Sunday 8 July 2012

Majestic Swiss downs British Hopes (Federer d. Murray in Wimbledon Final 2012)

Andy Murray walked behind Roger Federer to enter the Centre Court for the championship match. Entering the court both players knew that history is on line for both of them, as Andy Murray was attempting to become first British player to win Wimbledon in 76 years, while Federer was chasing a record 7th Wimbledon title and with that the top spot in the tennis World.

Andy Murray entered the match with confidence knowing that he is one of only two men who have a leading H2H against Roger Federer, and that confidence showed when he broke Federer to open the championship match. Though Federer broke back to level the set at 2 each, Murray again raced to lead when Federer served at 4-4, breaking Federer and serving out to take one set lead. However, from then on Federer took charge of the match and did not let go of the match until the very end when he had won it.

Murray entered the Court walking behind Federer and that is what he did during the entire match after taking the first set, always trying to catch up with Federer from behind, however Federer was always one step ahead, never taking his feet off that pedal until the very end of the match, when at his second match point Murray's forehand went long. Federer dropped to the court with tears running down his eyes, got up walked to the net for a warm handshake with Murray.

Let us have a look  at the numbers (stats) behind Federer's win over Murray at Wimbledon 2012, Federer's 7th Wimbledon trophy:

Description   Federer      Murray    
Aces      12     16
Double faults        3       1
1st serves in      69%     56%
1st serve points won      76%     69%
2nd serve points won      49%     48%
Net points won      78%     62%
Break points won      33%     29%
Receiving points won      40%     33%
Winners      62     46
Unforced errors      38     25

As mentioned in the preview of Final, three things proved to be the deciding factor in the final:

- 1st serve and points won on first serve: Coming into the final Andy Murray had been serving at an average of 63% and winning 77% of those points, however he failed to replicate that performance, his first serve falling to just 56% and he won just 69% of those points. Federer on the other hand served at 69%, 13% more than Andy Murray and won 76% of those points, 7% more than Andy Murray.

- Points won on 2nd serve: This was the only department Andy Murray held advantage over his rival in the final, but he failed here too, winning just 48% of his second serves, 17% less than he had won on his road to final. Federer's winning %age on second serve wasn't good either, but better than his opponent today.

- Receiving points won: Murray won 47% of the receiving points in the first set he took from Federer, but from then on it was a downward trend and he ended up winning just 33% of the receiving points as compared to Federer's 40%.

It was a match of missed opportunities for Murray, the 4 break point chances he had in the second set might haunt him for quite sometime as he failed to capitalise on a single one of them.

Federer showed his true class and legacy in fighting back from one set down to take the match in 4 sets and win Wimbledon trophy. "The trophy feels nice - like it's never left me. I've gone through some struggles and this one obviously comes at the right time," Federer on how it feels like to hold the trophy after 3 years.

Andy Murray won his first set in his 4th Grand Slam final appearance, in his prior 3 appearances he had failed to win a set, loosing the 2 to Federer (US Open 2008 and Australian Open 2010), and one to Djokovic (Australian Open 2011). This definitely is a positive sign for Murray and a sign of good things to come.

As for Federer, he will wake up tomorrow as Wimbledon Champion 2012, and new World no.1, equalling Samprass's record of 286 weeks spent at the top spot.

It is said that history repeats itself, and it did in fact at Wimbledon 2012. It was Roland Garros 2009, Nadal bowed out in the 4th round to Soderling, Federer played the next day, he lost the first 2 sets to Haas, but came back to win the match in 5 sets and went on to win the title. It was Wimbledon 2012, Nadal bowed out of WImbledon in the second round to Rosol, Federer was due to play his 3rd round match the next day against BenneteauFederer lost the first 2 sets but came back to win the match in 5 sets, and this time again he went on to win the title.

For now on it was a happy ending to Federer's Wimbledon 2012 campaign, winning his 17th major title and returning to world no.1 and  silencing his doubters. However, the story continues and who knows where the tally of grand slam wins and weeks at top spot will end…..

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