Wimbledon 2012: Men’s final recap
July 9, 2012 · Print This Article
by: Tom Cochrane
Roger Federer is back on top of the world, defeating Andy Murray in 4 sets to capture a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and reclaim the world number one ranking.
Day 13 Recap
Having failed to win a set in his previous 3 Grand Slam finals, Andy Murray started Sunday’s final in far better shape, breaking Federer in the opening game of the match. Despite squandering that break, Murray broke again in the ninth game of the first set to claim the opening set 6-4.
Federer was attempting to dictate play and was making a lot of unforced errors in doing so. Murray was counterpunching effectively and serving particularly well. The fourth seed had break points in multiple games in the second set, but was unable to capitalise. That came back to haunt Murray when serving at 5-6 to take the set to a tiebreaker. At 30-0, having won 15 of his last 16 points on serve, Murray lost focus ever so slightly and Federer took advantage, breaking the Scot to level the match at a set apiece.
A torrential downpour early in the third set meant a slight delay and a change of environment, as the roof was closed on Centre Court. This proved to be a key change to the match, as Federer started serving a lot better without any rain or sun to bother him, and the Swiss master started to step inside the baseline and control the points with his fearsome forehand. A marathon game on Murray’s serve midway through the third set eventually went Federer’s way, and the third seed held on to the advantage to claim a 2 sets to 1 lead.
Federer was only a set away from victory now, and he charged towards the finish line, as a desperate Murray tried everything to stay with him. With Murray’s first serve percentage dropping to below 50 percent, Federer was getting plenty of looks at the Murray second serve, and a break seemed almost inevitable. It duly came, and Federer had the opportunity to serve for the championship. The Scot made the Swiss star earn the game but, ever the consummate professional, Federer made no mistake, with tears forming in his eyes as he celebrated an historic victory.
For the 17-time Grand Slam champion, it’s a clear reminder to the rest of the tennis world that he is not yet a spent force on the ATP Tour, and it’s a well-deserved victory after the Swiss maestro’s tremendous form in the past 9 months.
For Murray, it’s another devastating defeat in a Grand Slam final, but the Scot can at least console himself with the fact that he played well and wasn’t far away from winning. In fact, to my mind Murray’s defeat came down to 2 things: not being able to win the second set when he was clearly on top, and the rain, which changed the momentum of the match and the playing conditions when the match resumed.
That’s it for this year’s Wimbledon coverage. I hope you’ve enjoyed the coverage. I’ll be back later in the year to cover the US Open.