THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
How The Wimbledon Final Was Won
by James Buddell|
At 30 years of age, Federer will return to No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on Monday.
ATPWorldTour.com looks at how the Wimbledon final was won.
Federer and Murray walked out on Centre Court at 2 p.m.; barely 20 minutes after a light rain shower had forced ground staff to cover the sport’s grandest stage. As dark clouds passed overhead, Murray got off to a fine start by breaking Federer in the first game, with the Swiss hitting a forehand drive volley long at 30/40. Murray played with confidence in his first service game, attacking the short ball, to hold to 30. The Scot’s lead was short-lived, however, as Federer came back at him to win the next three games. Murray had three game points in the fourth game, but Federer upped his power level to quieten British support.
Murray continued to target Federer’s backhand in long rallies, but anything remotely short and Federer pounced, moving swiftly to hit forehands. The fourth seed dug deep at 3-4, saving two break points in a game that included five deuces. In the ninth game, Federer made two forehand errors that saw Murray earn two break point opportunities. Murray then got Federer off-balance to force a backhand error and went onto clinch the 57-minute set – his first set in his fourth Grand Slam championship final. He’d committed just five unforced errors.
Federer continued to attack the net at the start of the second set, forcing Murray to weather an early storm by saving one break point at 0-1. It was Federer’s turn at 2-2, when he found himself at 15/40. Federer stayed positive and got back to deuce with service winners, but his forehand proved to be an area for concern. At 4-4, Federer found himself at 30/40. Hitting a second serve, he engaged Murray in a short baseline rally that ended when Murray over-hit a backhand.
In the next game, Murray moved into a 30/0 lead, but Federer won four straight points to level the score-line at one-set apiece. At 30/30, he hit a perfectly timed forehand drop volley, which Murray scrambled for, but struck long. Then, on set point, Federer played a well-constructed point, finishing with a backhand drop volley by cutting across it to take off the pace. It left Murray with no chance. Federer won 19 of his 25 net points and hit 19 winners during the 54-minute set.
At 1-1, with Federer serving at 40/0, the finalists left Centre Court due to rain. At 4:20 p.m., with the players back in the locker room, Wimbledon Referee Andrew Jarrett decided to close the roof. At 4:45 p.m., Federer and Murray returned to the court.
The match went with serve until a dramatic sixth game, when Federer made his move. Murray, who led 40/0, was forced to save five break points with some big serves. But Federer proved to be relentless, and, in a 19-minute game featuring 10 deuces, he eventually wore down Murray, to break for a 4-2 lead, after Murray hit a slice backhand into the net. Federer won the third set with his fourth ace, having won a remarkable 85 per cent of his first service points.
Murray may have broken Federer for a 2-0 lead in the fourth set, but narrowly missed a forehand down the line, which he hit on the run. Federer’s forehand went from strength to strength and at 2-2, Murray found himself serving at 15/40. Federer took his first break point chance, drawing Murray to the net, before wrong-footing the Scot with a backhand crosscourt winner.
Murray’s error count started to increase as he attempted to break back, while Federer stuck to his service patterns and joined Pete Sampras and William Renshaw with seven Wimbledon titles. By closing out to 30, to seal the his 17th major championship, it also signalled Federer’s return to No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.
The final, which lasted three hours and 24 minutes, was watched by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.