The Wimbledon doubles final will take place on Saturday afternoon at the All England Club, a match that will follow the women’s singles final between Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza. The men’s doubles final will feature the teams of Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau and Jamie Murray/John Peers. Interestingly enough, the match represents a career opportunity for all four players.
The first thing one notices when one looks at the men’s doubles draw is that there aren’t former champions competing for the Wimbledon title. There are no Bryans in the Wimbledon doubles final, Daniel Nestor’s most competitive days appear to be history, and the team of Vasek Pospisil/Jack Sock appeared to falter, in my view, due to the Canadian’s success in the singles draw.
Of the competitors remaining only Tecau has played in a Grand Slam doubles final as the Romanian has thrice lost in the Wimbledon championship. That has to put some pressure on him, especially if there is any nagging doubt following all the losses at the final hurdle from the past.
With Rojer, the story heading into the match has to be his age. Soon to be 34-years old, the Dutch national is enjoying the best season of his career following semifinal appearances in both Melbourne Park and Roland Garros. There may not be another chance for him to win a Grand Slam title and that has to put some pressure on him as well.
But the big story heading into the final has more to do with Murray and Peers. Murray, the older brother of Andy, represents Great Britain, a country that really gets behind their tennis players at the All England Club. Following Andy’s loss in the Wimbledon semifinals for singles, the Brits have no one left to cheer for at Wimbledon – except for Jamie. That will make him a major focus for the media and it will be interesting to see how he handles it. Surely his brother, who has played under intense scrutiny his whole career in England, will have some helpful advice on that matter.
Peers, representing Australia, promises to be an important player in the men’s doubles final. Firstly, he will need to be sharp to help take some pressure off of Murray. Secondly, he is the youngest player in the championship final – presumably meaning that he should be the one with the most energy after five rounds of tennis.
But Peers, a player who hasn’t enjoyed much success on the singles circuit, is also the most inexperienced player in the men’s final. In singles, wins even at the most peripheral tournaments were scarce. In doubles, Wimbledon 2015 represents the first time he has enjoyed any kind of major success. In eleven previous Grand Slam doubles draws, Peers has only once made it out of the third round. The Aussie very much remains a player that few tennis fans will have heard of outside of Australia.
Murray, when his Grand Slam chart is examined, is quite similar to Peers however the Scot does have almost a decade of experience playing in majors while Peers has only been around for a little while. Furthermore Murray can draw upon a similar match in mixed doubles: partnered with former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, Jamie claimed the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon 2007.
How Peers and Murray will handle the pressure remains to be seen. But popular opinion on the match, as reflected by betting odds, make the Tecau/Rojer team mild favorites. Bet365 for example have them at -225 while the same firm prices Murray and Peers at +162. The odds are no doubt a reflection of the fact that Rojer/Tecau have enjoyed consistent success in men’s doubles while Murray and Peers are very much one-Slam wonders at this point.
However one major point that cannot be ignored is that Tecau and Rojer were extended deep in a very lengthy fifth set in the semifinals. Murray and Peers didn’t have a cakewalk in their match however it was not the marathon that Tecau and Rojer had to endure. Perhaps the team of Murray/Peers will have an edge in terms of relative fatigue, especially if the men’s doubles final ends up being lengthy.
The Williams vs. Muguruza final will start at 2pm so, if you assume a match time of about 90 minutes to two hours, fans of men’s doubles should be tuning in as early as 3:30pm London time. The other action scheduled for Centre Court on Saturday is the women’s doubles final where the team of Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza will face the team of Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina.