2012 Wimbledon Tennis Championship
#3 Roger Federer (-215) vs #4 Andy Murray (+175)
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All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club – Wimbledon, England
Playing Surface: Grass
Sunday, July 8, 2012, 9:00 am Eastern, TV: ESPN
Regardless of who wins Sunday’s Men’s Final at Wimbledon will be historic. Number 3 seed Roger Federer became the first man to reach 8 Wimbledon finals and will tie Pete Sampras with 7 Wimbledon titles with a win in the championship. He will also regain the number one ranking in the world and become the second oldest player to do so behind Andre Agassi who rose to #1 at age 33. Number 4 seed Andy Murray became the first player from Great Britain to reach the final at Wimbledon since 1938. No British player has won a grand slam singles title since 1936. Although, Brit Jonathan Marray did win the men’s doubles title Saturday with his partner Frederik Nielsen from Denmark
Federer, 30 from Switzlerland, is 45-6 with titles at Madrid, Indian Wells, Dubai, and Rotterdam. He lost in the semifinals at both the Australian Open and the French Open. He lost in the finals of a tournament in Halle Germany on grass as a tune-up for Wimbledon.
Federer is a 16 time major champion, but hasn’t won since the 2010 Australian Open. He is a 6 time champion here, but lost in the quarters the last two years.
Federer has wins over Albert Ramos, Fabio Fognini, #29 Julien Benneteau, Xavier Malisse, and #26 Mikhail Youzhny to get to the semifinals. Federer lost the first two sets against Benneteau but fought back to survive and advance. He also lost a set to Malisse after Federer took a 2 sets to love lead. in the Malisse match, Federer had to call a trainer for the first time in his career due to a back injury. Federer crushed Youzhny in straight sets in the quarters 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Many questioned whether Federer would ever win another major as recently as a month ago. It wasn’t because he lost a step, but because his top rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were just too good. Well, Nadal was upset in the second round here and both #3 Federer and #1 Djokovic made it to the semifinals. Even though they had played 26 times before, Friday’s semifinal was the first meeting between the two at Wimbledon and on grass. Federer won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Federer had 12 aces and no double faults, while Djokovic had 9 and 2 respectively. Federer won 75% on first serves and a blistering 72% on second serves. Djokovic was 71% on first serves and 57% on second serves. Federer was 13/25 on net points, and Djokovic was 14/22. Federer converted 3 of 11 break points, and Djokovic was 1 for 3. Federer had 31 winners and 10 unforced errors, while Djokovic had 28 and 21 respectively. The match took 2 hours and 19 minutes.
Murray is 35-6 this season with a win at Brisbane and runner-ups at Miami and Dubai. He lost in the semifinals at the Australian Open and the quarterfinals at the French.
Murray, 25 from Scotland, has the unfortunate distinction of being the fourth best player in an era with 3 of the best players in history. He has never won a major title but has made the semifinals at Wimbledon the last 4 years including this year. He has made it to the finals of the Australian and US Opens but has never played in the final at Wimbledon before now.
Murray has wins over Nikolay Davydenko, Ivo Karlovic, Marcos Baghdatis, #16 Marin Cilic, and #7 David Ferrer at Wimbledon this year. He dropped sets to Karlovic, Baghdatis, and Ferrer. The quarterfinal match against Ferrer was hard fought. Ferrer had knocked Murray out in the quarters of the French Open, and Murray returned the favor at Wimbledon with a 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win.
Murray was matched up against #5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals. Tsonga challenged Murray through 4 difficult sets, but Murray prevailed 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Murray had 9 aces and 2 double faults, while Tsonga had 11 and 2. Murray won 75% on first serves and 64% on second serves, and Tsonga had winners on 75% on first and 32% on second serves. Murray was 13/30 on net points and Tsonga was 45/76. Murray was 4/12 on break points, and Tsonga was 2/8. Murray had 40 winners and 12 unforced errors, and Tsonga had 47 and 42.
Murray leads the overall series against Federer 8-7. All 15 matches have been on hard courts, and they have never played at the French Open or at Wimbledon until now. Federer beat Murray in the finals of the 2008 US Open and the 2010 Australian Open, their only meetings in grand slam events, both in straight sets. Federer beat Murray in straight sets early in the year in the final at Dubai 7-5, 6-4. Before that, they hadn’t played since 2010.
Both players are battling back issues, but is really hasn’t affected them so far. There will be pressure on both Murray and Federer, but more so on Murray. The whole nation will be rooting for him to end the streak of British men not winning major titles. I think it continues for at least one more year, unfortunately. Federer wins his 17th major in four tough sets, with Murray winning at least 4 games in every set.
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