Even Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in on what he called the “great news.”
“I’ll be watching the final on Sunday and like the rest of the country, will be getting right behind Andy Murray,” Cameron said in a statement. “I wish him the best of luck.”
“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. “I mean, if you look at his record here over the past 10 years or so, it’s been incredible.”
“I’m aware that the tournament’s not over yet. I didn’t break down crying and fall to my knees and thought the tournament is over and I achieved everything I ever wanted,” Federer said. “I want to try to play the best possible final I can.”
He and Djokovic played with the Centre Court roof shut because of rain early in the day, and the first key moment came about 15 minutes in, with Djokovic serving. He went ahead 30-love, then dropped four consecutive points. Federer got a break point when he flicked a cross-court backhand passing shot and Djokovic missed a volley as he slipped to the turf, caking his lower right leg with white chalk from a line. Djokovic then slapped a backhand into the net to trail 4-2 and hung his head.
Moments later, Federer served out the first set at love, meaning he’d taken 20 of the 24 points on his serve until then.
“He served well,” Djokovic said, then amended that assessment: “He served really well.”
But if that opening set was a statement by Federer — along the lines of, “Hey, Novak, you might have caught up to me everywhere else, but on grass, at Wimbledon, I’m still superior” — Djokovic quickly responded. He won 9 of 10 points, breaking for the only time all afternoon, and went ahead 3-0 en route to taking the second set.
It remains the only one.
Things were even at a set apiece, and 4-all, 30-all in the third, when everything changed. Djokovic earned a break point when Federer pushed an inside-out forehand wide. Here, then, was a moment of truth, and Federer came through with three consecutive service winners — at 120 mph, 113 mph and 124 mph — to hold for a 5-4 lead.
If that was Federer keeping the door to the final ajar, it swung wide open in the next game. Djokovic, suddenly shaky on his own serve, badly missed an easy overhead to set up two set points for Federer, who converted the second with an overhead winner that ended a 20-stroke exchange.