Lleyton Hewitt would love to see Roger Federer and Andy Murray battle it out to be crowned Wimbledon champion on Sunday.
Five years have passed since the Swiss great denied the Briton in their only previous title match at the All England Club, when a tearful Murray was beaten in four sets.
But the Brit has since triumphed twice, in 2013 and last year, with his hopes of a third success alive heading into Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
Top seed Murray will take on American Sam Querrey and in the bottom half of the draw, Federer tackles last year’s beaten finalist Milos Raonic.
Fifteen years after his own Wimbledon fortnight of glory, retired former champion Hewitt fancies seven-time Centre Court king Federer to steer through to the final, and reckons it would make the day more perfect if Murray was on the other side of the net.
“At the moment Federer’s looking pretty good. I wouldn’t rule Murray out though. I’d love to see that final,” Hewitt said.
“Murray and Federer are probably my two favourites at the moment.”
Federer returned from a six-month knee surgery lay-off to dramatically win the Australian Open in January with his first Grand Slam title since the day he denied Murray at Wimbledon.
When Australian Hewitt looks at the 35-year-old now, and compares him to the player who succeeded him as Wimbledon champion in 2003, he senses no slip in standards.
“It’s not that different,” Hewitt said. “This year, the way he played in Australia was pretty incredible. After six months out, we’ve seen the way he can just flick a switch and then light it up again.
“He obviously looks after his body so well, because you get to that age at 35 and nearly 36 and the way he can bounce back from tough matches… Roger has an uncanny knack of being able to step it up when he needs to.
“The first couple of rounds he played some good tennis but not his best, and then everyone saw it as a massive challenge against Grigor Dimitrov who plays well on grass, and he just went to another level and that’s what he’s able to do.”
Federer’s 6-4 6-2 6-4 fourth-round dismissal of Dimitrov’s challenge makes Raonic’s task appear daunting, but the Canadian has memories of their semi-final meeting last year to fall back on, if he needs any reminding that Federer is not invincible at Wimbledon.
If there is to be a first-time Wimbledon winner, Hewitt would lean towards Croatia’s former US Open champion Marin Cilic, who could face Murray in the last four.
“He’s won a Grand Slam. He will be nervous if he makes a semi-final against Andy but he has the kind of game… he’s won Queen’s before and plays well on this surface,” Hewitt said.
As for Murray’s prospects, Hewitt is more optimistic now than he was prior to the tournament when there was some doubt over whether the world number one would be fit to compete.
“If you look at Andy just walking around he looks pretty sore at the moment,” added 36-year-old Hewitt. “But there wasn’t a doubt in my mind.
“I’ve seen him play massive Davis Cup matches – we played in Glasgow and I think he had a bit of a back issue there. He finds a way. He does everything right.
“He deserves to go out there and be in another quarter-final, pushing for another semi and final here at Wimbledon.”