The final of the Men’s Singles at The Championships Wimbledon 2014 is all set for Sunday at The All England Club.
Novak Djokovic faces Roger Federer for the 35th time on Centre Court for the title and I’m hoping for a little more luck today than was the case on Friday in the semi finals.
My +1.5 sets pick on Grigor Dimitrov was a point away from landing four times, most notably when the Bulgarian led 6-3 in the fourth set tie break, only to falter at the vital time.
We get underway at around 14:00 UK time on Sunday in this eagerly awaited championship match.
Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer
Despite the extensive head-to-head, dating back to their very first meeting on the clay of the Monte-Carlo Country Club back in 2006, this will be only the second time that this superstar pair have faced each other on grass.
The first being the semi final here two years ago that Federer won in four and on this surface I have to give the Swiss a decent shot of landing an eighth Wimbledon singles crown.
As I said in my preview of Djokovic/Dimitrov, I’ve never really been convinced by Novak on grass, and he’ll be edgy coming into this one having lost several big matches this season and Federer will be all too aware of the Serb’s likely nerves.
My misgivings about Nole on the green stuff have been around for a long time and his record against top-class opposition on this surface simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
Of 13 matches against top-10 ranked players (at the time of the match) Djokovic has won less than half and against top-five ranked opposition he’s only ever won one match – his Wimbledon final victory over Rafa Nadal in 2011.
The Serb has lost the other five matches he’s played on grass against top-five players and he’s hardly been convincing this fortnight, with struggles against Radek Stepanek, Marin Cilic and Dimitrov.
Any of those three with a bit more belief could have beaten Djokovic and it’s pretty clear to me that the level of his performances are down to a couple of factors – a lack of trust in his footing on this surface and a questionable net game.
One of the poorest on the overhead, if not the poorest, of the top-10 players his volleying lacks the finesse of a Federer and his defence is hampered by a fear of injury gained from constant slipping and sliding behind the baseline.
This makes his fabulous defensive skills a little less so and the top guys have been able to exploit these deficiencies on this surface and Federer can do so again on the form he’s showed so far this fortnight.
Finals here in recent years have tended to be quite one-sided, with only Fed’s 2009 win over Andy Roddick being close in the last five years and the general trend being towards three or four sets.
My feeling is that if Federer does find his best level and retains it for the majority of this match he wins it and Djokovic for me is a shaky favourite in this one.
The 3-1 Federer wins appeals at 5.50, as does the Federer minus 3.5 games and 3.20 and outright win at 2.20.
Tie breaks between the pair are quite scarce and for a bit of extra value in what is another pick ‘em match I like the minus 3.5 games on the Swiss the most.
Back Federer –3.5 games to beat Djokovic at 3.20