For Roger Federer and Andy Murray, Wimbledon is the same, but different

He looked melancholy but not resentful. “I still think it’s a great privilege to be able to play at Wimbledon,” he said. ” I’m glad to be here. I’m not going to complain, “

But it is, in his words, “strange to arrive at the hotel”.

It must be even stranger for Murray, whose home is in Surrey, not far from the All England Club. But even UK players have to step into the bubble.

“I know it’s not normal, but it’s kinda normal now that we’re a few days away from Wimbledon, with all the players around and everything, practicing, everybody doing media stuff today, ”Murray said. “Knowing that in a few days, we will not be playing in front of a full audience but in front of a lot of people. Just for me anyway, I feel like we’re getting closer to greater normalcy. I’m happy.”

Murray and Federer shared many tense and emotional moments at the All England Club. In 2012, Murray burst into tears at the ceremony after losing the singles final to Federer. Weeks later, Murray was in a very different mood after winning the gold medal against Federer at the London Olympics, where the tennis event was played on the same iconic grass pitch.

Although Federer trails his two biggest rivals – Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – in their one-on-one clashes, he still leads Murray 14-11. They played five times in 2012 but, a sign of all that has changed, they haven’t played on tour since August 2015: their only match since then was at a charity show in Glasgow in November 2017, when Murray, born in Glasgow, donned a tartan hat and Federer wore a kilt.

These light moments on the pitch have been rare lately. They played and won little in 2021. It’s been a tough road, but the journey has been tougher a lot longer for Murray, whose body collapsed shortly after his best season in 2016, when he was finished n ° 1. 1.

Murray, now ranked 119, doesn’t necessarily play for more major titles. He plays to practice his craft, use his talent, and compete – and is convinced he can still compete with the best if he can just stay healthy. Federer, still ranked 8th, is more focused on trophies, which is part of why he retired after winning three rounds at Roland Garros earlier this month. He knew his chances of reaching the finish line were better at Wimbledon than at Roland Garros.

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