Wimbledon Final: Federer tops Murray for record seventh title

by Ashish Magotra  Jul 8, 2012 22:48 IST

#Andy Murray   #Roger Federer   #Tennis   #Wimbledon 2012  

2248 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Roger Federer wins record-tying 7th Wimbledon title. 17 majors total. Back to No. 1. Anyone know how to stop him? Also two 30-year-old's winning the singles title. Times they are a changing... Federer started off slowly with a lot of unforced errors but then got his game together in some style. Murray started well but in the end, he lost the mental battle. Roger is pure genius -- just when you think he's been figured out, he comes up with something special. Federer will be ranked No. 1 tomorrow. Since he is guaranteed it for 2 weeks, he will break Pete Sampras' record of 286 weeks at No. 1.

Murray (after breaking down and crying): "Firstly like to congratulate Roger. I was asked the other day if this is my best chance? Roger's 30. He's not bad for a 30 yr old!"

Murray on crying: "I just said sorry to Roger. Didn't want that to happen, U feel like it's attention seeking & it's not like that at all."

Federer (yes, he is smiling): "He's done so well over the years been so consistent. To me it shows he cares so deeply about tennis & this tournament."

Off twitter
@runofplay Murray's got a girlfriend-enthusiasm deficit. Djokovic girlfriend would be on her feet giving a William Wallace speech right now.

2240 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 5-4
Murray on his last legs. Saves his game but can he stop Federer... can he stop the relentless march of history?

2234 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 5-3
Easy service game for Federer and suddenly Andy Murray needs to serve to stay in the match. Imagine Federer will go all out here.

2230 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 4-3
Another hold for Murray. But surely he needs the break now. Can't leave it too late, not with Federer. Never with him. The crowd needs to do their bit to lift their local hero too.

2227 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 4-2
Federer was down 15-30 on his serve. And Murray had a clear chance to hit a passing shot with Federer up at the net, but the Scot hit it long. That was the only chance he got, Federer cleaned it up with two wide serves. Is this it? The break has been consolidated.

2223 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 3-2
Federer holds and then break Murray in the same breath with a superb backhand crosscourt passing shot. Murray had no answer. No answer at all.

2215 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 1-2
Murray holds on but he was 15-30 down and needed to put in some good serves to get out of that spot.

2211 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 1-1
There are no easy games now. Everything seems to go to deuce and you seem to need a good shot to win the points. This is good tennis. Now, if only Andy can raise his game a bit, we would have a cracker here.

2207 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 0-1
Murray holds. He's still not out of it and he needs to believe that. Roger's striking the ball well but he can still be broken down. He needed to remember that he leads the head-to-head battle 8-7.

2202 IST 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Set point. Federer wins it with an ace. He leads 2 sets to 1 and mentally Murray seems to be struggling. Federer seems to be getting better with every point. This is a tough fight for Andy now, looks like Britain's wait for their first champ since 1936 is going to get longer.

2157 IST 4-6, 7-5, 5-3
Murray holds with his 10th ace of the match but he needs to break Federer... can he do it?

2153 IST 4-6, 7-5, 5-2
Routine hold after that marathon. Murray is feeling the pressure now. You can see it on his face. Can't get a hint of emotion on Lendl's face though. As stone-faced as ever. Federer is in charge. His record on indoor courts since November 2010, is an amazing 27-1. And this is an indoor court now.

2150 IST 4-6, 7-5, 4-2
Another routine hold or so we though. The last game lasted almost 20 minutes, 10 deuces, 6 breakpoint, thrice Murray lost his footing and finally, Federer broke him. Longest game of the tournament? Yes, sure felt like that. Is this the turning point?

2129 IST 4-6, 7-5, 3-2
No great drama since the resumption of play. Both players have served well. The need to recalibrate is clear. The players were off the court for nearly 40 minutes.

Off twitter
Wimbledon Roof ‏@WimbledonRoof I am officially closed. Over to you Roger and Andy - my work here is done. My last day, so let's bring the house down... #bringtheroofdown

2116 IST 4-6, 7-5, 1-1
Players are back on the court. Federer still looks cool. Murray still looks troubled. Some things never change. Match should begin any moment now.

2114 IST 4-6, 7-5, 1-1
And the golfers are watching. Lee Westwood ‏@WestwoodLee, on twitter, 'This was a hell of a tennis match until we had to wait 45 mins for a bloody brand new roof to shut !!! 2012?'

Off twitter
@HannahStormESPN: Roof closing for 9th time at these Championships. Both Fed and Murray unbeaten with roof overhead.

2059 IST 4-6, 7-5, 1-1
And the roof is on. Finally. Will still take around 20-25 mins for the match to begin though.

2050 IST 4-6, 7-5, 1-1
The roof hasn't closed yet. So this might be a long break. Sigh. Can't figure out what they are waiting for...

2044 IST 4-6, 7-5, 1-1
It's raining. 1-set all, 1-1 in the third. Covers are on! Who will the break help? Roger found some momentum but the break might allow Murray to speak to his coach, Lendl and get things right again. Wow. This is like a match within a match.

