Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray: Breaking Down Wimbledon Final by the Numbers

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJuly 7, 2013

April 1, 2012; Key Biscayne, FL, USA: Novak Djokovic (SRB), right, holds the winner's trophy after defeating Andy Murray (GBR), left, during the finals at the Sony Ericsson Open. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It's somewhat ironic that in a tournament that has been defined by upsets and unpredictability, we are left with a final that features No. 1 vs. No. 2.

That's not to say it has been an easy route for Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

After going perfect through his first 15 sets at the All England Club, Djoker barely slipped by the talented-but-injured Juan Martin Del Potro in a scintillating five-set thriller that lasted nearly five hours.

Murray, meanwhile, had a few uneasy moments against another big hitter, Jerzy Janowicz, in the semifinals, but his uneasy moment came in the quarters when he had to come from two sets down against Fernando Verdasco

It's been quite a ride, and if the first two weeks are any indication, we are in for an instant-classic men's final. 

Let's take a closer look at the matchup by the numbers. 


Historical Breakdown

11-7. That would be Djokovic's record against Murray in 18 career matches.

The only time they've played on grass, however, was at last year's Olympic semifinals, where Murray exited victorious with an evenly fought 7-5, 7-5 win. 

The burgeoning Scot followed that up with a thrilling win at the U.S. Open to secure his first ever major, but Djokovic has responded with three straight wins, including a four-set victory in the Australian Open final earlier this year. 

If you're counting at home, and if you're counting the Olympics, this will mark the third time in the last four that these two gentlemen have met in the final of a major tournament.

Whatever happens on Sunday, it's clear this rivalry is growing into something extremely special. 


Serving Against Novak Djokovic

When Murray beat Djokovic last year at the All England Club, he held serve every single time—and limiting the World No. 1's break opportunities will once again be important. 

Considering Murray is coming off a 20-ace performance, you have to be encouraged about his serving game. But Janowicz is not Djokovic. Heck, you could strap a rocket to Janowicz' back, and he still wouldn't be Djokovic. The young Pole has an extremely bright future, but because of his size, he had a lot of trouble getting off his heels against Murray's serve.

Djokovic, who gets to everything, won't have that trouble. 

Which brings us to this:

Murray has been able to win a much larger percentage of his first-serve points (red) than Djokovic's other opponents this tournament, but his second serve (green) has been far more average. 

Janowicz wasn't being nearly aggressive enough on Murray's second serves on Friday, allowing the Scot to win a staggering 71 percent of his 83 mph second serves.

Djokovic won't be nearly so forgiving, making the first serve of the utmost importance for Murray. 


Djokovic's Aggression

During Djoker's win at Australia, he came after Murray. 

He approached the net 41 times (compared to just 15 for Murray) for an astounding 35 points. He hit 47 winners (to Murray's 29) and 61 unforced errors (to Murray's 46). 

Coming off a draining five-setter against Del Potro, will Djokovic come out with that same aggressive fire, or will he sit back, play the baseline and spray shots down the sidelines (which he is also good at)?

Keep an eye on the style of play, as it will prove crucial.