Murray faces new foe in Wimbledon final
The 11th Grand Slam final of Andy Murray's career will be unlike any of the others in at least one way: The opponent will not be Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic.
Murray, the 2013 champion at Wimbledon, reached his third major title match of 2016 with a no-nonsense 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory against 10th-seeded Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals yesterday.
Supported by thousands of his countrymen at Centre Court, Murray broke serve five times and played cleanly as can be, committing only nine unforced errors, 21 fewer than Berdych.
Tomorrow, No. 2 Murray will play No. 6 Milos Raonic, a Canadian making his debut in a Grand Slam final.
"Obviously, first time I'll play a Slam final against someone that isn't Roger or Novak. So, yeah, that's different," Murray said. "But you never know how anyone's going to deal with the pressures of a Slam final. So just have to go out there and concentrate on my side. Do what I can to prepare well for it and see what happens."
Might be a refreshing change.
That's because while he did defeat Djokovic for both the 2012 U.S. Open championship and the 2013 Wimbledon championship famously becoming the first British man to hold the trophy in 77 years Murray has lost all eight of his other previous major finals.
That includes a pair this year: the Australian Open in January, and the French Open in June, both against Djokovic.
Overall, Murray is 2-5 against Djokovic, and 0-3 against Federer with a major title at stake.
Not that there's any shame in that.
After all, Federer holds the record of 17 Slam trophies, and Djokovic has 12.
During this tournament, though, the No. 1-seeded Djokovic was beaten in the third round by Sam Querrey, and No. 3 Federer lost his semi-final yesterday against Raonic 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.