The final of the Men’s Singles at Wimbledon 2015 features, perhaps fittingly, the top two ranked players in the men’s game.
Novak Djokovic defends his title against Roger Federer in a repeat of last year’s final, which the Serb won in five sets.
We start at around 14:00 UK time on Sunday in one of the mose eagerly anticpated major finals for some time.
Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer
Djokovic takes on Federer for the 40th time in their careers on Sunday afternoon at the All England Club when he attempts to defend the Wimbledon crown for what would be the first time.
Twice a winner here, in 2014 and 2011, Djokovic has arrived into his 17th major final by virtue of a reasonably comfortable win over Richard Gasquet, but there are concerns over the fitness of the Serb.
He looked in some discomfort against Gasquet with a shoulder problem that he called the trainer out for and as Andy Roddick pointed out on commentary he wouldn’t have done that for no reason given that he was leading in the match.
It could be the case that it was just a bit of minor discomfort, but Djokovic is hardly likely to reveal anything more to the watching world if it isn’t.
As for Federer, well, he produced perhaps the performance of his career to defeat Andy Murray in straight sets, firing over 50 winners and hitting only 11 unforced errors and serving incredibly well.
Murray, a fine exponent of the art of the service return, created just one break point on Friday evening and the question on everyone’s lips is ‘can he play that well in the final?’
Not even Federer can answer that one until some time after 14:00 UK time on Sunday, but if he does reproduce that level against Djokovic then you have to conclude that he wins.
I must admit that I didn’t believe that Fed could play like that against a Murray/Djokovic/Nadal for long enough to win a best-of-five at this stage of his career, as the stats had indicated he couldn’t, but he threw the stats out of the window on Friday.
History is against Federer here and he’s already the oldest male Wimbledon finalist since Ken Rosewall in 1974 and it’s Rosewall who holds the record for the oldest major winner at 37 years of age when he won the 1972 Australian Open.
Federer, at almost 34, won’t be touching that record one would think, but I see no reason now why he can’t win an eighth Wimbledon crown to put him ahead of Pete Sampras in terms of most Open era wins.
I don’t much fancy the tight-looking match odds here, with so much uncertainty surrounding both players – Novak with his shoulder and Roger in terms of whether he can stay at the level we’ve recently seen in a major final.
I can’t be backing Djokovic here and I’m slightly hesitant about backing Federer after siding with him in this match a year ago when the Swiss ran out of gas.
For me Fed’s best chance is to win in three or perhaps four sets and the 3.05 about the Swiss maestro with a -1.5 set handicap looks more appealing than the 2.20 outright, as I can’t see him winning in a fifth set against the physical stamina of Djokovic.
I also like Federer to hit the most aces at 1.55, with Federer out-acing Djokovic 29-13 in the final a year ago and in Fed’s last win over Djokovic on quick outdoor hard in Dubai this season it was 12-1 to the Swiss in aces.
Only two aces separate them in total at this year’s Wimbledon, which probably makes the price more attractive than perhaps it ought to be.
Those who look to trends and are thinking of backing Federer will note that the last five men's Wimbledon finals have followed a pattern of favourites and underdogs winning alternately and it's the turn of the underdog in 2015 if that continues on Sunday.
Value bet: Back Federer in most aces at 1.55
Long shot: Back Federer -1.5 sets at 3.05