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Murray set for match of his life
Darren Walton
14:54 AEST Sat Jul 7 2012

Andy Murray knows he must play the match of his life to realise his dream of breaking world sport's most infamous drought in Sunday's Wimbledon final against grasscourt maestro Roger Federer.

But having already brought a dramatic end to Britain's agonising 74-year wait for a men's finalist at the All England Club, Murray truly believes.

"It's a great challenge, one where I'm probably not expected to win the match, but one that if I play well, I'm capable of winning," Murray said after sparking hysteria across the UK with his hair-raising 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-5 semi-final triumph over gallant French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Scottish braveheart is the host country's first men's finalist at the All England Club since Bunny Austin back in 1938.

Three times a grand slam runner-up, to Federer at the 2008 US Open and 2010 Australian Open and to Novak Djokovic last year at Melbourne Park, Murray is desperately trying to break his duck and become the first local man to lift the trophy at SW19 since Fred Perry in 1936.

But to reach his holy grail, Murray must deny the mighty Federer a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon crown - and 17th major in total - in the brilliant Swiss's historic eighth final at the spiritual home of tennis.

"He's obviously one of the greatest players ever to have played," Murray said.

"I'd be surprised if he wasn't the best in terms of his win-loss ratio here. He's been doing it consistently over a number of years.

"The matches he has lost the last couple of years were five sets against Tsonga, five sets against Berdych, five sets against Rafa. He's very, very tough to beat here.

"If you look at his record here over the past 10 years or so, yeah, it's been incredible. So the pressure that I would be feeling if it was against somebody else I guess it would be different.

"There will be less on me on Sunday because of who he is."

As Murraymania grips the country, a pair of prized tickets to the historic title match are reportedly fetching up to 45,000 pounds ($68,000).

But the 25-year-old Dunblane massacre survivor is refusing to get swept up in the hype and says he can't allow himself to fantasise about kissing the trophy.

"It's not really beneficial," he said before enjoying a low-key celebration of his watershed semi-final win.

"I'll go back home, have a nice meal with my girlfriend and then, yeah, just enjoy it with her and the dogs. That's it.

"I'll have talked to the guys about the match tomorrow and just focus on getting the tactics right and hopefully playing a match.

"There's obviously going to be nerves and pressure there for sure, but I need to try and stay focused."

Murray's breakthrough win ended a despairing run of 11 British semi-final failures at the All England Club since Austin's pre-World War II success.

"It's a big relief," the Scot said.

"It was such a close match. The last two sets, both of us had chances. I just managed to hang tough and thankfully get through."


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