Wimbledon 2012 Men's Final: Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray Preview

Shane Lambert@uncoolnegatedAnalyst IIJuly 6, 2012

Andy Murray
Andy MurrayPool/Getty Images

The Wimbledon men's final is set, and it promises to make history.

Roger Federer can reclaim the World No. 1 ranking with a victory, and if he does that, he will tie Pete Sampras' record for most weeks as the top ranked player. If Andy Murray wins, he will end a British drought at Wimbledon and become the first UK-based player to win the major since Fred Perry in 1936.

Murray has the daunting task of facing his Grand Slam final boogeyman in what looks as though it will be the Scot's most pressure-filled match of his career. Federer beat Murray in both the finals of the 2008 U.S. Open and 2010 Australian Open.

There is some pressure on Federer in the Wimbledon final. If he loses, fans and pundits will say that he's not able to finish the deal any more in majors.

But the real pressure is on Murray. He's 0-3 in Grand Slam finals. He's 0-9 in sets played in those finals, and some don't think he can win majors at all. If he goes 0-4 in majors, then the criticisms will just get tougher.

The interesting thing about Murray is that he actually has a winning record against Federer. The Scot is 8-7 in his career against the Swiss Maestro. That the current World No. 4 has not beaten Federer when they've played on the biggest stages suggests that Murray is, for lack of a better word, a bit of choker.

In many other important matches, Murray has done fine. He's beaten Federer in the championship finals of multiple Masters Series 1000 events.

But if you watched the start of the 2010 Australian Open, you probably saw the nervous smile that Murray had on his face before facing Federer. The Scot seemed to come together in the third set of that match, but by then he was already down two sets to love, and a comeback proved too difficult. 

Federer may be almost 31 and his best consistent tennis might be behind him from a physical perspective. But if the Wimbledon final comes down to nerves, then Fed is going to have the advantage.

If Murray was playing someone besides Federer, even Novak Djokovic, I think that the Scot would have a better chance of winning. But Federer is considered the betting favorite to win the final at -200 (1/2 via bet365), and I think he is the proper favorite.

Hopefully, for Murray's sake, he doesn't need a couple of sets to get started in the final this time as that would almost surely seal his fate once again.