If there was any doubt, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic prove by meeting for the third time in four Grand Slam tournaments in the final, proving that this is the real mega rivalry at the moment in the world of Tennis, with the Brit trying to become the first in almost 80 years to win the tournament, while the world’s number one tried to cement his place as the greatest player in recent years and the foreseeable future.
After breezing through his first few matches (beating Florian Mayer, Bobby Reynolds, Jeremy Chardy, Tommy Haas and Tomas Berdych), not dropping a single set, came an epic semifinal match against Juan Martin Del Potro, who always seems to bring out a lot more than you expect of him due to his lazy, cumbersome demeanor on the courts.
Djokovic did show his amazing mental and physical advantage over almost every player in the world in the fifth set, as a worn out Del Potro could no longer prove to be a worthy match, losing 6-3, but it did show that Djokovic isn’t perfect in this tournament, and Murray, who has beaten Djokovic on their one and only previous encounter on grass, has weaknesses to try and take advantage of.
Murray beat Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 last year in the Olympics semifinal, during what has been the best period of his career: Losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, followed by winning the gold medal on the same court and then finally taking home a grand slam title, beating Novak Djokovic in the US Open.
But Murray isn’t at his best in the 2013 Wimbledon, at least when it comes to his physical state. Like Djokovic, he has shown incredible staying power in matches and doesn’t let even one or two sets of deficit deter him. His win of Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals is an immediate classic for all Murray and comeback fans, while the red-hot Jerzy Janowicz didn’t make it easy for him in the semifinal, taking the first set.
Djokovic and Murray have met only once in 2013, as Novak shrugged off losing in the first set of the Australian Open final to claim his sixth Grand Slam title. Two players who aren’t that different in their styles and prefer positioning themselves far away from the net, but Djokovic has usually shown better shot-making skills and decisions, while Murray is often too hesitant to try and take initiative.
Murray is probably the better grass player, but as almost always in the matches between these two, it’ll come down to being the one who grabs holds of points sooner and controls the baseline exchanges. Murray had a rougher road leading up to the final, but he’s still the slight underdog considering the 11-7 record in favor of Djokovic, including the 2-1 lead Novak holds in Grand Slam finals.