“Andy has a shot, but he’s dealing with the hopes and dreams of a nation, Roger’s the favourite, but anything can happen out there if Andy serves well, if he plays aggressive and goes for his shots. If he gets passive against Roger, Roger will win. Andy’s going to have to take his chances. He can’t just hang back against Roger and hope he misses.” Pete Sampras
In a much anticipated final at the All England Club, six time Champion Roger Federer takes on the local hero Andy Murray, the winner to achieve a unique place in history…
Federer,who has already won five Wimbledon titles in a row (equalling Borg’s record) combined with an additional victory in 2009, is already assured Wimbledon immortality, but a win today would mean that he would equal the seven held by the legendary Pete Sampras. It would also install the Swiss as the new world number one, a position that he has been chasing since loosing the top spot two years ago. With Nadal cutting Federer’s lead to five in Grand Slam titles by winning the French open last month, a Federer win would again increase the gap to six.
While the above are truly historic, a win for Andy Murray would top this… It’s been 76 years since a British man has won a Grand Slam singles title, the last man to do so (Fred Perry) commemorated with a statue outside the centre court. Federer’s achievements over the last 10 years have assured his already immortal place in the game, a single Murray victory would ensure his legendary status.
With many Federer fans copying Nadals hash tag of HIS7ORY after he won a record seven French titles, Murray is going for H1STORY. So which will it be?
Fact: It will be Federer’s 24th grand slam final, having won sixteen. It is Murray’s 4th slam final and he is yet to secure a victory.
While Federer has clearly more experience in Slam finals, the three Murray already has will certainly stand him in good stead. Lets also not forget that Murray has had 4 years as world number 4 and is certainly no freshman. Perhaps more concern for Murray fans will be that this is his first Wimbledon final while it will be Federers 7th.
Fact: Murray has a winning head to head record against Federer, winning 8/15 meetings.
This is a good stat for the Scotsman, but he’s only played Federer twice in grand slams, loosing them both in straight sets. They have only played once in the last two years that was in Dubai this year, Federer winning 7-5, 6-4.
One theme that holds true in matches between these two is that if Federer is allowed to move freely and play aggressively then it will be the Swiss who adds to his Wimbledon haul. Murray has done well when he frustrates Federer by pinning him in the backhand corner but this is easier said than done, particularly with Federer hitting his backhand so well in his last match against Djokovic.
We all know what great groundstroked Murray has but the key to his success or failure is likely to be the serve, as in the two Slam finals he has played again Federer his second serve in particular has not caused enough problems for the Swiss.
Selected Semi Final stats:
64% 2nd serve points won 72%
88mph Average 2nd serve speed 102mph
60% 1st serves in 64%
40 Winners 31
12 Unforced errors 10
Murray is clearly behind on 2nd serve stats, and as Federer will return better than Tsonga, Murray fans should be very concerned here. Federer won 72% of his second serve points again Djokovic who is considered to be one of the best returners the game has ever had, while Murray only managed 64% against Tsonga. As well as placement, 2nd serve speed is also a problem for Murray as his second delivery has 16% less velocity than that of Federer’s. Any less than perfectly placed second serve by Murray will be treated with disdain by Roger.
For Murray to win he need to have a huge serving day, with over 65% first serves and also take some risks on his second serve.
“The one thing I can guarantee is that I’ll fight my absolute heart out. I need to give everything I have from the first point to the last.” Andy Murray
Whoever wins this is going to be a massive occasion, and lets hope for a five set thriller.