Wimbledon 2012: Women’s final preview
July 7, 2012 · Print This Article
by: Tom Cochrane
Second service points won were the key to victory in each of the men’s semi-finals on Day 11. Roger Federer defended his second service points brilliantly en route to a 4 set victory over top seed Novak Djokovic, while Andy Murray jumped all over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s second serve to move past the Frenchman in 4 sets and set up an historic men’s final on Sunday.
Day 11 Recap
Murray became the first Brit since 1938 to make the men’s singles final at Wimbledon, the Scot jumping out of the blocks against Tsonga with a break in the very first game of the match. Tsonga seemed sluggish in the early stages of the match, and Murray held on to the initial break to claim the first set 6-3. A break midway through the second set propelled the fourth seed to a 2 sets to love lead and Murray’s army of followers on Henman Hill started to get very excited at the prospect of the Scot appearing in Sunday’s final.
But Tsonga was not done with yet. A poor service game by Murray at the start of the third set was the catalyst the fifth seed needed, as he started hitting his groundstrokes with far more conviction. Tsonga took the third set and there were now concerns that Murray would get tight.
The fourth set was a thrilling affair. Murray got a break midway through the set but Tsonga broke straight back. Each player got out of some trouble on subsequent service games before Murray brought up match point on Tsonga’s serve when the Frenchman looked to take the set to a tiebreaker. A rifled cross-court forehand from Murray looked to have caught the line, and Murray and the Centre Court crowd exploded with jubilation, only for the shot to be called out. Luckily for Murray, the replay showed the shot got part of the line, allowing the fourth seed to savour a famous victory.
Earlier in the day, Roger Federer got off to a fine start against world number one Novak Djokovic, serving up a storm and taking the first set inside 30 minutes. That startled the top seed, who bounced back to win the second set in similarly breezy fashion. Within an hour, the players were into the critical third set. Federer was creating more break point opportunities than Djokovic early on in the set, but the Serb was refusing to surrender.
At 4 games apiece in the third set, the match was turned on its head as Federer went on an incredible 5 game streak which saw him break Djokovic to take the third set and set up a 3-0 lead in the fourth set. Djokovic, who was apparently suffering from a head-cold, lost his concentration and focus momentarily, and it was enough to hand Federer the victory, as the Swiss master held on to the early break to claim the match in 4 sets and advance to his first Grand Slam final since last year’s French Open.
Match of the Day – Day 12
Serena Williams vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
Serena Williams goes into today’s women’s final at the All England Club as a very warm favourite against Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, for a number of reasons. First of all, the American is a 4-time Wimbledon champion and a 13-time major champion, whereas the Pole is playing in her first Grand Slam final, so Williams has far more experience in this environment and is likely to be more composed on the big stage than her opponent.
Second, Williams has not won a Grand Slam since cutting her foot after Wimbledon 2010 and subsequently suffering various health issues. Williams was surprised by Sam Stosur in last year’s US Open final, so I suspect Williams will be very fired up for this match and will not be taking Radwanska lightly – the American does not want to endure a repeat of what occurred in New York last year.
Third, Williams is in impeccable form right now, having disposed of Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova in straight sets in her last two matches. After struggling through the early rounds of the tournament, Williams appears to be hitting her best form at the most important stage of the tournament. Radwanska has been in good form as well, but it’s fair to say she hasn’t played the same calibre of players en route to the final as Williams has.
Finally, the match will be played on Williams‘ terms, and that means that the championship is on Williams‘ racquet. Radwanska is an incredibly good counterpuncher, blessed with great anticipation, movement and defensive abilities, but the Pole doesn’t generate a lot of pace herself, and isn’t the sort of player who blasts her opponent off the court. If Williams plays her best tennis, she won’t give Radwanska a chance. Of course, if the American’s shot execution is wayward then Radwanska will have an opportunity to pounce, but I think that’s unlikely. Williams in 2.
That’s it for today. Enjoy the tennis and I’ll be back with another serve tomorrow.