Come on Andy: Epic Centre Court battle underway as Murray bids to become first British Wimbledon men's singles champion in 76 years


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-Murray takes first set 6-4
-25-year-old Scottish ace is taking on six-times champion Roger Federer in front of a packed Centre Court
-20 million tuning in to watch the final on television with the All England Club full to capacity
-Duchess of Cambridge, her sister Pippa Middleton, Prime Minister David Cameron and David and Victoria Beckham among celebrities attending the match

By Daily Mail Reporter

Title battle: Switzerland's Roger Federer and Britain's Andy Murray in action on Wimbledon's centre court today

Andy Murray's epic match against six-times Wimbledon champion Roger Federer today has got off to a blistering start with the 25-year-old Scot taking a tense first set six games to four.

Federer rallied to break Murray's serve in the third game but after a tense period of play Murray fought back breaking Federer's serve for a second time.

The atmosphere on Centre Court was electric with the crowd - which included the Duchess of Cambridge, her sister Pippa Middleton and the Beckhams - cheering every point.

Andy Murray blasts a forehand back at six-times champion Roger Federer during the tense first set

Standing in the way: Six-times champion Roger Federer is a notoriously tough nut to crack

Murray is bidding to become the first Briton to win the Wimbledon men's singles title in 76 years.

The pair arrived on a packed Centre Court to rapturous applause with around 20 million people watching the final on television.

Hundreds of fans queued for hours in the rain just for the chance to watch the match from 'Murray Mound' inside the grounds.

Good luck wishes have been pouring in for Murray, who is being watched by the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton, Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, David and Victoria Beckham, Sir Steve Redgrave and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

And as usual Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears, 24, is cheering him on from the sidelines.

The Duchess of Cambridge is wearing a £275 Joseph Vanessa dress which she previously wore when she visited Canada with her husband.

She has teamed the dress with a £480 Joseph jacket. She previously wore the Nessie tweed jacket to the Epsom Derby.

Federer has won 16 grand slam titles in a glittering career and has beaten Murray in all six of their final matches. However Murray has won eight of their 15 professional encounters.

And it won't just be the pride of Britain that Murray will be taking home, if he secures victory it could put him on a path of earning a very handsome £100m through global sponsorship deals, experts have predicted.

Speaking earlier today a determined Murray claimed the Centre Court battle will mean nothing unless he takes the title.

He said: '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,' he writes in his blog on the BBC Sport website.

'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.

'The one thing I can guarantee is that I'll fight my absolute heart out.'

In his honest and open account, Murray continued: 'Federer is arguably the best player of all time. There are a few guys who have a decent claim, but I'd say Roger and Pete Sampras.

'Although it's my first Wimbledon final, I was in this position at the 2008 US Open and the Australian Open in 2010 and 2011.

'I know how it's going to feel and although there will be nerves, I know how to deal with them and use it as a positive.'

He said of those finals, losing to Novak Djokovic in Melbourne last year was the most painful, and one of the factors motivating Murray to lift the trophy this time round.

'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,' Murray wrote.

'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.'

The Archbishop of York also took to Twitter to wish Murray luck and published a prayer for the tennis player on his website.

Dr John Sentamu wrote on Twitter: 'I've also written a prayer for Andy Murray ahead of today's Wimbledon final. Come on Andy! You can do it!'

The Archbishop wrote the prayer on his blog. Under the title 'A Prayer for Andy Murray', he wrote: 'Loving God we are so filled with hope by the Wimbledon final today! Guide Andy Murray in the choices that come to him with every ball. Make us all the best that we can be, by your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of God our Father. Amen.'

Royal duty: Kate Middleton and sister Pippa cheer on Andy Murray from the Royal Box

Tense: Andy Murray 's girlfriend Kim Sears watches the opening set from Centre Court

Victoria Beckham, dressed in one of her own creations, puts her arm on husband David's shoulder as the pressure is building up during the Wimbledon final between Murray and Roger Federer

Mother knows best: David Cameron brought his mother Mary Cameron along to view the game from the Royal Box at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

Nick Clegg his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez arrive in the Royal Box before the men's singles final match at Centre Court

Britain's top politicians scramble to find their seats: David Cameron and his mother Mary in the front row and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, centre, and London Mayor Boris Johnson block the way for Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam

Rooting for Murray: Olympic rowing multi-gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave watches the match from the Royal Box

Before the match began, Prime Minister David Cameron said singles tennis players are under huge pressure, but he believes Murray can handle it.

'I think he knows about pressure and he's had some incredibly pressured games,' he said. 'And the thing about singles tennis is that there's no-one else out there. It's just you.

'And the pressure on the individual single person is immense. In doubles you share it, in Government you have a Cabinet, you have a team. But he's going to be all alone out there in Centre Court.

'But he knows, I hope he knows, he's got the whole nation behind him and we're going to be roaring him on.'

Murray's semi-final defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was watched by pop princess Kylie Minogue, who sat in the Royal Box with boyfriend Andres Velencoso.

They were joined by Sir David Frost, as well as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.

In his clash with Ferrer, the 25-year-old was also watched by tennis couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, television sports presenter Des Lynam, veteran broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson and England football manager Roy Hodgson.

Tennis fans shelter under umbrellas as they wait to see if they'll be lucky enough to secure tickets.

Braving the rain: Tennis fans gather on 'Murray Mount'. Around 20million people are expected to tune in to watch the final on television with the All England Club expected to be full to capacity

All smiles: Demand for tickets soared over the weekend, and bookmakers William Hill have given Murray odds of 13/8 to lift the title, and 7/2 to win the first set then the match

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