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Djokovic Favored over Murray in Wimbledon Final

Looks like they'll still be friends either way.

Looks like they’ll still be friends either way.

Today’s final at Wimbledon pits No. 2 ranked Andy Murray against rival Novak Djokovic; a familiar foe currently atop the men’s ATP rankings. The two have faced each other 18 times, including two Grand Slam finals since last September—with Murray taking the U.S. Open and Djokovic winning the Australian Open.

Overall, Djokovic holds an 11-7 edge in the rivalry, so it’s not surprising he’s the favorite to emerge victorious. The Serb has been given just over 63 percent odds of winning; Murray is pegged at just under 41 percent.

Last year, Andy Murray entered Wimbledon’s final having lost all three of his opportunities to a win a Grand Slam title. Facing a 30 year-old Federer, the younger Murray squandered the chance to not only prove he could win under enormous pressure, but become the first British player in 76 years to claim a major singles victory.

After a strong start, Murray fell to the No. 1 ranked Federer, ensuring that the drought continued for the UK and giving Federer his seventh Wimbledon title (tying Peter Sampras’ record). Murray went on to win the U.S. Open a few months later—finally achieving the historic milestone.

However, Wimbledon is a grand slam unclaimed by a native son since Fred Perry’s 1936 title.  With Federer, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer out of the way, Wimbledon is once again within reach for Murray and Great Britain.

Don’t count on that happening. For someone one under as much pressure as Murray—again—the home crowd, the spotlight are going to amplify every mistake and missed opportunity. Considering Djokovic is arguably a much tougher opponent than Federer at this stage of the 13-time tournament winner’s career, Murray will need to start strong and finish stronger to defy the odds makers.

The caveat? Murray beat Djokovic in their only meeting on grass (2012 Summer Games) and should be more well-rested since Djokovic endured the longest semi-final in the tournament’s history.

Either way, it should be a great match-up of two top players who’ve crossed paths countless times over the course of their careers; a final that’s featured either Federer or Nadal every year since 2003. This could be the moment Murray or Djokovic launch a new chapter in a Grand Slam that’s been dominated by two greats for a decade.

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