Murray ready to learn from last year's Wimbledon final loss
July 5, 2013 22:59 pm
Andy Murray insists he is better prepared than 12 months ago to end a 77-year wait for a British men's winner at Wimbledon.
Murray was beaten in four sets by Roger Federer in last year's final and now takes on top seed Novak Djokovic on Sunday brimming with confidence.
And he insists the experience of his last final on Centre Court, when he beat Federer to win Olympic gold at London 2012, is also driving him on to make history.
"I learned a lot from last year's Wimbledon and the one thing that really stands out is I now know how I need to play to win the big matches," said Murray, who followed up on Olympic success by claiming his maiden Grand Slam title, beating Djokovic in the US Open final a few weeks later.
"I didn't come away from that (Wimbledon) final against Federer doubting myself, I didn't have any regrets.
"However, I think I'll be in a better place mentally than last year because I've been here before and now I've won a Grand Slam, so I would hope to be a lot calmer.
"Winning Wimbledon would be a huge achievement for any tennis player. Winning my first Slam, after failing a lot of times, I don't think anything will top the relief I felt after that match but winning here is the pinnacle of the sport.
"I still don't think I will have ever feelings like I had after winning the Olympics. I will never get the opportunity to do that again and I don't think I'll ever top it. But I don't think it brings less or more pressure on Sunday."
Murray and Djokovic have played 18 times with the record 11-7 in the Serbian's favour.
Sunday will be their fourth Grand Slam final meeting, with Djokovic winning at the 2011 and 2013 Australian Open and losing in a titanic five-hour five set tussle at Flushing Meadows last September.
Murray is just a week older than the world number one and he famously won their first-ever match on the junior circuit.
He also has the advantage of winning their only ever match on grass - a semi-final victory on the way to gold at London 2012.
"Novak and I have a professional friendship, we've spent a lot of time discussing various issues within tennis but it's not more than that right now," he added.
"I would hope, when we finish playing, it will be different but it's hard to play in big, big matches, with lots on the line, and still be the best of friends."
Murray was made to fight before progressing past world number 24 Jerzy Janowicz 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, turning the match around by winning five consecutive third set games to finally break his Polish rival's stubborn resolve.
Janowicz had advanced through the tournament dropping just four service games but Murray played him at his own game. The Scot boomed down 20 aces to his rival's nine, he made just one double fault, in comparison to the Pole's 11.
"I'm disappointed, I didn't play my best tennis and that is such a shame," said Janowicz, who was appearing in only the fifth Grand Slam tournament of what looks a promising career.
"I was struggling with my serve and just collapsed when I was 4-1 up in the third set. Deep down I should be happy, it's my first Grand Slam semi-final and tomorrow I'm sure I will be okay.
"I don't feel like losing against the runner-up, so I wish Andy good luck in the final."
Murray had expressed annoyance when the players were called off the court at the end of the third set due to fading light.
He had just taken a 2-1 lead after winning five straight games and thought there was enough light to complete the match. Despite this, he went on to win the fourth set under the roof in just 35 minutes.
"I don't know what the ruling is but I feel Wimbledon is an outdoor event and you should play outdoors until it is not possible to do that anymore but it worked out okay in the end," he added.
"I had all the momentum, it was still very light. It was only 8.40pm, so there was still 45 minutes to an hour of light available.
"Once I got back on the court, I wasn't angry. It was frustrating at that moment but I still had a job to do and thankfully I did it."
© Sportsbeat 2013