Murray favorite for title as usual suspects go missing

Sat Jul 9, 2016 9:06am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Canadian Milos Raonic will not be the only man experiencing something new on Wimbledon's Centre Court on Sunday -- for the first time Britain's Andy Murray will start a grand slam final as favorite after crushing Tomas Berdych in the semis.

Murray was seeded to meet world number one Novak Djokovic in another major showdown but the Serb's shock early exit opened the door for sixth seed Raonic to reach his maiden grand slam final after making the semis two years ago.

All 10 of Murray's previous grand slam finals were against either Djokovic or Federer, which explains why the 29-year-old Scot has endured more than his fair share of pain and still only has two majors to his name.

One of those defeats came against a sublime Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final and a repeat of that duel was expected until the Swiss maestro lost to Raonic on Friday.

With a 6-3 head-to-head career lead over the 25-year-old Raonic, Murray will be expected to get his grand slam collection rolling again, three years after beating Djokovic to become Britain's first Wimbledon men's singles champion for 77 years.

Leading bookmakers were quoting Murray as 2-7 on favorite hours after he beat Berdych on Friday.

"It's the first time I'll play a slam final against someone that isn't Roger or Novak. So, yeah, that's different," Murray, who won the 2012 U.S. Open against Djokovic, told reporters.

"But you never know how anyone's going to deal with the pressures of a slam final.   Continued...

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 8/7/16 Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates winning his match against Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych REUTERS/Justin Tallis/Pool