Who is real and who is not?
Forget for a moment that Murray has not yet won a Grand Slam. Forget that Roger Federer is too old. Forget that the grass has slowed, making for greater excellence in ground strokes and rendering less meaningful what most tennis aficionados like more than anything—tennis tournament winners who have more than a baseline game.
This one will bring us back to our feet. More net play, more incredible baseline shots and more shots on the run. The two best players at the moment fighting each other for a spot in history.
True, the century is not that old. Still, the last 50 years of 20th century tennis don't match the quality, athleticism and talent of the first 12 in this century.
If the 20th century brought open tennis, the 21st brought together the best eight tennis players to play at one time—even if you mix and match women and men, pure silliness in my opinion.
No one would have expected that Roger Federer would be considered by most tennis writers and broadcasters (including most recently John McEnroe) to be the greatest tennis player of all time.
No one would have expected that two other competitors in the GOAT contest would have played only during this century. Yes, both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic can be considered among the very greatest of all time.
Murray or Federer?
Most if not all of the best of the matches played this century involved Federer. He is, after all, the best in history.
Sadly, he is not tall enough, young enough or good enough to beat Andy Murray.
The quality of play from Andy Murray is much like that of Andy Roddick at the one slam he won. Sharp, powerful and determined.
Tomorrow's match will have some very interesting sidelights. Among others, for whom will the Royals be rooting? Who would want Federer to win, thereby diminishing 20th century players even further?
In the end, of course, Federer's dedication will pale in comparison to Andy Murray's determination.
Murray is focused, more than ever in his life. To get his own grand slam record going, he must win this one tomorrow.
The quality of tennis Federer has faced this fortnight has been far less grand than the play in Andy Murray's path.
Both Djokovic and Federer met after facing less pressure. Federer showed his age with his back and more four-setters than expected.
Murray beat back Jo-Wilfried Tsonga quite unexpectedly. Many thought Tsonga was up to the task and would find himself in another grand slam final. Perhaps he would have been if he had the sense to get a coach.
Murray will take the first set, perhaps very easily. The second set will also go to Murray in a tie break. Very close games and set.
Third and fourth sets to Federer, whose back starts hurting. Sheer grit and determination moves Federer into the fifth set tied for everything.
Does the old man give out before Murray collapses under a net rush unseen since the 20th century?
My bet is that he doesn't. Instead, we will be treated to a throwback of monumental proportions.
Will Murray to come to the net? If not, fifth set and match to Federer. Here is to believing Murray makes it there, earning his first grand slam.
When you study the quality of tennis today, the top four are incomparable among any players at any time in tennis history. Will this situation last for another 38 years?
If it does, this first 50 years of the 21st century will far surpass the last fifty of the 20th.