Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 11-7, including winning their most recent three matches. While this is their first Wimbledon encounter, they did play on the All England Club’s grass in the semifinals of last year’s London Olympics, and Murray won 7-5, 7-5 on his way to a gold medal.
That’s part of year-plus stretch in which Murray has won 17 consecutive matches on grass, and 23 of 24.
His victory over Federer in the Olympic final, four weeks after losing to the 17-time major title winner on the same court in the Wimbledon final, gave Murray a real boost of confidence.
There’s a tremendous amount of pressure and expectations heaped on Murray every year at this time, because of the considerable wait for a British champion.
He knows that, of course.
So does Djokovic, who is aware there will not be many people pulling for him in the stands Sunday.
‘‘It’s normal to expect, in a way, that most of the crowd will be on his side. He’s a local hero,’’ Djokovic said.
Murray says he thrives with the backing of 15,000 or so flag-waving, top-of-their-lungs-yelling spectators every time he plays on Centre Court.
‘‘There’s that extra bit of pressure that probably Novak doesn’t have,’’ said Murray’s older brother, Jamie, who won the 2007 mixed doubles title at the All England Club. ‘‘If (Andy) deals with that well, then I'm sure he can perform in the final. Whether he wins or not I don’t know, but they’re two evenly matched guys, and they've had a lot of great matches in the past. Hopefully Sunday will be another one.’’
Instead of another Federer vs. Nadal, No. 1 vs. No. 2, match on the last Sunday, this time it'll be Djokovic and Murray. In as unpredictable a Wimbledon as anyone can recall, Nadal lost in the first round, and Federer exited in the second, both against men ranked outside the top 100.
Murray was asked how his mindset might be different in his second Wimbledon final than it was in his first, 12 months ago.
‘‘I'll be probably in a better place mentally. I would hope so, just because I've been there before. I won a Grand Slam. I would hope I would be a little bit calmer going into Sunday,’’ Murray said. ‘‘But you don’t know. You don’t decide that. I might wake up on Sunday and be unbelievably nervous, more nervous than I ever have been before. But I wouldn’t expect to be.’’
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