Federer and Murray Still on Track to Meet in Wimbledon Final

by John on June 30, 2009

Roger Federer has a date with destiny. Andy Murray has a date with the Queen. If the Wimbledon draw plays out according to form, Federer, seeded No. 2, will meet No. 3 Murray in Sunday’s final. Great Britain will be stoked. Not so fast, though. Federer first must survive his appointment with Dr. Ivo in the quarterfinals and then, most likely, best the Djokster in the semis. For Murray it’s a wild-card former No. 1 up next and then, probably, the other Andy on Friday. And as an added burden, the expectations of Murray’s countrymen can’t help but weigh heavily upon his shoulders. Federer, looking to win his sixth Wimbledon crown and record 15th Grand Slam title, cruised yesterday in his fourth-round defeat of Robin Soderling, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). Murray survived a four-hour roller-coaster ride last night against Stanislas Wawrinka, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, in the first complete match played under the new roof over Centre Court. Rumor has it that Queen Elizabeth might grace the Royal Box on Sunday for the first time since 1977 if Scotsman Murray makes it to the final. Tomorrow’s quarterfinal pairings pit Murray against Juan Carlos Ferrero and Lleyton Hewitt versus Andy Roddick in the top half of the draw. In the bottom half, Federer takes on Ivo Karlovic and Novak Djokovic battles Tommy Haas. The formidable Karlovic, a 6-foot-10 Croatian, bombs serves out of the clouds and is a player no one wants to face, especially on grass. Karlovic has yet to lose his serve in four matches and has pounded out 137 aces. Federer, however, has an 8-1 record against the Croatian. “I mean maybe it’s not the most fun match to go through,” Federer said of Dr. Ivo. “But I like to beat this guy because he makes it hard on us. He’s become an excellent player. Not only just his serve, he’s got to have something more or otherwise he wouldn’t be ranked where he is and he wouldn’t be beating all those good players. He’s not to be underestimated.” Karlovic, No. 36 in the world but seeded No. 22 at Wimbledon, has already knocked out No. 9-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 7 Fernando Verdasco. Murray looked spent, relieved and exhausted after his battle with Wawrinka, which ended at 10:39 p.m. “I believe I can win Wimbledon, that’s not changed since the first match,” Murray said. “But I’m going to have to play great tennis to do it. I had to play some great tennis tonight to come back because Stan was playing some unbelievable tennis at the start.” Murray appeared a little more vulnerable and nervy in the match. Maybe it’s just what he needed to toughen him up. The huge serve of Roddick, the No. 6 seed, is the only thing I can see that could prevent Murray from reaching the final.

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