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Wimbledon 2017: Lleyton Hewitt roots for a Roger Federer vs Andy Murray final

The former World No. 1 Australian has backed the two for Sunday’s title showdown
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 12 Jul 2017
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What’s the story?

2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt has put his weight behind a possible Roger Federer vs Andy Murray final at the ongoing 2017 Wimbledon Championships. With the two-time champion Rafael Nadal falling in a marathon five-setter to the 16th seed Gilles Muller in the fourth round, the defending champion Murray’s chances to make it to the final just got brighter.

And Federer, who won an unprecedented 18th Slam at the Australian Open in January, has been playing some exquisitely sublime tennis all through this year’s championships.  Yet to drop a set, the Swiss maestro has been as impeccable as ever.

The former World No. 1 Australian has backed the two for Sunday’s title showdown.

“Murray and Federer are my two favourites,” Hewitt told the media at The All England Club on Tuesday. “Novak is going through the draw nicely and quietly but Cilic has come through unscathed and his section of the draw opens up with Nadal out.

“Federer’s looking pretty good. I wouldn’t rule Murray out. I’d love to see that final.”

In case you didn’t know...

Hewitt was the last man to triumph at SW19 before the reign of the famous ‘Big Four’ quartet began. Since his victory in 2002, Federer, Nadal, Murray and Novak Djokovic have collected the next 14 titles.

The heart of the matter

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Hewitt also lavished praise on how efficiently Federer manages to look after his body which is one of the principal reasons why he is still in the title hunt, 14 years after winning Wimbledon for the first time.

The Australian also admired the way Murray has handled his hip injury which, at one point of time, had even made his participation at Wimbledon look uncertain.

Murray’s half of the draw is now riddled with big servers. In the quarters, he is up against Sam Querrey, on beating whom, he will be facing off against the Nadal conqueror Muller or the seventh seed Marin Cilic.

And because the World No. 1 has a knack of tackling the big servers, Hewitt has said that he feels Murray is expected to win both the rounds and advance to the summit clash.

What’s next?

Federer seeks his semi-final spot when he takes on the sixth seed Milos Raonic on Wednesday. Interestingly, it is the Canadian, who brought the seven-time champion’s campaign to a screeching halt in the semi-finals last year.

Author’s take

The seven-time champion squaring off against the defending champion for the trophy would make the British crowd go into a frenzy for Federer is equally loved at the prestigious grasscourt Slam. That definitely looks as the likeliest possibility as of now although one should never count out the three-time winner Djokovic.

The Serb has been admittedly gaining in confidence with every win and that could be dangerous for both Federer and Murray.

Published 12 Jul 2017, 18:58 IST
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