2041 IST 4-6, 7-5, 1-1
Routine hold for Murray. But he had to bring out a couple of big shots to keep Roger at bay. Expect Roger to come hard at the Scot -- he will need to hold firm. Sky is still pretty dark.

Off twitter
Tiger Woods ‏@TigerWoods Now we've got ourselves a tennis match. #wimbledonfinal

2037 IST 4-6, 7-5, 1-0
Federer's one-handed backhand is not the most consistent stroke. But when it gets going, as it is now, it allows him to create good angles. Easy hold. Now, Murray needs to pick himself up and not let the loss of the set bother him. Easier said than done though.

2034 IST 4-6, 7-5
Wow. Roger. You are the man. He comes up with a brilliant game to break Murray and take the second set. This is amazing and even as the skies darken over Centre Court, we have a match on our hands. Federer clinched the set with a spectacular drop volley.

2028 IST 4-6, 6-5
Game Federer. What a vital hold. Roger needs this set or he can say goodbye to this match. Well... almost. But this is a tight game of tennis.

Just a thought
Rafael Nadal can win the French Open even when he is not at his best. Can Federer win Wimbledon when he's not at his best too?

2023 IST 4-6, 5-5
Routine service game. Murray holds easily. TV sets throw up an interesting stat: in the first set, Murray's service games went on for 6 odd minutes on average. It's just 3 mins in the second set. For Federer, it's gone up from 3 mins in the first set to 4 in the second.

2019 IST 4-6, 5-4
Federer was broken at the same point in the first set and he seemed really nervous in this one too. The one thing that's pretty obvious: Murray is well prepared. He seems to be reading Federer's game very well and that's forcing the Swiss star out of his comfort zone. But what an important hold for Federer -- Murray just couldn't close it out. It wasn't easy... going to deuce and Murray had two breakpoints too.

2012 IST 4-6, 4-4
Another easy service game. This set seems headed for the tie-breaker. Both players have got a good service rhythm now. The games are getting shorter -- not too many breakpoints either.

2008 IST 4-6, 4-3
Now Federer returns the favour. He wins his game at love. The 30-year-old seems to be trying his hand at serve and volley a bit -- it may be just to break Murray's rhythm. But for now it looks like it is working. Federer has won 78 per cent of the points, he had played at the net and he has made 32 approaches to the net.

Off twitter, ‏@TennisReporters: WHOOPS Lets do hat again: Federer has come back from a set down in 3 of his 16 Slam wins (Roddick twice, Baghdatis once)

2003 IST 4-6, 3-3
Murray wins that at love. Brilliant serving. On serve in this set. Who'll break first? Federer has his back to the wall. He does but every now and then, he hits the kind of shot that makes you believe.

2003 IST 4-6, 3-2
Federer has raised his level. No doubt about that. But Murray isn't giving in for now. He's holding on and matching Federer stroke for stroke. The unforced errors continue to flow -- 19 already for Roger. Just 6 for Andy.

1957 IST 4-6, 2-2
That was quick from Murray. Quick and decisive. Just as his coach, Ivan Lendl, would like it.

1953 IST 4-6, 2-1
Another easy hold for Federer, his serve is starting to get better. But he needs to figure out a way to break Federer.

1950 IST 4-6, 1-1
Long game but it was a good hold. Murray needs to keep his head in the game. Federer is behind and he will be looking to get even in a hurry.

1943 IST 4-6, 1-0
Federer won that in a canter. When he gets his serve right, he is unstoppable.

1937 IST 4-6
And that's the first set. Murray wins, he had two breaks of serve. Federer had one. He had fewer unforced error and played the smart game. Fully deserved. The opening set lasted 57 minutes. Murray had two chances to break serve, grabbed them both. Federer had three chances, took just 1. This was also Andy's first set won in a major final.

Off twitter, @virtualstatman: The last time a British player won a set in a Grand Slam final: Greg Rusedski (US Open 1997)

1932 IST 4-5
The last game last 12 minutes, this didn't even last half that time but Murray got the desired result. A break and he will serve for the set next. Murray is playing the steady game, Roger is going for his shots and making mistakes.

1929 IST 4-4
It took five deuces, a brilliant volley and some errors from Federer for Murray to come out on top in this one. Federer has changed the pace of the game, he is throwing in the slide every couple of shots and that has thrown Murray off his game a bit. The first set has already lasted 48 minutes. Federer has already had 14 unforced errors to Murray's 5.

1917 IST 4-3
Big serving by Federer set up the game for him, gave him a 40-0 lead and then Murray had no chance. But Murray hasn't played the big points very well -- he has had Federer in trouble but let him get away a couple of time. Mistakes that could come back to haunt him.
Off twitter: Shaun Pollock ‏@7polly7 Watching-Wimbledon men's final, don't really mind who wins ,Fed always been my Favourite but would b nice 4 the Murray 2 win 1 for the Brits

1914 IST 3-3
Murray holds too. 3-3 in the first set. Compelling stuff. But Federer seems to have recovered his composure now. That was quite a big hole he had dug for himself.

