The Men’s Wimbledon Final in 2013 features world #1 Novak Djokovic and world #2 Andy Murray. The match can be seen on ESPN, Sunday July 7th, at 9am eastern time.
Novak Djokovic is the #1 player in the world, and has already won 6 grand slam titles, including a victory at Wimbledon. This year, he flew threw is first 5 matches before truly being tested against Juan Martin Del Potro in the semifinals. Coming in, I thought Del Potro might steal a set, but I never thought he would win the match. I was wrong. Del Potro came out hitting forehands near 100mph when given the opportunity. He challenged the Djoker, and definitely had him rattled. The match, which went 5 sets, was an epic battle between two greats that was really enjoyable to watch. Djokovic survived, but was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. I expect him to recover, which he has done before, but there is always the possibility he may wear down if the match goes late in the fifth set.
Andy Murray is #2 in the world. He has 1 grand slam title in his career, at the 2012 US Open. Being from Scotland, this is the major he desperately wants to win. Murray has shown his ability to beat Djokovic, beating him at the US Open final last year. Additionally, he has been in a Wimbledon final as well. He suffered a crushing defeat against Roger Federer, where he showed a lot of emotion and disappointment in his post game speech. The pressure is on him to become the first player from Britain to win Wimbledon since 1936. He breezed through his first 4 matches, before Fernando Verdasco forced him 5 sets in the quarterfinals. He recovered very well against PoleJerzy Janowicz in the semis, after dropping the 1st set, winning in 4.
This match, like their previous encounters, will be exciting, long, and close. I think Murray, having to play much less time on court in the semis, will have a slight advantage in energy. However, Novak is a warrior. He will win this match if he serves the way he did against Del Potro, hitting 17 aces. Murray needs to hit consistent forehands and backhands, causing Novak to run all over the court. If Murray keeps Djokovic on the run, I like his chances. The MOST important element in this match will be serving. Murray and Djokovic are the two best returners in the world, and holding serve will be crucial.
Intangibles: The crowd will be in favor of Murray, but I give the edge to Djokovic in intangibles, having won Wimbledon before and beating Murray in the Aussie Open final. He also has less pressure.
Serve: Edge to Djokovic here. He wouldn’t be in the final if he didn’t serve so brilliantly vs Del Potro. Murray is serving well, but Djoker is serving very well.
Return: Edge to Murray here. Djokovic is the best returner in the world, but Murray is #2. He is longer than Novak, and he contained big servers such as JerzyJanowicz and Fernando Verdasco, while Djokovic struggled with Del Potro. Murray has been just as good in this tournament as Novak.
Groundstrokes: Edge on the backhand to Murray and forehand to Djokovic. Djokovic couldn’t buy a backhand against Delpo. Murray was huge with his in his last few matches. On the forehand side, Murray has been inconsistent, while Novak has consistently pounded opponents from the forehand wing.
Overall: This match has the potential to go over 4 hours. I think it will be about 4 ½ hours, over 5 sets. Taking home the trophy will be Novak Djokovic, as Andy Murray will lose in the final again. Djokovic will lose the first set 6-4, win the second 7-5. Novak wins the third in a tiebreaker 7-6, loses the 4th 3-6, and wins the match in the 5th set 8-6. This is a match that could go either way, and should be a grand slam final to remember.-Anythony Dabbundo