Sunday’s final will be one for the ages.
Or one for the British.
For Roger Federer, it’s Wimbledon final No. 8, while Andy Murray will become the first native son in a final at the All England Club since 1938.
“I have one more match to go. I’m aware of that,” said the 30-year-old Federer, who is 6-1 in Wimbledon finals. “Still, it’s always nice beating someone like Novak, who has done so well here last year, the last couple years.”
The 16-time Grand Slam champion beat last year’s winner Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 under the roof on Centre Court to reach a modern-era record eighth final. He is now one victory from equaling Pete Sampras’ record of seven titles.
The Scottish Murray beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga later today to reach the Wimbledon final for the first time, winning 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
“It will be one of the biggest matches of my life,” Murray said. “I’ve had experience with Roger in finals of Slams before, and to use that to my advantage and learn from my mistakes and also the things he did well — it’s going to be a very tough match. He’s playing great tennis as always. Yeah, I’m very excited.”
If Federer wins Sunday’s final, he’ll take the No. 1 ranking from Djokovic and equal Sampras’ record of 286 weeks as the top-ranked player.
Murray had lost in the semifinals in each of the last three years. He’ll be the first British man to play in the Wimbledon final since Bunny Austin in 1938. The last British man to win the title was Fred Perry in 1936.
Minutes after the match ended, British prime minister David Cameron called the victory “great news.”
“I’ll be watching the final on Sunday and like the rest of the country, will be getting right behind Andy Murray,” Cameron said in a statement. “I wish him the best of luck.”
Murray has played in three major finals, losing in straight sets each time. Two of the matches, the 2008 U.S. Open and the 2010 Australian Open, were against Federer.
“Big relief,” Murray said. “I just got to try to keep it together for the final.”
Federer is aiming for his 17th in his 24th major final.