ROGER FEDERER is relishing the prospect of crashing the party when he faces Andy Murray in tomorrow’s Wimbledon final.
The Swiss was at his very best in overcoming defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic in yesterday’s opening semi-final, only dropping serve once in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win.
Federer, who will become the new World No. 1 if he defeats Murray, accepts he will receive fewer cheers than his opponent, but is looking forward to facing the local hero regardless.
“I always say that whatever country I am in, I like to play the local hero and that’s what Andy is here at Wimbledon,” the 30-year-old said.
“It will be very special. I’m glad the match has come along. I hope I have some crowd support, but it’s not the most important thing right now.”
Murray is one of the few men to hold a positive record against the six-time Wimbledon champion, having won eight of their 15 meetings. However, Federer has arguably won their two most important encounters – the US Open final in 2008 and the Australian Open final in 2010.
Despite that, Federer is happy to concede that Murray has managed to outfox him in the past.
“I have a losing record against him and I know how good he is,” he said. “Some finals I’ve beaten him, others I have had tough losses against him. I remember the losses.
“But we haven’t played each other much over the last couple of the years because we have often been three and four in the draw and we always ended up in Novak or Rafa Nadal’s hands.
“We don’t see each other often so it is going to be interesting.”
Federer has grown accustomed to life in the spotlight. Such a glare is intensified on Murray during Wimbledon, with his every move, shot and word up for scrutiny.
Federer, left, sympathises with him, believing he is paying the price for being the only big-name player in Great Britain, but is confident he can handle the pressure.
“What is so particular about this country is that there’s so much attention on that one player, which is Andy Murray. Let’s be happy that he’s such a great player that he lets that sort of hype last,” he said.
“He’s only going to get better. That’s what he’s been proving and I think he’s handled it (the pressure) very well.”