WASHINGTON, July 6, 2013 — In epic manner, the top two men tennis pros, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, defeated their opponents on Friday, but not without a struggle by both champions. Now they will meet on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Sunday, July 7 to determine who takes home the nearly $2.5 million purse.
Serbia’s Djokovic, ranked No. 1, and Scotland’s Murray, No. 2, have a long-standing rivalry, having met on court 18 times with Djokovic winning eleven of those encounters. However, Murray took out Djokovic at the U.S. Open last year in a grueling five-hour match. Djokovic, known for his incredible endurance while wearing down his opponents, is the favorite this time around. However, it is really a toss-up, as everyone who watched the two men in their respective Semifinals knows.
A sweat-soaked Djokovic Argentine defeated Juan Martin del Potro (8), but only by enduring five sets for four hours and 43 minutes, the longest Semifinal ever played at Wimbledon, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.
Del Potro, who earlier in the week almost quit because of a serious leg injury, wowed the fans with his steady, tenacious play. And he received a standing ovation from the enthusiastic crowd of 15,000 as Djokovic joined in the tribute. Both men say it was one the most exciting and best matches they have ever played.
In the second Semifinal of the day, Murray defeated Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz (24) 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. The twenty-two-year-old Janowicz, who at 6 feet, 8 inches is five inches taller than Murray and four years younger, gave an impressive performance, hammering the Brit. At one point it did seem that Murray would unravel when the match was suspended to close the roof, thanks to the fading daylight, and showed flashes of anger for the delay. But the crowd seemed to give Murray the edge he needed when play resumed, and he used their rousing support to regain his momentum with a crackling forehand to end the match.
If these two games are any indication of what is in store at the Men’s Final, it may truly be one to remember as these two titans meet for the ultimate Grand Slam.
Sunday, July 7
8 a.m. — 3 p.m. ET — Men’s Final (ESPN)
9 a.m. — Official start of the championship match
3:00 p.m. — 6 p.m. ET — Men’s Final (ABC runs a repeat broadcast)
Live Stream — ESPN3
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