Wimbledon Men’s Final preview
So what was all the fuss about? Whatever the shocks of the past fortnight, we are left with who we were supposed to be left with in the Men’s Final on Sunday – number one seed Novak Djokovic and number two seed, Andy Murray.
But if anybody says that the only important thing in sport is winning, tell them they should have been watching Murray play Fernando Verasco in the quarter-final, or better still, Djokovic play Juan Martin Del Potro in yesterday’s semi-final, one of the best matches anybody has ever seen in SW19. When tomorrow’s Final is over, it will be all about the winner, but along the way there has been some sublime tennis, wonderful drama and uplifting sportsmanship.
So who will be the winner? Coral have had Djokovic as their favourite since before the tournament began and he still holds sway at 4/7. But there will be plenty who fancy backing Murray at 11/8 to finally get the monkey off the nation’s back and become the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936.
It is fair to say that Murray has been the less impressive en route to the Final, but the thing about the Scot is that he keeps finding a way. And though he was shaky in spells against Verasco and again in the early stages against Jerzy Janowicz in the semi-final, there are definite signs that he is running back into his very best form for the day that really matters.
Murray was expected to struggle against the Pole’s huge serve, but instead sent down twice as many aces of his own. He does make hard work of it at times, but he is brilliant at adapting to circumstances and once he had worked out the Janowicz mix of big hits and cute drop shots, there was only one winner. And there were times towards the end when he was quite irresistible.
You have to think that he will need to be at his best if he is to beat Djokovic. The world’s best player needed to dig as deep as he has ever done to see off the fantastic Del Potro and it took him almost five hours to do so (a semi-final record) as the Argentinean kept fighting back like it was the last reel in Rocky. But the bottom line is, like Murray, the Serb invariably finds a way to get the job done.
It was a gruelling, as well as an incredibly high quality encounter, but Djokovic is as fit as they come and is unlikely to fail on Sunday for lack of stamina.
Both players can derive comfort from their head-to-head record; Djokovic leads 11-7 overall, but Murray won their only previous clash on grass. What might, though, ultimately count against Djokovic is the baying Wimbledon crowd and Murray’s equally strong resolve to make the day his own.
This is a match that might well go all the way – Djokovic to win in five sets is 5/1 with Coral, Murray to win the decider 11/2. Bring it on.
Written by Jon Freeman