1909 IST 3-2
This is a tough, tough battle. Federer hits one good shot and then makes a mistake. Murray is doing the same but he still seems to be more in command. A brilliant point at the net was the highlight of the game... Murray couldn't get one past the 30-year-old.

1901 IST 2-2
Federer gets the break back. Murray dominated the first few games but now the Swiss master is back. The forehand is working well but the breakpoint was setup by a brilliant back hand down the line.

Off twitter
‏@ptbodo Glad Murray isn't a basket case. Yet.

1854 IST 1-2
Federer holds but it wasn't easy. His unforced errors have piled up but Roger has always been a slow starter. However, one gets the feeling he can't afford to be slow today. Murray looks determined and focused. This game also went to deuce.

Off twitter
‏@runofplay Murray may have hit the point where the pressure is more infuriating than scary.

1848 IST 0-2
Murray is right on his game. There was a time when Roger was invincible, not sure today is part of that time. It's tough to see him dominate Murray, this promises to be a tough grind.

Off twitter
@mohanstatsman The men's Wimbledon final 2012 is perhaps the biggest sporting event in Britain since the 1966 World Cup football final.

1843 IST 0-1
Federer is off the blocks but so is Murray. The sun is out and there is no sign of the nerves. Roger misses the volley. Hits it long and the crowd is up on it's feet. Murray has broken Roger in the first game of the match. What a start to the final! Murray leads 0-1.

Off twitter
‏@TennisReporters Last guy 2 d. British male in Wimby final was Don Budge, whose ego arguably bigger than Federer's. Will Fed treat AM like Budge did Bunny?

Pre-game
Andy Murray leads Roger Federer 8-7 in head-to-heads, but strangely they have only ever played each other on hard courts. So grass remains the unknown here. Both players know their opponents game well but the difference is probably going to be how the duo handle the weight of history.

Federer has been doing that for a long time but for Murray this is the kind of territory that every British player hopes to be in. You have surely heard that the last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936 -- and most of us weren't even alive then.

Ivan Lendl, as coach of Murray, has given the Scot a certain sense of calm but he'll need more than that to beat Federer. The 30-year-old poured out a serving master class against world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-final and that's what Murray will have to overcome.

Federer starts favourite but Murray has a shot. AP

Federer starts favourite but Murray has a shot. AP

Murray mania has gripped Britain like never before but Roger will have his fans among them as well -- that's how good he has been. Almost everyone gives Federer the better chance but one never quite knows how things will pan out.

Pete Sampras, seven-time Wimbledon champion believes: "Roger's always the favourite at Wimbledon, for me. He always will be. Just because of his game and his calm nerve. That's something you need in the Wimbledon final. You need to keep it simple and go out and play your tennis. It's a big match. It's our Super Bowl. Andy has a shot. But he's dealing with the hopes and dreams of a nation. Roger's the favourite, but anything can happen out there if Andy serves well."

Tim Henman, four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, said on his BBC Blog: "It's another big, big task for Murray. He's obviously lost to Federer in Grand Slam finals before, at the US Open in 2008 and the Australian Open in 2010, and he's lost all three he's played in total without winning a set. So it's crucial Murray gets off to a good start."

Greg Rusedski, former US Open finalist, said on his Guardian blog that Murray has a real shot.

"Murray has a real shot. All the hard work is done now and I don't see him being overawed by the occasion or the opponent he's facing. Yes, he was beaten by Roger Federer in two of his three previous Grand Slam finals but that's where his coach, Ivan Lendl, comes into play in getting Murray prepared. Lendl is tactically brilliant, plus he's so calm and composed. He holds eight Grand Slam titles and, having lost his first four major finals, he has also been through the same emotional heartaches as Murray. For Lendl victory would be doubly sweet because he never managed to win Wimbledon."

But Boris Becker, Three-time Wimbledon champion, has the final word on his Daily Telegraph blog.

"Roger is probably the greatest player of all time on grass, and it’s hard to describe just how difficult it can be to go up against somebody with so many options, so much talent. Roger has the whole arsenal: the half-volley, the second serve, the slice backhand and the drop shot. He brings it to you from the off, and on grass it’s so hard to compete with that weaponry because it’s the hardest surface to defend on. For me, Roger is the favourite by 55 per cent to 45."

Quotes

Andy Murray: "It's a massive challenge to win against Roger, in the final of a Slam. He's obviously one of the greatest players ever to have played. He's very, very tough to beat here. It's a great challenge, one where I'm probably not expected to win the match, but one that, if I play well, I'm capable of winning. I just need to try and make sure I play a perfect match on Sunday."

Roger Federer: "There's a lot on the line for me. I'm not denying that. I've worked extremely hard since I lost that matchpoint against Novak last year at the US Open. Now I have a chance at world No. 1, at the title again all at once. So it's a big match for me and I hope I can keep my nerves. I'm sure I can."

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