By SEAN CLAIR
What do World War II, Apollo 11, disco, and the Internet all have in common? Each have occurred since the last time a British man won their own tennis championship at Wimbledon.
Andy Murray has a chance to change that on Sunday afternoon in London when he takes on Roger Federer in the final at Wimbledon. Fred Perry is the last British man to win Wimbledon, yet it happened all the way back in 1936. Talk about a drought; although being an Arizona native (and sports fan) I can somewhat feel their pain.
His task won’t be an easy one, as he takes on six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer. This will be the third time the two will meet in a major final, with Federer taking the first two, 2008 U.S. Open and 2010 Australian Open, in easy straight sets wins. Murray knows the challenge he’s up against, but also knows he’s a better player now than he was in those first two meetings.
“It’s a great challenge, one where I’m probably not expected to win the match, but one that, if I play well, I’m capable of winning,” Murray said.
“It will be one of the biggest matches of my life, I’ve had experience with Roger in finals of Slams before, and to use that to my advantage and learn from my mistakes and also the things he did well — it’s going to be a very tough match.”
Murray isn’t the only one with something on the line Sunday. Although it isn’t as big as lifting the weight of a nation off your shoulders, Federer has plenty to play for as well.
“There’s obviously a lot on the line for me in terms of winning here, the all-time Grand Slam record, world No. 1,” Federer said. “I’m also going into that match with some pressure, but I’m excited about it. That’s what I play for.”
The all time Grand Slam record Federer is referring to, is the all time championships at Wimbledon. That record is currently held by Pete Sampras with seven, but one that Federer can tie Sunday. This will be Federer’s first appearance in the final since his dramatic 16-14 five set victory over Andy Roddick in 2009.
Both men had tough four set wins in the semi-finals, with Federer out-classing Novak Djokovic and Murray out-hitiing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Federer thoroughly outplayed Djokovic, using precision serving and moving just as well and maybe better, than the number one player. Murray looked great the first two sets against Tsonga, but then the classy Frenchmen found his game winning the third and making Murray earn every point to close him out.
It now comes down to one match. However, it feels like much more than that for British fans who have been going to the All England Club for decades wondering when it will be their time to see their own lift the trophy. They’ve cheered and cried on the old Henman Hill (now Murray Mound) waiting for the day to come.
Both players know what’s at stake, and now they wait for that 2 p.m. start time to come around, which could be taxing.
“I just got to try to keep it together for the final.” Murray said.
“I hope I can keep my nerves,” Federer said, looking to the final. “I’m sure I can. Then hopefully win the match. But we’ll see about that.”
One plays for his 17th major title, while the other tries to win his first. Look for this to be a great final. I believe experience will play a big role in this match. Murray must serve the way he has been this entire tournament to come out on top, as Federer has the weapons and know it all to get it done on the grass. Federer wins this one in five sets.