Simon Reed

Murray deserves final crack at Federer

Simon Reed

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Only Federer's quest for a record-tying seventh title stands in Murray's path to immortality

Andy Murray played super really considering all the pressure he was under. I thought he performed really well, got off to a good start and kept his concentration.

Perhaps he was a litte passive on occasion, but it is difficult to always be on the front foot against a man such as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga because he drives you back consistently.

Murray did really well to get himself two sets up, but then played one bad game to drop serve and Tsonga took advantage. Then in the fourth set it was a really good set of tennis, and Murray did really well to win it because Tsonga was by then looking as if he could be very dangerous.

If it had gone to a fifth set, who knows what might have happened.

The crowd took a long time to get into the match, but once they got going, I think they were an important factor in the match. When it came down to the big points in the fourth set, I think they might have made the difference for Andy.

It is a different match against Roger Federer, of course. Andy has a good record against Roger, but when they have met in Grand Slam finals, Murray seems to come off second best.

Unfortunately, Murray seems to bring out the best in Federer. He can equal Pete Sampras's record of seven Wimbledon titles and go back to number one in the world. That is a big thing for him to ram down people's throats who were writing him off.

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Roger Federer

I think Murray does have to start second favourite as well as he has played at this tournament, but Federer came through some sticky patches against Novak Djokovic superbly well.

The huge advantage for Federer is that he made the Olympics his number one priority this year. It perhaps takes pressure off him were Wimbledon is concerned.

Even when Djokovic lost the first set, I think he thought he was going to win it with some comfort. When Djokovic won the second set, I thought he was going to win with some comfort.

But Federer knuckled down, played freely in moving well and hitting the ball with some purpose. It was strange, but Djokovic didn't seem like himself and Federer is in the final.

I think Murray has to be more aggressive against Federer this time than he has been in the past. Murray has found that these guys -Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal - have raised their levels against in him Grand Slam semis and finals. I don't think Andy is feeling the pressure. Even at Wimbledon, I don't think that is the case.

I don't think Andy will feel the pressure on Sunday despite the British expectation. He won't lose because of that. He will find it tough because these guys tend to raise it to the ultimate level in finals. And that is possibly a level that Andy can't reach.

If Federer doesn't do that, Andy has a great chance. I have a feeling that Federer is going to play better in the final than he did against Djokovic.

That is why I would have to tip Federer. I think Federer will be so relieved that he is not facing Nadal in the final. That is fantastic for him.

Of course he won't underestimate Murray, but I would take him to win.

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