Federer wins seventh Wimbledon title to end hopes of a British winner
Roger Federer won his seventh Wimbledon title today in a display that showed why many regard him as the greatest player of all time, ending Andy Murray’s hope of becoming the first British winner since Fred Perry in 1936.
The game couldn’t have got off to a better start for Murray, who broke Federer in the opening game, something which noticeably settled the Scot. Federer started at a blistering pace, but after looking uncharacteristically nervous in the opening games, he began to get calmer and took three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead.
The serve, which had been one of Murray’s strongest attributes during the week, was being easily returned by Federer, which forced Murray into dropping his speed and allowed the 25-year-old to hold a vital serve before going on a three-game win himself to take the opening set 6-4.
The second set showed just how little there was between these two; a series of rallies with both players holding serve until Federer finally broke in the 12th and final game to take the second 7-5. Murray had chances to break himself, but some sloppy unforced errors let Federer off the hook, and you simply cannot do that against somebody of that calibre.
What happened just after the third set had begun probably swung the match to Federer’s advantage: rainfall meant that the roof was going to be closed, something that helps Federer’s leaning service. It also meant there would be a break of around 40 minutes which meant Murray had more time to think about where he had gone wrong, instead of getting right back into the tie.
It showed in the sixth game: Federer’s majestic forehand, which had improved since the closure of the roof, proved too much for Murray as he struggled, a nasty fall and a relentless Federer attack saw him broken, and Federer went on to win the remaining two games to take the third set 6-2.
In the fourth, Murray looked a beaten man. It wasn’t a poor game by Murray; on another day he could have snuck a victory, but Federer was breath-taking, his forehand again devastating – and unforced errors were proving far too common for Murray. Federer took the set and his seventh Wimbledon title 6-4.
What is perhaps most disheartening for Murray, is that he played a great game and was still nowhere near the brilliance of Federer. In the end, it looked like an underdog that made it all the way through to the final: you wouldn’t have known Murray was actually the fourth best player in the world.
10-15 years ago, Murray would already be a multiple Grand Slam winner and some would be asking if he was the best of all time, but he is getting closer and undeniably his time will come.
As for Federer, calling him the greatest player of all time isn’t giving him the credit his deserves: the King of Wimbledon reigns once again.