Wimbledon 2013: Andy Murray vows not to freeze in heat of history

Andy Murray insists he will not freeze in the baking heat of Centre Court as he attempts to defeat Novak Djokovic and end Britain's 77-year wait for a Wimbledon men's singles champion on Sunday.

Updated: July 07, 2013 21:44 IST
  • Total Shares

London: Andy Murray insists he will not freeze in the baking heat of Centre Court as he attempts to defeat Novak Djokovic and end Britain's 77-year wait for a Wimbledon men's singles champion on Sunday.

Murray tackles top seed and world number one Djokovic, the 2011 champion, on what will be an emotionally-charged afternoon on the same court where 12 months ago the Scot broke down in tears after his loss to Roger Federer.

"I think I'll be probably in a better place mentally. I would hope so just because I've been there before. I won a Grand Slam. I would hope I would be a little bit calmer going into Sunday," said Murray.

The atmosphere is guaranteed to be red hot, both on and off the court, with London expected to swelter in temperatures of around 30 degrees -- the hottest day of the year -- by the time the final starts at 1300GMT.

After his loss to Federer in 2012, Murray took Olympic gold at Wimbledon and then claimed his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open.

On Sunday, he will attempt to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the Wimbledon title.

"I think I learnt a lot from last year's Wimbledon. The whole grass court season last year I learnt a lot from," said Murray.

"The one thing that kind of stands out is I knew how I needed to play the sort of big matches, or try to play the big matches after Wimbledon, because I didn't come away from that final kind of doubting sort of myself or the decisions I made on the court, because I went for it.

"I lost, but I didn't have any regrets as such."

Djokovic gained revenge for his loss in New York by defeating Murray in the Australian Open final in January although the Scot won the pair's only meeting on grass at Wimbledon at last year's Olympics.

This will be Murray's seventh Grand Slam final while the Serb will be playing in his 11th major final and seeking a seventh title.

Ivan Lendl, the coach of Murray, believes that regardless of the outcome of Sunday's match, the 26-year-old Scot will go on and reach many more finals at the majors.

"I can't find a reason why he shouldn't (reach finals). He's so good. When he plays well, he should be getting to the semis and finals," Lendl told the BBC.

He added: "My job is not to worry about what it would be like (if he wins), my job is to prepare him and give him the best chance to win on Sunday."

Djokovic cruised to the semi-finals but needed five sets to defeat Juan Martin del Potro on Friday in the longest ever last-four clash at Wimbledon.

Despite the four-hour, 43-minute epic, Djokovic, who spent a record five hours and 53 minutes beating Rafael Nadal in the 2012 Australian Open final, insists that fatigue will not be a problem.

He also admits his friendship with Murray, which began when they first clashed as 11-year-olds at a junior tournament in France, will be tested to the full.

Sunday's final will be their 19th career match-up with Djokovic, just seven days younger than Murray, holding an 11-7 winning advantage.

Their first meeting was as juniors in Tarbes in south-west France 16 years ago.

"It was maybe my first international tournament. I remember his curly hair. That's all I remember. I remember I had a short visit on the tennis court," recalled Djokovic.

"On and off the court we have lots of respect for each other. Always very fair, very honest relationship.

"You know, now we are big rivals and it's difficult. He has his own team, his own routines, his own way. I have on my side also individually.

"So we don't get together and have dinners and parties, but we definitely always chat and remember the fun days we had as juniors."

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

Leave a comment