Home favourite Andy Murray and Serbian Novak Djokovic will battle out tomorrow’s Wimbledon final after coming through their semi-finals yesterday. We’ve experienced countless shocks over the last fortnight but, in actual fact, it’s the top two seeds that have progressed to where their rankings suggest they should be.
Djokovic’s semi was a real epic against Juan Martin del Potro, which turned out to be the longest men’s semi-final in Wimbledon history (lasting for 4 hours and 48 minutes).
Novak prevailed 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 and showed immense character, in the fourth set he dropped two match points but kept his focus and closed out the match excellently in the final set. Credit must also go to del Potro, who was involved in some incredible fight-backs and showed spirit to keep firing back at the 2011 champion.
Murray came through 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 against the big-serving Jerzy Janowicz in a time of 2 hours and 52 minutes. The Pole came out and really stamped his mark on the match by taking the first set, looking calm in an unfamiliar situation of a semi-final. But, quite inevitably, Murray fought back and coped well with the big serve and powerful forehands that were fired his way.
In the third set, the Brit came from 4-1 down to win five games in a row and win the set. However, after the glory of going two sets to one up, it was decided that the roof should be closed. Murray reacted by saying “this is not fair, none of the sets have taken longer than 30 minutes, it is not even dark”. He was right, it’s an outdoor event therefore they should attempt to play as much tennis outdoors before reverting to use of the roof. The officials didn’t back down despite his protests. A forced roof closure in last year’s final went against the US Open champion, he was determined for that not to happen again and came out in good form to round off victory.
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have met 18 times (11 Djokovic wins and 7 Murray wins) but they’ve only met once on a grass court (watch below). Their only grass meeting came at SW19 in last summer’s Olympics, Andy came out on top (7-5 7-5). That’ll surely add to the world number two’s confidence. The pair have also met in three prior Grand Slam finals, all on hard courts.
Incredibly, the 2012 finalist has now reached four Grand Slam finals in a row (2012 Wimbledon, 2012 US Open, 2013 Aussie Open, he missed the French Open through injury and now 2013 Wimbledon) – further proving why he’s a top player.
The world number one already has a title at The All England Club under his belt after triumphing in 2011. He’s obviously a very capable grass court player but it is the Scot that’s statistically a better player on the surface. During this tournament so far, Djokovic has dropped two sets while Murray has dropped three. Both are very good records.
Nole was in fierce battle with Argentinian Delpo for nearly five hours yesterday, could that take its toll on the number one seed? I don’t think it’ll have much bearing on the outcome at all, players, particularly this man, are so fit these days. I think the Centre Court crowd could have more effect on the outcome, in the British number one’s favour. They could give him that extra lift so, if you are lucky enough to be going to Sunday’s final, please get right behind Murray!
The home crowd and boost from knowing that he’s capable of winning a major mean I think it’ll be a first British champion crowned at Wimbledon since Fred Perry. What do you think? Answer in our pool below.
– Nathan Morley