A win at Wimbledon on Sunday would mean different things for each of the two top-ranked players in the world. The two know each other quite well, so it will be interesting to see which player comes out victorious and improves his career resume.
Djokovic and Murray have met 18 times over the course of their careers, and Djokovic holds the head-to-head advantage. Murray has only won seven of the matches between the two, most notably in the final of last year’s U.S. Open, taking the Grand Slam title in five sets.
But it was Djokovic who got the best of Murray the last time the two met, which was also for a Grand Slam championship. Djokovic dropped the first set of the final at the 2013 Australian Open, but bounced back to win the next three, clinching his sixth career major victory.
While it remains to be seen as to which top player will win the third Grand Slam of the season, here is what a victory would mean for Djokovic and for Murray.
Djokovic: Lucky No. 7
With a victory against Murray, Djokovic would earn the seventh Grand Slam victory of his career, which would put him among 20 other players to ever win that many major tournaments. He’d still be five wins shy of catching Rafael Nadal and 10 shy of Roger Federer, but the 2013 Wimbledon title wouldn’t be his last.
Djokovic hasn’t had a ton of success at All England Club over the course of his career. He’s played in the tournament nine times, including this year, and he’s only come out with a victory at the Grand Slam once. This is actually just the second time that The Joker has advanced to the title match.
Last year, Federer bounced the No. 1 player in the world at Wimbledon in the semifinals. It wasn’t easy to make it past that part of the tournament this year either. It took Djokovic a thrilling five sets to take out Juan Martin del Potro to advance to the championship match. He didn’t have any issues getting to the semifinals, though.
A victory on Sunday would cement Djokovic’s status as one of the best players to ever take the court and would also give him a lot of separation at the top of the world rankings. His No. 1 rank isn’t in danger, but with a win over Murray, he’d create more space between the two and increase the security of the top spot.
Andy Murray: No Longer One-Hit Wonder
Throughout the course of Murray’s career, he’s been very good at being the No. 2 guy. Yes, Murray is No. 2 in the world rankings, but he also has a tendency to make deep runs at Grand Slams and fail to close. Murray has just one Grand Slam title on his resume—the aforementioned victory at the 2012 U.S. Open.
It’s great that Murray has a Grand Slam under his belt, but the fact that he’s fallen in the title match five times isn’t good at all. Murray is one of the top tennis players in the world right now, but has really struggled to come out on top when it matters most. He cannot afford to go 1-6 in career Grand Slam title matches.
Murray needs to prove that he’s capable of doing more than just finishing in second place each time. All of the pressure for Sunday’s match is going to be on Murray, as Djokovic doesn’t have much to lose. While Murray will still be the No. 2 player in the world no matter what, it will be his legacy that will be taking the hit if he loses.
Murray has had a strong run at All England Club. He's only been in severe danger of losing once, which occurred in the quarterfinals after he dropped the first two sets to Fernando Verdasco. But Murray has been strong in nearly every match and will not lay down to Djokovic. He’s the one who needs the Grand Slam victory more and that will be shown in his performance on Sunday.