It has been two years since Federer has appeared in a Wimbledon final, but that is not the headline for Sunday as the buzz around the All-England Club surrounds Andy Murray in his first trip to a final at the hallowed grounds.
Since Englishman Fred Perry won Wimbledon in 1936, a British man hasn't hoisted the coveted trophy, but the 76-year drought is in serious jeopardy as Scotsman Andy Murray takes tennis's biggest stage on Sunday.
He'll take on the six-time Wimbledon champ Roger Federer who is also looking to make a little history. As documented in a Sports Illustrated article, Federer can equal two marks held by Pete Sampras with one more victory Sunday: seven Wimbledon championships and 286 weeks at No. 1 in the ATP rankings.
Murray has reached the semifinals at Wimbledon each of the last three years, but Sunday marks his first trip to the finals. He has been in three Grand Slam finals before, only to lose all three, two of which were at the hands of Federer. Murray will undoubtedly have all of the United Kingdom on his side as the fans, media and dignitaries are sure to be hanging on his every shot and movement.
According to Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press, past champion 'Pistol' Pete Sampras rationalizes the mood that Sunday's historical final is sure to exhibit.
"Everyone loves Roger at Wimbledon, but a majority of people are going to want to see Andy win this time. ... They can inspire Andy. They can pick him up. But at the same time, they might make him feel like he's pulling all the hopes and dreams of a nation on his shoulders. That's a lot to deal with," Sampras said in a telephone interview. "And he has to play Roger Federer, so he'll have his hands full."
Many of the Murray supporters that won't have a ticket to be inside the stadium will watch on the jumbo-tron from the famous hill outside of Centre Court. This hill has been symbolic of the hill that no British man has been able to climb since Perry successfully did it in 1936.
For years during and after his playing career, Tim Henman was England's greatest hope to win Wimbledon, and the hill is aptly named, 'Henman Hill'.
As a fun fact, Tim Henman's long-time coach was Paul Annacone, who is now the current coach of Roger Federer. It would be an interesting twist of fate if Annacone were to coach a player to a Wimbledon championship and it not be Tim Henman.
Sunday poses an incredible mountain for Andy Murray to climb, and if victorious, the All-England Club will have to proclaim the hill outside Centre Court to be 'Murray Mountain'.
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