Modern history has been made. For the first time since the 1930s we have a Brit to bet on in the Wimbledon men’s final. So should we lump on and cheer on Andy Murray in the hope of filling our pockets if he prevails while enjoying the rare privilege of being able to support a countryman?
Probably not if any capacity for analysis prevails. ‘Hope’ is the key word here and it can be expensive. At the current odds being offered, commonsense states that a decent sized bet on Roger Federer is any sensible person’s way of beating low interest rates at the scandalous banks.
What would you rather bet on – proven, super cool Swiss precision or a fiery and sometimes impetuous Scot? Add to that the importance of never under estimating a past Wimbledon champion. There is a reason why someone has won Wimbledon before and if they are still physically fit and really want it they will probably win again – especially now that they do not have to face another past champion in the shape of Nadal.
Federer has broken records just by getting to his eighth Wimbledon final and is heading for a seventh win. Now aged 30 (like ladies’ champion Serena Williams) he managed to defeat the defending champion and world number one, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, in style. Yes, in the semi-final Lady Luck was on his side. Federer is the best in the world indoors and, when the decision was made to keep the roof closed on Centre Court for his contest, it became essentially an indoor match. The Swiss player’s passion to win was obviously undiminished. His power and precision is best employed in an environment unaffected by wind and untroubled by vision impairing direct sunlight. The roof is likely to be on for much of the final.
It was lucky for Federer that Djokovic slipped on the turf at a crucial moment that helped him to win the first set. But it was not luck that Federer had made 75% of his first serves count. He had visibly upped his game for the contest and increased the speed of his serve to 128 mph without losing accuracy. Djokovic took the second set but Federer came out fighting in the third and managed to secure it. The commentators noted that it was important for Federer to gain control at this stage as Djokovic was probably the best equipped for a marathon match. Federer knew that too and quickly got a break in the fourth set that secured the match for him.
Djokovic was the hot favourite to win the semi-final. He had beaten Federer in six of their last seven matches. He had only dropped one set en route to this game and was demonstrating in every match the increased strength and fitness that has earned him the reputation of being the best athlete in the game. He had also won not just the last Wimbledon title but almost all the major tournaments in the meantime.
Federer had dropped three sets, two of which were in a match that required treatment on his back. He managed to raise his game to beat the best.
So how did Murray fare on his route to the final? As usual, he had made fairly heavy weather of getting to the semis. He had demonstrated vulnerability on two occasions against Baghdatis and Karlovic but managed to secure his quarter final against Spain’s David Ferrer, the world number five, in a four hour marathon.
In the semis he managed to overcome a shaky Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the world number six, only dropping one set in the process. But there is a reason why neither Tsonga or Murray has ever reached the Wimbledon final before. They could not play their very best game when it counted.
Federer has just displayed his ability to do exactly that. If he is physically vulnerable at the moment it did not stop him beating the world number one. For Murray (best odds 7/4) the additional pressure of the venue could also be an issue. Federer is the form choice and even at around 8/15 looks good betting value. Any sensible money has to be on the Swiss contender.