Wimbledon 2013: Djokovic vs. Murray Championship Prediction

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] v Andy Murray (GBR) [2]

Will it be this?

or this?

Novak Djokovic has reached his 11th major final and looks to claim his 7th major title.  Andy Murray has reached his 7th major final and looks to claim his 2nd major title.  For the 3rd time in the past 52 weeks, these two men will battle in  Grand Slam final.  Murray won the 2012 US Open, and Djokovic won the 2013 Australian Open.  This is a tiebreak of sorts.  If Nole wins, he tightens his grasp on the top of the sport and sets up a run at 3 consecutive years finished at number one.  If Murray wins, he could rightly claim to have had the best 52 week span on tour and can build momentum toward his first stint at number one.  Djokovic leads their head-to-head meetings 11-7, but Murray owns the only win on grass.  Murray has won 4 titles on grass to Novak’s one (Wimbledon 2011).

Anytime the top two seeds face off in the final of one of tennis’ biggest events it is a treat for the fans.  Murray looking to be the first man from the UK to win Wimbledon since 1936 adds an extra layer of drama for the crowd in the seats.  I will not expect the polite crowd that nodded in respect toward Federer even as it generally pulled for Murray last year.  I also don’t expect the crowd to be quite as wild as it was during the Olympic championship match last year.  Will Djokovic relish his role as spoiler?  Will Murray be lifted by the fans?  This is a potential instant classic.

Mirrors?

These are the top two return men in the game.  Each man could claim to have the best two-handed backhand in the game as well.  They are both exceptionally quick.  Djokovic is 6’2″, and Murray is 6’3″.  Their games are quite similar.  To my mind, Djokovic is a better returner and has the better backhand of the two, but those differences are negligible.  Djokovic’s second serve and forehand are stronger than Murray’s.  Murray’s first serve is bigger than Novak’s.  Both guys have good touch around the court, but I think Murray has a little more feel and nuance than Novak does.  Novak is one of the most mentally tough players on tour.  Since Ivan Lendl came on board, Andy Murray has won his 1st Grand Slam title and a Gold medal as well as posting 2 Grand Slam runner-up finishes and a five set loss to Djokovic at the 2012 Australian Open semifinal.

My Prediction: Their defensive capabilities mean fans should be treated to a number of extended points.  This match should go at least 4 sets so fans can appreciate how much court each man covers.  There is an old saying in tennis emphasizing the importance of a player’s return of serve and second serve.  I see Novak as being stronger in these two phases of the game than Murray.  If the crowd does not throw Novak, I think he will win his second Wimbledon title 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. jane says:

    great read; thanks dan. it’ll be tough for nole to block out the crowd if they cheer his mistakes and stuff. but hopefully it’s not enough to derail him. andy will definitely be buoyed by the crowd either way, as he was at the olympics, when he played what i think was his best tennis, & so freely too. hope it’s a great match in any case!! would love to see nole get his 7th title and tie with j-mac’s slam total, another long time fave of mine. but andy will make that hard as he tries to do something that hasn’t been done in a little while. cheers & enjoy!

  2. jane says:

    p.s. still revealing over that semi between nole and jmdp. nice write up here (hope you don’t mind my posting a link)

    http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/06/to-tennis-fans-from-djokovic-and-del-potro/

    1. Dan Martin says:

      No problem on posting a link – Should be a good one tomorrow

      1. jane says:

        disappointed in nole’s effort today. nerves or something? andy playing more composed by far, less errors and better serving. not nole’s day.

      2. Mike Swanquis says:

        Hey Jane, I only saw the 2nd set but Nole looked really tired. Guess Del Potro wore him out (the same way he wore out Federer in the Olympic semis)…

      3. Dan Martin says:

        Delpo gets a card from the Murrays?

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