WILL Roger Federer get the better of Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final? We asked Mark Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) for his best bet.
Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer | Sunday 14:00 | BBC One
As expected Novak Djokovic comfortably beat Richard Gasquet in straight sets to book his place in the Wimbledon final. Roger Federer meanwhile played magnificently in defeating Andy Murray also in straight sets.
The Swiss maestro hit 20 aces, serving at 76% 1st serves, winning 84% of the points, hit 56 winners past the Scot and just 11 unforced errors. He only allowed Murray one break point opportunity in the entire match and that was in his opening service game.
Impressive as his performance was, I can’t help but think Murray should have at least forced tie-breaks in both of the first two sets, allowing himself to be broken at *5-6 both times.
However, it means both players come into the final only conceding a set or more in just one of their matches. This will be the 43rd meeting between the two over a nine year period, with nothing separating them having won 20 matches a piece. On grass it’s just two meetings, 1-1, with reigning champion Djokovic prevailing 6-4 in the 5th set of the final last year and Federer winning 3-1 in the 2012 semi.
All of their nine sets played here haven’t featured more than one break of serve in winning the set, with two tie-breaks being played. They’ve met eight times in the last couple of years, and again can’t be split at 4-4. Overall at grand slams they’re 6-6, although Novak has won five of the last seven.
So what’s the bet? As always, it comes down to price. In last year’s final, Djokovic, despite dropping sets in half of his matches in the lead up to the final, again against Federer, who had dropped just one set and had been broken just once, went off as 4/6 favourite. This year the odds are a lot closer with barely anything separating them, which is why I have to make Djokovic the value at 10/11.
Novak should be the ‘fresher’ with an easier semi-final victory, and as we saw with him at the French Open, that victory for Federer over Murray may well have felt like a final and he may struggle to match the high quality of tennis he played throughout that match.
Add to that the aforementioned 5-2 record to Djokovic at Grand Slams over the last five years, Novak’s fitness over 33 year-old Federer in a best of five match might be the difference. Three of those five Djokovic wins have been 3-2.
Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer – Novak Djokovic to win (19/20 BWin)