Just as he did last year, Andy Murray will walk onto center court at Wimbledon Sunday to play in the final match. His opponent will be Novak Djokovic. The number one and number two players in the world will face each other in the final, as it should be.
It took Djokovic 4 hours and 43 minutes to defeat Juan Martin del Potro on Friday. It was an epic match, and a test of extreme endurance.
“Is there another match on?” joked former British Davis Cup captain John Lloyd, when he came off the court after calling the match for BBC TV. “I mean seriously, how could you beat that?”
Andy Murray didn’t have it easy with 6 foot 8 inch Jerzy Janowicz. Murray lost the first set, but won the next three. Last year, Murray was nearly the first player from the United Kingdom to win Wimbledon in 77 years.
With numerous injuries and upsets marring the tennis classic, it is fitting and important that the two best male players in the world will face each other on the most famous center court in the world.
“I’m privileged to be a winner of this match,” Djokovic said shortly surviving another marathon epic at a major and giving Argentina’s del Potro a friendly hug at the net.
“It was a really high-level match during four hours,” said 2009 U.S. Open winner del Potro, who was in his first Wimbledon semifinal. “I was so close.”
Djokovic and del Potro left the court to applause and cheers after having played the longest match in Wimbledon history. The previous longest match was in 1989, when Boris Becker defeated Ivan Lendl in 4 hours and 1 minute.
Djokovic said the taller del Potro moved more quickly than he expected he could.
“He came up with from back of the court some amazing flat backhands and forehands that you cannot say anything but congratulate him on that and move on,” said Djokovic, the 2011 Wimbledon champ seeking his seventh overall major and now has reached nine of the past 12 Grand Slam finals. “But I managed to hang in there, stay tough, and really glad to win.”
Murray battled the hard hitting Janowicz, who was the first player from Poland to reach a major semifinal. After losing the first set, Murray rebounded and had momentum on his side. Then officials decided to close the roof.
“It’s a tough situation,” Murray said. “There were probably 45 minutes of light left. I’d like to think this is an outdoor event and you try to play as much as you can outdoors. But I managed to regain focus. I took a shower, talked to the guys a little bit and got back to it.”
But, after the 30-minute break, Murray broke quickly to take a 2-1 lead, then broke again to close out the match.
Sunday’s final should be thriller, as the number one and two players in the world face each other on center court at Wimbledon, the way it should be.
Alfred James reporting