confidence of a champion.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Fed was after revenge against Murray at 2015 Wimbledon. He admitted as much ahead of the match when he commented to an interviewer that their last meeting at Wimbledon had been in the 2012 Olympic final when Fed famously got a shellacking from Andy. He was keen to return the favour and played absolutely lights out to make sure he did.

Bottom line is that Djokovic was already in Fed's head in a way that Andy wasn't as soon proved to be the case in the final.
Djokovic was in Fed's head because he was better. Simple as that.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Mainad Fanatic might be having orgasms seeing stats like these :rolleyes:

Win% in Slams vs guys ranked lower to you

Borg - 92%
Novak - 91.3%
Federer - 90.9%
Murray - 90.82% (All hail the ATG - Sir Andy Murray )
Nadal - 90.5%
Connors - 89%
Potro - 88.64%
Wilander- 87%
Ancic - 87%
Sampras - 87%
Lendl - 86%
Edberg - 86%
Tsonga - 85.9
Hewitt - 85.8
Mcenroe - 85.3%
Agassi - 85.3%
Nishikori - 84.39%
Courier - 84.68%
 

Picmun

Hall of Fame
Excellent post.

Thank you picmun. Educate these Murray haters

However the gap in achievements is undeniable. Why is this?
The Bin Man Bum buggered his back and then his hip. He'd have won more.
But you might as well ask why Lewis Hamilton has more F1 wins than Senna or Schumaker or Fangio or Sterling moss, who never even won a world championship.
You could ask why is Nigel Mansell the quickest man ever, and was the ONLY WORLD CHAMPION for one month a feat no one has ever matched. Apples and oranges.....

The Bin Mans just rubbish anyway - who cares !

What I just can't work it out, is why Djoke is so Phukin' unpopular,
apart from a very small "basket of deplorable" fans...... I just can't work it out, Novak is such a likable lad !


ROTFLMAO !!
 
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Sunny014

Legend
Djokovic is a ruthless force of nature ....

Murray is like 3 tiers below him.

No comparison at all, always knew Novak was extremely powerful, when his 2011 season happened it was proven that he had stepped up to his true level
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Other than the very simple answer that Djokovic is just a better tennis player, the main culprits for Murray's lack of success are his serve and FH. These 2 are the most important shots in tennis and Djokovic is simply better at them.
 

Picmun

Hall of Fame
I always found the difference in ability (particularly offensively) between the two to be most obvious and pronounced when comparing their respective successes against Nadal, which is a match-up in which both men are forced to exploit their full shot-making repertoire in an attempt to hit through one of the best defenders the game has ever seen.

While Djokovic is capable of mixing up pace and spin on the forehand side i.e. hitting crosscourt with heavy topspin in order to exploit Nadal's relative weakness in movement towards his backhand side vs his forehand side and then blasting flat balls DTL when something short presents itself, in addition to his ability to redirect play and inject pace with his backhand DTL, Murray is often unable to find answers to Nadal's defensive capabilities and as a result he is forced into neutral rallying situations and attempting to beat Nadal at his own game.

Not only is Djokovic more proficient in the match-up against Nadal from an offensive standpoint with more weapons in his arsenal but it is also clear that he is extremely comfortable playing this aggressive brand of tennis (the match-up is mostly on Djokovic's racquet vs Nadal and the latter is forced to adapt, clay notwithstanding), while Murray is most definitely not (the match-up is on Nadal's racquet on all surfaces vs Murray and the latter is forced to adapt). Therefore, by comparing the respective successes and tactical outlooks of the two players in a match-up in which both men are required to display their full offensive arsenal from the baseline, it becomes clear that Djokovic's default setting is that of an aggressive baseliner, which is obviously more conducive to ATG level success, while Murray's is that of a co
unterpuncher/scrapper, in spite of the many surface level similarities between the two.

Even prior to Djokovic's breakthrough in 2011, all of this was already apparent, and as such it was clear that if Djokovic could overcome his serving/mental/fitness issues, he would be better placed to establish himself as an ATG than Murray.
Complete Bollox. Utter tosh ! LOL ! You've clearly never watched Murray play ! LOL !
Murray Bagels Nadal.
and destroys Nedal on clay, in Nadals back yard
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
This.

I would even add a better backhand, even tho not by a lot.
But this adds a lot in aggressive rallies.
On the backhand side I'd say Murray has the better slice and more weight of shot if he decides to really hammer it, Djokovic redirects pace better, is better down the line and better at creating angles. Murray tends to have more top end pace on a lot of his shots he just doesn't or can't use it enough to matter generally.
 

Daniel Andrade

Hall of Fame
My diagonisis:

Even if it appears that Murray has more "touch" he lacks the power and stamina that Djokovic has, and I think these last two thwart the "touch" and even some IQ points.

My recommendation:
Murray should go back in time and learn to hit harder.
 
it sounds mean, but Murray has 3 slams while Djokovic has 20, for the same reason Arantxa Sanchez Vicario has 4 and Steffi like 22, the forehand, even if they played many close 3 set matches, the one with the big forehand always had the edge
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
Novak is the most perfectly trained athlete ever. This other man has not the size or the endurance or the genetics to win.
 

Mivic

Semi-Pro
Let's make it simpler and look at their matches vs old Fed. Wimb 2015 is the prime example of what separates Djokovic from Murray.
Some posters would argue that Djokovic was peak while Murray was barely prime in that series of matches though (not that I would necessarily agree with that assessment). I was trying to break down the underlying causes and specifics behind the discrepancy in achievements by analysing their performance vs an opponent that requires them to display their entire offensive arsenal, which is where the difference between the two players is ultimately most notable.
 
One advantage I think Djokovic has is ironically that for a lot of his career, he is less versatile (using different spins, coming to net less, fewer options) than Murray. He expanded in that in recent years, and by now he has enough competence and confidence in all ways to handle it, so at that point it didn't matter, but for the bulk of his career. Which is better in that it simplifies what he goes out planing to do. What he does, he executes incredibly well in pretty much every aspect, and he goes out with a clear, concise game plan, without a bulk of extra options to think of. Murray's core game in a lot of ways is the same as Djokovic's, and he arguably does it almost as well, but he had too many other options which muddled up his thinking and approach in comparision.

The other thing that really seperated them is Djokovic's 2011 gave him the confidence of being a dominant player. While he didn't entirely keep up being that dominant the next few years, he already had the confidence of a dominant player. To the points years winning 1 slam and still ending #1 (eg 2012, 2014, sort of 2013) were viewed as "bad years" for him, which takes your internal bar up without even thinking or performing. Murray never got that commupance, even his great 2016, was not a truly dominant year, just 1 slam, and took YE#1 in the final match. Up to 2011 there wasn't that big a difference between them, even though Djokovic was usually slightly ahead. From 2011 onwards though, that was the end of them ever being remotedly close career wise atleast. People undervalue the mental aspect of all things tennis. It was like how when Sanchez got the confidence boost from her great 94, she was always on a much higher echelon than say Sabatini ever again, when they had been interchangeable until then. Or how one of Seles's problems in her return is she never got that overall break to put her over the hump, and gain the confidence and mental edge of being a dominant player again. In late 90/91 she got that break with Graf's slumping, her own rise in form and confidence, and winning a lot of close matches to gain that confidence of being dominant, but never was able to get over that hump, which could have just been through 1 or 2 matches, in her return.
 

TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
Novak >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Murray

in every SINGLE way. It's like comparing a Honda Civic to a Porsche.
 

killerboss

Semi-Pro
Djokovic is on another level no question about it. Murray is one of the best baseline grinders of this era easily and a great baseliner by anyones standards and he still never even won a match at the AO. The head to head was quite close from 2012 and beyond though but became one sided from 2015 onwards especially.
 

Sunny014

Legend
To Describe Sir Murray's game

He has been a guy who has always content to put the ball back in play and expect ATGs to make mistakes, well he got bludgeoned.

Thats whats happens when you have no sharp tools in your arsenal that can hurt your opponent.
 

Kralingen

Legend
to me the biggest difference is their respective abilities to take balls on the rise and redirect them. Djokovic is for my money of the best ball-strikers off the hop, from any angle, in the history of tennis.

Murray also has great hands but he doesn’t get the same direction and depth on the rise as consistently.

This difference defines every other aspect of their game.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Mental weakness is a overrated term in Tennis, at this level every sportsman who has already won a slam is mentally tough or else they would not be competing in the 2nd week.
Mental toughness also arises from your confidence in how good your skill is working, Novak has confidence in his return and court coverage, so he can take good serve and return it.... that is how he is tough.

It is like you attend a maths exam and don't know anything, so no matter how tough you are mentally and decide to not give up and fill the paper with philosophy, you will still get 0 marks.... no step marks here and there to get grace marks and score 40% ....
 
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