2012 Wimbledon Championships – Men's Singles
Novak Djokovic was the defending champion, but lost to Roger Federer in the semifinals in their first ever meeting on a grass court.
Number 2 seed Rafael Nadal's second round exit was his earliest at any Grand Slam tournament since the 2005 Wimbledon Championships. Andy Murray became the first British man to make it to the Wimbledon final since Bunny Austin in 1938
Despite being in the eye of the biggest storm in British tennis for three quarters of a century, Andy Murray seems calm. He seems composed. He seems collected.
After wiping away a tear or two following his outrageous winning forehand in his semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, he refocused almost immediately. Wiser for his three grand slam final defeats, he told the assembled press that the job wasn't yet finished, there was still another match to go.
"It's not the end of the tournament," he said. "The time for celebrating comes when I'm done. It wasn't like I was jumping around the locker room with excitement. I can't allow myself to think about winning. It's not really beneficial."
It could easily have been Ivan Lendl talking. Murray had his Lendl face on. Although he and his coach might have afforded themselves a little smile in private, knowing that here is a chance to win Wimbledon without having to meet Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.
But Roger Federer is Roger Federer. He might not be the player he was a few years ago, he hasn't added to his 16 grand slams since breaking Murray's heart for the second time in a major final at the 2010 Australian Open, but he is still the greatest of them all. Federer isn't the home player but Centre Court is his turf too; victory will see him draw level with Pete Sampras's record of seven Wimbledon titles. Plus he was in superlative touch against Djokovic on Friday.
A nation doesn't expect this afternoon, because we know – and Murray knows – that Federer is the slight favourite. But a nation hopes. And what's the harm in hoping?