Statistics favour Murray, Federer meeting in final

LONDON • Andy Murray and Roger Federer will look to reach the Wimbledon final today and preserve the iron grip of tennis' "Big Four", the group which has endured since 2003.

After Lleyton Hewitt triumphed 14 years ago, the following 13 men's singles titles have been shared among Federer, Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

The four heavyweights have also filled eight of the last 10 runners-up spots.

Standing in the way of 2013 champion Murray and seven-time winner Federer getting to Sunday's final are Tomas Berdych, the 2010 runner-up, and sixth seed Milos Raonic. Berdych trails Murray 6-8 in career meetings while Federer has a 9-2 lead on Raonic, the youngest of the four semi-finalists at 24.

Second seed Murray needed a tough five-setter to get past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and reach his seventh Wimbledon semi-final.

Today's match throws up a new dynamic as he and 10th seed Berdych have never met on grass.

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    8-6
    Andy Murray's head-to-head record against Tomas Berdych

    9-2
    Roger Federer's head-to-head record against Milos Raonic

"I'll have to see some of his matches to get an idea of some of the things he does differently on grass, what his strengths are, maybe some of the things he struggles with a bit," said 29-year-old Murray, who has already been runner-up this year at the Australian and French Opens.

"He's a big guy who serves well. When he's dictating the points, he hits a big, big ball. Ideally, I don't want to have him dictating all of the points because then I'll be doing a lot of running."

Berdych has an impressive 57 grass court wins and has been a permanent fixture in the top 10 for six years. He admits that he has watched Murray's development very closely.

"At the beginning he was a bit more defensive, playing a little bit more just waiting for what the opponent's going to do" said the 30-year-old Czech. "Now he is more aggressive, way more creative."

Federer, bidding for a record eighth Wimbledon title and 18th Grand Slam, came back from two sets down to defeat Marin Cilic to stay on course for a first Major since winning Wimbledon four years ago.

The third-seeded Swiss has yet to win a trophy this year, and his only final appearance was in Brisbane in January, where he lost to Raonic.

"I was very worried coming here," he admitted. "(Now I'm) really deep into the tournament. Yes, I did surprise myself, in quite a big way."

Federer has beaten Raonic twice on grass, the last time at Wimbledon in 2014 in what was the Canadian's first appearance in the last four.

Said Raonic: "I'm happy that I have another shot at him."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2016, with the headline 'Statistics favour Murray, Federer meeting in final'. Print Edition | Subscribe