Friday, 6 July 2012

Murray's win in numbers (Murray d. Tsonga Wimbledon SF 2012)

Both Murray and Tsonga walked onto the court today with the weight their Nation's hopes over their shoulders and it was Murray who started out well winning the first 2 sets, but Tsonga was not to go down so easily, he responded by taking the 3rd set and going the distance in the 4th set but ultimately going down 36 46 63 57. Murray booked a place in the final against Federer, after Federer downed reigning  Wimbledon champion, Djokovic, in the first semi-final.

It was a good performance by Murray, who was playing his 4th consecutive semi-final here at Wimbledon, and with the win today, he has been able to cast the spell of semi-final defeats away and in doing so has become the first British man to reach Wimbledon final since 1938.

Tsonga had his chances in the 4th set, but he blew them away, the home crowd lifted Murray up when he needed it and he won it in style, hitting a return winner over Tsonga's serve.

Let us look at the numbers behind Murray's win and Tsonga's defeat:

Description   Murray      Tsonga   
Aces      9      11
Double faults      2        2
1st serves in    60%     63%
1st serve points won    75%     75%
2nd serve points won       64%     32%
Net points won    43%     59%
Break points won    33%     25%
Receiving points won    41%     30%
Winners    40     47
Unforced errors    12     42

There were only 3 things that separated the two, as highlighted in the stats:

- winning percentage on the second serve, Murray won twice as many points as Tsonga on second serve, winning 64% as against Tsonga's 32%. How can you win a match against World no.4 by winning just 32% of your 2nd serves.
- return of serve, Murray won 41% points as against Tsonga's 30%, a differential of 11%. Tsonga's huge serve had saved him until today, but today his serve could not pull him out of the hole he dug for himself with his second serve winning percentage.
- unforced errors, Tsonga's unforced errors hit the last nail in his coffin, Tsonga hit 7 more winners than Murray but he hit 30 more unforced errors than Murray. Coming into the match, Tsonga was hitting on average 16 unforced errors per match, but he just could not keep up that level and Murray's consistency proved too much for him.

Murray moves a step further towards achieving his dream, achieving the dream of a Nation, while Tsonga walks away after embracing his opponent and congratulating him, a fitting end to the clash of Nations, where British Murray survived French Flag bearer Tsonga.

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