Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic: who will win Wimbledon final?

By Paul Birch and David OrnsteinBBC Sport at Wimbledon

Andy Murray faces Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, hoping to become the first British man to win the men's singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

But since that defeat he has pulled off two notable wins over world number one Djokovic, on grass in the semi-final at the Olympics, and then in the final of the US Open.

BBC Sport rounded up a host of former Wimbledon champions, tennis experts and journalists to offer their predictions on who is going to win.

Of 16 people polled, 12 backed Murray, three said Djokovic would win and one found it too close to call.

Boris Becker, three-time Wimbledon champion

On paper, Djokovic is the favourite, but a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon for a British player is so much more than just stats. It's about rewriting history and I think that favours Murray. It's a very different Murray we see this year from last year. The fact he won Olympic gold here, plus the US Open, and that he has been a solid member of the top three players in the world over the last 12 months speaks volumes.

Verdict: Murray to win.

John McEnroe, three-time Wimbledon champion

I favour Murray. I think that the physical aspect of Djokovic's semi-final is going to have some impact. Novak is a truly, truly great player - both of these guys are - but I think the crowd is going to give Andy that extra 5-10%. When you toss all that into the mix, it's going to be a fantastic final.

Verdict: I think Murray is ready to finally do it.

Richard Kraijcek, 1996 Wimbledon champion

I predicted Andy Murray to win in five sets before the tournament and I am sticking with that prediction. Novak has played some great tennis but the semi with Del Potro was a big battle and he will be tired and hurting. That tiredness, and the crowd getting behind Andy, are going to be the deciding factors.

Verdict: I still think Murray in five sets, maybe in four as I don't know how well Novak is going to move.

Tracy Austin, two-time US Open champion

There is so little between them. It comes down to such small margins that you have to think it's going to be a point or two here or there. Murray is going out there knowing what to expect and I think he now expects to win.

Verdict: I'm going for Murray, but I can't predict how long it will take.

John Lloyd, two-time Wimbledon mixed doubles champion

I'm going to be public enemy number one here but I've said Djokovic right from the beginning. I'm tempted to change it because of the length of his semi-final. If it had been anyone else other than Novak I probably would have done, but I have seen him do this before thanks to his immense powers of recovery.

Verdict: It's Djokovic in five sets.

Martina Navratilova, nine-time Wimbledon champion

Before the semis I was picking Novak Djokovic all the way. But he seemed a little bit off against Del Potro, so Andy now has a real chance, but I think it is too tough to call.

Verdict: Too close to call

Tim Henman, four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist

When you reflect that Andy has made the final of the last four Grand Slams he has entered, he's knocking on the door of the top spot and he now has a superb chance against Djokovic.

It will be interesting to see how Novak responds to playing almost five hours but knowing him - his character, athletic ability, fitness and stamina - I'm sure he'll bounce back.

Verdict: I said before the tournament that Murray was going to win it and I'm not going to change my tune now.

Jonathan Overend, BBC Radio 5 live's tennis correspondent

I think it will be a very similar match to the Djokovic v Del Potro semi-final. It will be gruelling, hard fought, lots of long rallies. They know each other's game so well. Andy will draw on his experience at Flushing Meadows last year and if he plays at his best he can definitely win the match, but the reality is it may take five sets to do that. Even if one of them wins the first two sets, the other won't be ruling himself out.

Verdict: Murray in five.

Sam Smith, former British number one

It you are trying to predict what is going to happen in this tournament you are either crazy or a clairvoyant. But I think it's going to be epic. The crowd is going to be more in Andy's favour than they were last year where it was a 60/40 split between Andy and Roger Federer.

Verdict: I was going for Djokovic until yesterday but now I genuinely believe Murray is going to win in five sets.

Vojin Velickovic - Serbian tennis writer - Sportski Zurnal

I think Djokovic is going to win. If you asked me why, I would say they are only five days apart in age but Djokovic has won six Grand Slams and Murray just one - that is what makes him favourite. But grass is Murray's favourite surface and he hasn't lost on it since the Wimbledon final last year.

Verdict:Djokovic is going to win in four, maybe five sets.

Neil Harman, tennis correspondent - The Times

I can't see either of them winning in three sets. It's going to be the toughest match of Andy's life but I think he can do it. He hasn't played particularly well in the last two rounds but I don't think that matters necessarily. I feel like this is Andy's time to win. There is a sense that he is going to do it and this is 'the one'. To beat the world number one on Centre Court probably excites his competitive juices maybe more than anything else.

Verdict: Murray in four or five.

Mark Petchey, former British number one

It's two great champions playing off against each other and you can make a million counter-arguments for the reasons why each of them is a favourite going into the game. The crowd are a factor, they will be a little more pro-Murray this year.

Verdict: I've said Murray since the start of the tournament and I'm sticking with him.

Barry Flatman, tennis correspondent - The Sunday Times

They play so similarly I think a lot will depend on Murray's second serve. Also, I'm slightly concerned about Murray's lower back and hip and the way he struggles to rotate when he plays a wide backhand, which will be crucial.

Verdict: I think it is going to go to five sets. I think Murray will win with the crowd propelling him to victory.

Kevin Mitchell, tennis correspondent - The Guardian

It depends who left more on the court in the semi-finals. They know each other so well and their matches are never that different.

Verdict: I said Djokovic at the start and I will stick with that. I think he will win in five sets.

Annabel Croft, former British number one

In all their matches they take each other to the best of their abilities and to the absolute limit. It's an old cliche, but it really is about who can come up with the best tennis at the most crucial points. There is so little between them and I can't wait.

Verdict: I have had a feeling for quite some time that Murray will win Wimbledon and it's pretty difficult to go against that.

Barry Davies, BBC Sport tennis commentator

I think Murray is going to have to play out of his skin. If he lets his guard down at any point he won't be champion, but I think his time has come and he will play out of his skin.

Verdict: Murray in at least four sets.

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