Beckhams to watch Murray play

2012-07-08 14:34
David Beckham (File)

London - Andy Murray pledged on Sunday to fight his heart out when he faces six-time champion Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, bidding to end Britain's agonising 76-year wait for a men's winner.

Murray, the first British man in a singles final at the All England Club since Bunny Austin in 1938, and hoping to emulate Fred Perry, the country's last champion in 1936, insists he can upset the odds against 16-time Grand Slam title winner Federer.

"The one thing I can guarantee is that I'll fight my absolute heart out. I need to give everything I have from the first point to the last," Murray wrote in his BBC column.

"Roger won the first of his 16 majors at Wimbledon in 2003. I was playing in the juniors that year, hoping one day I could do the same. Now I have my chance."

Looking down from the Royal Box on Centre Court will be the Duchess of Cambridge - but not Prince William - and sister Pippa Middleton.

Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, who completed the Grand Slam of all four majors in 1962 and 1969, will also be on hand as will former England football captain David Beckham.

Beckham and wife Victoria will share the box with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

Murray hopes not be crippled by nerves and insisted that he will follow his daily championship routine, which started with an early breakfast and a walk with his two pet dogs.

"Knowing I am through to the final of Wimbledon fills me with so many emotions, but all of that will count for nothing unless I come away with the title," said the 25-year-old, world number four.

"The only thing I can afford to focus on is my game and Roger Federer. He is a player I've beaten in the past, and I can do it again."

"My coach Ivan Lendl and hitting partner Dani Vallverdu will sit down to study his matches so far this fortnight and some of my previous meetings with him, then we'll talk tactics."

Murray has a winning record against 30-year-old Federer but he has lost twice to the Swiss in two Grand Slam finals -- the 2008 US Open and 2010 Australian Open.

That match in Melbourne was Federer's last major title.

In 2010 and 2011, he was knocked out in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, but Murray insisted he cannot treat his opponent as a faded force.

"He is arguably the best player of all time. But since I left for Spain 10 years ago and decided I wanted to become a professional tennis player, these are the moments I've spent every day working towards.

"I moved away from my family at the age of 15, lived and trained in another country. I had to do that to get where I am today, challenging for the sport's biggest prizes.

"It hasn't been an easy journey and after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals on Friday I was quite emotional.

"Before doing my post-match interview I went to the bathroom and just sat there, splashed water over my face and calmed myself down. My attention then switched to the final.

"When you make it to this stage of a tournament it can be easy to get distracted, but I've kept things as normal as possible. A spot of practice, plenty of physio, chats with my team and walks with the dogs."

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  david beckham  |  andy murray  |  tennis


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