Wimbledon 2013: I’ve got the edge over Novak Djokovic on grass after Olympic win, says Andy Murray

British No 1 confident as he reaches his second successive Wimbledon final

Wimbledon

Andy Murray said that he was confident of beating world No 1 Novak Djokovic in the final here on Sunday to end Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s singles champion.

For the second year in succession, he stands on the brink of history. Twelve months after becoming the first British man for 74 years to play in the singles final here, the 26-year-old Scot will have the chance to go one better in his second Wimbledon final in succession. He said: I’ve only played him on grass here at the Olympics so I’ll take that into Sunday.”

Last August, Murray defeated Djokovic in the London 2012 semi-final in straight sets before going on to claim gold on Centre Court.

Seventy-seven years after Fred Perry became the last British man to lift the All England Club’s Challenge Cup, Murray is again one win away from the greatest moment of his life. He becomes only the third British man – after Perry and Bunny Austin – to reach more than one Wimbledon singles final since the Challenge Round (where the defending champion had to play only one match) was abolished in 1922.

After a Wimbledon in which so many big names have fallen by the wayside, the tournament will reach a climax with a meeting between the world’s two best players. Djokovic, the world No 1, beat Juan Martin del Potro yesterday in the longest semi-final in Wimbledon history, the Serb winning 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 after four hours and 43 minutes of the highest drama, before Murray, the world No 2, secured his place in the final by beating Jerzy Janowicz 6-7,  6-4, 6-4, 6-3, despite a controversial 28-minute delay while the roof was closed because of bad light.

In spite of Rafael Nadal’s springtime burst of glory on the clay courts, the rivalry between Djokovic and Murray has become the sport’s headline act over the last year.

The Serb and the Briton have reached the final of the last three Grand Slam tournaments in which both men have played, Murray having pulled out of the recent French Open because he was suffering from a recurring back problem.

Their record in Grand Slam finals currently stands at one win apiece, Murray having won in New York last summer to claim his maiden Grand Slam title before Djokovic exacted his revenge in Melbourne at the start of this year.

The two men have known each other since they met at an under-12s tournament in the south of France, when Murray won their first encounter. Both went abroad as teenagers to further their careers, the Scot to the Sanchez-Casal academy in Barcelona and the Serb to Niki Pilic’s establishment in Munich.

Murray was the more successful junior (Djokovic reached the Australian Open boys’ final, Murray won the US Open title), while Djokovic has often led the way at senior level. Djokovic broke into the world’s top 100 in July 2005, three months earlier than Murray, and made it to the top 10 in March 2007, one month ahead of the Scot.

Although Murray was the first to win a tour title, five months before Djokovic in February 2006, the Serb was the first by 17 months to wear a Masters Series crown, in March 2007. Most importantly of all, Djokovic was the first to reach a Grand Slam final, at the US Open in 2007.

While Djokovic is the world No 1, Murray is currently at his highest place in the world rankings at No 2. With more than $50m (£33.6m) of prize-money in the bank, the Serb has won almost twice as much as the Scot. He has won six more titles – 33 to Murray’s 27 – but his earnings have been significantly boosted by his winnings from his Grand Slam triumphs.

While Murray said earlier in the week that Djokovic, who won the title here two years ago, would be the favourite to claim the trophy again, there are plenty of reasons for the Scot to go into tomorrow’s match full of confidence.

As well as beating Djokovic in straight sets here in last year’s Olympic semi-finals, he is currently on a 17-match winning streak on grass.  Murray’s only defeat in his last 24 matches on the surface was to Roger Federer in last year’s final, a defeat which he avenged four weeks later by beating the Swiss in the Olympic gold medal match.

The latter victory seemed to be a turning point in the Scot’s career as he went on to realise his lifetime’s ambition by winning his first Grand Slam title in New York.

Djokovic, nevertheless, has won 11 of his 18 meetings with Murray, including the most recent in Melbourne earlier this year. Djokovic won their first four matches as senior players, but since then their record is tied at seven wins apiece.

Murray’s record of consistency in the last five years at the All England Club is better than that of any other player. The Scot has reached the semi-finals five years in a row and has now made it through to his second successive final. It is not only Wimbledon where Murray has excelled. The Scot has now made the finals of the last four Grand Slam tournaments in which he has played.

Murray has reached seven Grand Slam finals in total, though Djokovic will be playing in his 11th tomorrow. The Serb also has a much better success rate: while he has gone on to win six Grand Slam titles, last year’s US Open remains Murray’s lone victory.

Djokovic will have to recover from his gruelling semi-final before Sunday’s finale, but the Serb did not see that as a problem.

“The positive thing in a way is that we played first match today,” he said after his victory over Del Potro. “I still have time. Physically, even though we played five sets and there were a lot of falls, sliding, running and long exchanges, I still feel I’m OK.

“Of course, I’ll be a little bit more tired than I was after my previous matches, but this is not the first time that I’ve been in this situation. I’ve actually been in worse situations before, like at the 2012 Australian Open, where I managed to recover and play another six hours to win the final.”

Tomorrow’s big match: Djokovic v Murray

N Djokovic/ A Murray

Serbian Nationality British

26 Age 26

Monte Carlo, Monaco Residence London, England

Right-handed Plays Right-handed

6ft 2in Height 6ft 3in

2003 Turned pro 2005

1 World ranking 2

37 Career titles 27

$50.20m Prize-money $27.33m

38-7 Wimbledon record (W-L)36-7

Winner (2011) Wimbledon best Final (2012, 2013)

11 Head-to-head wins 7

Routes to final: Djokovic v Murray

* 1 N Djokovic (Serb)

1st rd F Mayer (Ger) 6-3 7-5 6-4

2nd rd B Reynolds (US) 7-6 6-3 6-1

3rd rd: 28 J Chardy (Fr) 6-3 6-2 6-2

4th rd: 13 T Haas (Ger) 6-1 6-4 7-6

QF: 7 T Berdych (Cz Rep) 7-6 6-4 6-3

SF: 8 J M del Potro (Arg) 7-5 4-6 7-6 6-7 6-3

* 2 A Murray (GB)

1st rd B Becker (Ger) 6-4 6-3 6-2

2nd rd Y h-Lu (Taiw) 6-3 6-3 7-5

3rd rd: 32 T Robredo (Sp) 6-2 6-4 7-5

4th rd: 20 M Youzhny (Rus) 6-4  7-6(5) 6-1

QF F Verdasco (Sp) 4-6 3-6 6-1  6-4 7-5

SF 24 J Janowicz (Pol) 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4 6-3

PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum