Will today’s Wimbledon final put a cherry on top?

2013-07-07 10:00

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Today’s 127th Wimbledon Championships men’s final is expected to be an epic battle as the number 1 and 2 seeds go head to head. S’Busiso Mseleku argues this will be remembered as the most extraordinary tournament ever.

As number one seed Novac Djokovic and the second-seeded Andy Murray make their way to Centre Court at Wimbledon this afternoon, tennis fans can be forgiven for expecting something phenomenal.

Only five letters can describe the events at the championships over the past fortnight: D-R-A-M-A.

It will come as no surprise if the form book is shredded by the end of the day.

The fact that Djokovic leads Murray by 10 career titles (37-27) and that he is ranked above him, could count for naught.

Murray overcame Djokovic at last year’s Olympic Games semifinal and some see this as a sign, as that match was also played on grass.

But how many times have we really seen the form book thrown out the window and statistics overturned in a match of this nature, as big match temperament takes over?

Murray must feel he has the whole world on his shoulders, as expectations mount for him to become the first Briton in 77 years to win the title.

And Djokovic, currently the best player on the planet, might find the pressure to add a second Wimbledon to his 2011 conquest too much to overcome.

Courts

This has not been called the Wimbledon of stumbling players and tears for nothing. The All England Club has had to issue statements denying suggestions that the Wimbledon courts were too slippery.

Head groundsman Neil Stubley last week told Sky News: “We’ve prepared the courts in the same way as we have in previous years.

“The soils are the same, the grass is the same, our height of play is the same.

“We have prepared them exactly and on our stats it’s showing that the courts are playing exactly the same as they have in previous years.”

Wounded Wednesday

Day 3 saw an unprecedented number of players bowing out of the tournament with injuries.

Seven players either abandoned singles matches or handed their opponents walkovers to the third round, a record for any day in a grand slam during the open era.

Maria Sharapova was one of the most vocal players to withdraw from the tournament on the day.

She suffered a shock loss to Michelle Larcher de Brito after sliding all over Court 2, calling the surface “dangerous”.

Other players were Steve Darcis, women’s second seed Victoria Azarenka, Marin Cilic and Yaroslava Shvedova, all of whom failed to start their matches.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, John Isner and Radek Stepanek all began but failed to finish their games.

Upsets

The 29-year-old Darcis, ranked 135th in men’s singles, led the upsets of the tournament when he bundled out the highly regarded former champ Rafael Nadal, (7-6, 7-6, 6-4) on Day?1.

Next up were Sharapova, who lost 6-3, 6-4 to Larcher de Brito, ranked 131st and Roger Federer, who was beaten by Igor Sergiy Stakhovsky, ranked 116th, in a 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 match.

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