LONDON, July 6 (UPI) —
For the third time in the last four Grand Slam tournaments, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will square off to determine a major tournament championship.
Djokovic, ranked No. 1, faces Murray, who is second in the rankings, in Sunday’s final of the 127th Wimbledon Championships.
Djokovic and Murray, born five days apart in May 1987, have been friendly rivals on the court since they played junior level tennis. Djokovic holds an 11-7 advantage in ATP matches.
Djokovic won their first major tournament final pairing, taking the 2011 Australian Open in three sets. Murray, winning his first Grand Slam title, topped Djokovic in five sets at last year’s U.S. Open. Djokovic then came out on top in four sets at the 2013 Australian Open final.
Murray defeated Djokovic in the 2012 Olympics semifinals, which is their only meeting on a grass court. The Olympics were contested at Wimbledon.
Murray had a much less intense match in Friday’s semifinals, defeating No. 24-seeded Jerzy Janowicz 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in less than 3 hours while Djokovic battled for a semifinal-record-long — 4 hours, 43 minutes — 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 decision over eighth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro.
Murray is in his second Wimbledon final, losing to Roger Federer last year. Djokovic is also in his second title match at Wimbledon, having won the tournament in 2011 by beating Rafael Nadal. A win Sunday would give Djokovic seven major tournament titles overall, tying him with John McEnroe and Mats Wilander for eighth most all-time.
Murray, from Scotland, will have strong partisan backing Sunday as the local fans will be looking to celebrate their first British Wimbledon champion since Fred Perry in 1936.
Djokovic gained a bit of grass-court revenge against del Potro, who beat Djokovic for the bronze medal at Wimbledon in the Olympics. The question is whether he can also get that pay back against Murray with a much bigger prize at stake.