The world's top ranked men's tennis player, Roger Federer of Switzerland, is set to take on Great Britain's Andy Murray, the world number four, in what could be an epic re-match of the 2012 Wimbledon men's singles final. The two men will step out at the same location, the famous Centre Court, but the prize for victory is very different - an Olympic Gold.
Back in July, Federer saw off the challenge of Murray, winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, to claim his seventh singles title on the famous grass and leave his opponent and the United Kingdom waiting for their first local champion since Fred Perry in 1936.
On Sunday 5 August, though, Murray will have the opportunity for revenge and a chance to claim an Olympic gold (two, if he and Laura Robson can beat Belarusians Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka in the mixed doubles final) - something even Federer does not have.
The Swiss master comes into this title bout in good form and high on confidence, having survived an epic three-set semi-final against Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro. Federer eventually won 3-6, 7-6, 19-17, in the longest third set in Olympic history. Both men were understandably shattered by the end of the game and it took some time for them to stand up and acknowledge the crowd. However, if Murray is hoping Federer's exertions could give him the advantage, he may have to think again.
"Maybe that's what's helped me over the years, just being in that situation time and time again, you know, playing for something really, really big, playing for records, history books, big wins, titles, all that stuff," Federer said of his semi-final battle, "Maybe that's what kept me calm, to be honest, more than actually being out on Wimbledon Centre Court."
The British number one had an easier semi-final, beating Serbian Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 for his final berth. His Olympic experience has been almost perfect so far - entered three events and a minimum of two silver medals guaranteed. The only disappointment was the men's doubles, where he and his brother Jaime Murray lost 7-5, 6-7, 5-7in the first round.
"We play in tennis tournaments around the world and we get good crowds and the support is good, but you cannot compare it to that. The court was going nuts at the end and it was so loud. I haven't experienced noise like that on a tennis court," Murray said after beating Djokovic.
As for the final itself, when asked if he would do things differently this time around, Murray said he was fairly pleased with how he had played the last time but admitted he would work harder on shot selection.
"There are a few things I'll maybe do differently," he explained, "But tactically, I was pretty good in that final. I had my opportunities in the second set. I went for my shots on those chances. Just maybe didn't make the best shot selection."
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