Wimbledon 2012: Watch Live Stream Online of Federer Vs. Murray in Men's Final; Preview

 @JasonLeMiere
on July 08 2012 1:26 AM
Andy Murray
The status of national hero awaits Andy Murray if he can overcome the great Roger Federer in the final of Wimbledon. Reuters

When and where: The men's final gets underway from Wimbledon at 9 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN, with a live stream available on ESPN3. Viewers in the U.K. can catch the action across the BBC, with a live stream accessible on the BBC Sport website.

Preview: A place in history beckons for Andy Murray as he seeks to become the first British male in 76 years to win Wimbledon. In a nation starved of major tennis success for so long, Murray has already achieved what no British man has done since 1938 merely by making it through to the final.

The Scot has done well throughout his career to live with the enormous pressure placed on him on his annual visits to the All England Club. That weight of expectation has never been heavier than this year following the early removal of Rafael Nadal from his side of the draw.

Murray's path was far from easy, however. David Ferrer had him firmly on the ropes before Murray produced some fine tennis to pull-out a four-set win. Then, in the semifinals, all seemed to be pointing toward a straightforward victory until Murray eventually managed to quell a comeback from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Murray has now fulfilled his expectations, but both he and the country will now believe that he has a real chance of him walking away with the trophy come Sunday. To do that, though, he will have to defeat potentially the greatest player ever to grace the grass of Centre Court, Roger Federer.

It's a great challenge, said Murray, according to the Wimbledon website. I'm probably not expected to win the final but if I play well I'm capable of winning it. Federer's record here over the past 10 years has been incredible, so there is less pressure on me because of who he is...He's obviously one of the greatest ever. The possibility of beating Roger is obviously something very nice but I can't allow myself to think that far ahead.

After three straight-sets defeats in grand slam finals, the challenge for Murray will be to finally produce his best with the big prize at stake. Two of those losses have come to Federer, which to a great degree overshadows Murray's 8-7 winning record against the Swiss Master.

With so much at stake, rarely will Federer have been so motivated for a match as he is sure to be for this final. Chief among the prizes at stake is to further enhance his place in tennis history with a seventh Wimbledon title, putting him equal with record-holder Pete Sampras.

Federer will also doubtless gain huge satisfaction from a win that would prove to any doubters that he remains a true force in the men's game even on the verge of his 31st birthday. That fact will be perfectly demonstrated with a victory against Murray taking Federer back to the top of the ATP rankings.

So used to being the favorite at a venue he has made his second home, Federer will have to have to deal with vociferous support for his opponent on Sunday.

People here should be happy that he's such a great player and he's only going to get better as time goes by, Federer said of his opponent. I love it that I'm going to be playing him. I always say in whatever country I am I like to play the local hero, and Andy is exactly that here at Wimbledon.

Certainly Federer, with his vast experience, should not be fazed and may even be inspired by the crowd's reaction. He looked in fine fettle against an admittedly subpar Novak Djokovic in the semifinals as Federer put the world No.1 to the sword with a devastating display with both his serve and forehand.

Murray's winning record demonstrates that his game matches up better against Federer than it does with either Nadal's or Djokovic's. With Ivan Lendl in his corner, there is reason to believe too that Murray can avoid being affected by the same level of tension that has afflicted him to such a degree in his past grand slam finals. Sadly, for Murray, on a slick grass court against a man in Federer with the greater weapons at his disposal, that may not be enough to end his long wait for a grand slam title and Britain's long wait for a home champion.

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