Federer v Murray:
So Britain finally has a home player in the final but on Sunday evening will Murray be the first British winner since Fred Perry won in 34, 35 and 1936 or will he be the Scot who fell short?
Federer outplayed Djokovic in their semi final although the Serb was well below his best. There were no signs of the back problems that Federer had earlier in the tournament. He has been serving extremely well. In his six matches he has only really struggled against Benneteau who took him to 5 sets. When Federer is on top form he plays the big points better than most. In terms of experience he is streets ahead of Murray. Since 2003 Federer has won the title 6 times.
Murray came into the tournament in poor form. Many people, myself included, doubted that he would reach the quarter finals. As we have seen from him in previous years he started quite well. He was handed a massive boost when Nadal went out. That opened up his route to the final but he still had some tough matches ahead. In the 4th round Cilic was despatched in straight sets. In the quarter final David Ferrer took the opening set and served for the second set. Ferrer tensed up and Murray was able to break and took the set in a tie break. This seemed to hit Ferrer’s confidence ( he had also been broken serving for the first set) and Murray drew strength from this to take the match in 4 sets.
In his semi final Tsonga didn’t put up much resistance in the first 2 sets but Murray didn’t give him anything cheaply and looked impressive. However at 2 sets up the crowd was thinking about the final and the tension in the spectators went up a notch which started to affect his play. Tsonga took the third set and pushed Murray close in the fourth.
If he wins the final Federer will once again be world number 1. He knows how to win on this stage. Murray has taken his chance to get to the final but this is his first time in a Wimbledon final. He is obviously drawing inspiration from coach Ivan Lendl but even Lendl never won at Wimbledon. I feel Murray needs to experience a final before he can win his first Wimbledon.
The atmosphere on Centre Court will be amazing and if Murray can play well and if the match is close the crowd will be incredibly loud with their support as they have waited so long for a British winner. Unfortunately that will perhaps work against Murray especially if he gets within touching distance of winning. That’s why I think he needs to experience that atmosphere before he will be in a position to deal with it. No one in the modern era of the game has seen anything like the atmosphere that we will see on Sunday. There is no crowd like a British crowd.
Federer has more experience of the big stage and will adapt quicker. I expect him to win in 4 sets.
Update: Great start from Murray who broke in the first game. Fed broke back a few games later but another break gave Murray the set. The second set was close and Murray looked the more likely to take it but right at the end when it looked like we were going into a tie break Federer stepped through the gears and broke for the set.
During the first game of the third set the match was suspended for rain. The roof was eventually closed and when they returned it was Federer who looked most comfortable. A single break won him the set and a 2-1 lead. Murray looked physically beaten during the fourth set but to his credit kept within 1 break of Federer and made him serve out the match.
Fed won 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.