Live on BBC2: Sun from 14.00: Andy Murray will feel that his career has been building to this point and despite the fact that the first British Wimbledon men’s finalist for 74 years isn’t the most effusive personality; few would begrudge him his maiden Grand Slam on Centre Court this afternoon. Nevertheless, the bookies don’t deal in sentiment and they’re confident that Roger Federer will equal Pete Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon titles, bet365 installing the Swiss maestro as a pretty comprehensive favourite at 8/15.
Murray is a 7/4 underdog at Stan James to get the job done and the statistics would also suggest that the Scot is up against it given that he has lost in straight sets to Federer twice before in Grand Slam finals. En route to this afternoon’s showpiece however, the fourth seed, under the guidance of coach Ivan Lendl, has shown a steely resolve, a positivity and a ruthlessness perhaps not seen before and there’s a feeling this year that the maturing 25-year-old’s name is finally on the trophy.
Of course sceptics, refusing to believe that Britain’s 76-year drought in the men’s event is coming to an end, will have other ideas and subsequently Skybet can expect plenty of cash for the 9/4 they offer about Murray again coming a cropper against Federer in just three sets while heartbreak for the world number four in a five-set thriller is a 6/1 shot courtesy of Stan James.
Federer though, is advancing in years in tennis terms at almost 31 and hasn’t won a Grand Slam for two-and-a-half years so it could be argued that this, his fourth major final, is Murray’s best chance of glory to date. A case can be made then for another 3-1 success for the Scot, who has an 8-7 winning record over the six-time Wimbledon champion, at 11/2 courtesy of bet365.
Alternatively, BetVictor chalk the quietly spoken Scot up at 7/1 to edge a marathon contest 3-2 and if there are to be that many sets then the chances are the showdown will feature more than 40.5 games, an outcome William Hill offer at 9/10.
Elsewhere, a solid start could be crucial for Andy Murray as he will find it tough to chase the match against a player of Federer’s quality and experience and bet365 post 11/8 against him flying out of the blocks to capture the opening set. Stan James meanwhile, rate the improving home favourite at 5/4 to clinch the day’s first break of serve.