“It will be one of the biggest matches of my life.”Andy Murray
Andy Murray better be up for Sunday night’s much-hyped Wimbledon final because, speaking from experience, six-time champion Roger Federer has warned that lightning can strike fast.
The first British man to make the singles final at the All England Club in 74 years, Murray is striving to become the first local to win the title since Fred Perry in 1936.
The country is on edge.
“It will be one of the biggest matches of my life,” the 25-year-old Scot said ahead of his fourth Grand Slam final.
Murray leads Federer 8-7 in head-to-head meetings, but trails 4-2 in finals and 2-0 in majors, while this will be the pair’s first-ever grasscourt encounter.
And no player thrives on London’s lush centre-court lawn than Federer, who will be featuring in a record eighth Wimbledon final.
Federer showed just how devastating he can be on the surface when he put world No.1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic to the sword in the semifinals.
“The surface obviously does make our match quite different, to be quite honest,” Federer said.
“We barely had rallies in the first couple of sets, which was surprising for me to see as well.
“We did a lot of first-strike tennis; a lot of service winners out there.
“That obviously changes momentum of the match. Doesn’t make it maybe as physical.
“It’s more explosive. Maybe a touch unpredictable. So I think overall the surface made the match play differently and potentially in my favour.”
With Murraymania gripping Great Britain, a pair of prized tickets for the historic final between the tennis superhero and the local hero are reportedly fetching up to 45,000 pounds (AUD$68,000).
Centre court as well as Murray Mound is sure to be packed to capacity – and Murray is urging fanatical fans to be in full voice.
“I’m going to need all the support I can get,” he said.
“It’s a massive challenge to win against Roger, but it’s not impossible to beat him.
“The crowd have helped me through some tough moments in the last couple of matches.”
Murray can also draw inspiration from tour battler Jonathan Marray, who with Danish partner Frederick Neilsen on Saturday became the first British winner of the men’s doubles title since 1936 – ironically the year Perry won the singles.
Federer will return to world No.1 with a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon win and after ousting Djokovic the Swiss maestro said there was no chance of complacency coming from his side of the net in the final.
“I’m aware that the tournament’s not over yet,” he said.
“I didn’t break down crying and fall to my knees and think the tournament is over and I achieved everything I ever wanted.
“Honestly, it happens faster than you think it does. Then all of a sudden you come out the next match and you’re not the same anymore because you’re emotionally too drained already and you think it’s been a great tournament.
“I know it’s been a great tournament, but we’ll assess that once the tournament is over.
“Right now I want to try to play the best possible final I can.”