Some thoughts the day before the Wimbledon final
Murray’s on court persona seemed new during his semi-final with Tsonga: more level, more grounded. Was getting through the Ferrer match some kind of catharsis for him? Hopefully in time things will become clearer.
Immediately after the match he seemed emotionally exhausted, and Tsonga noted in his press conference that Murray looked as if his quarterfinal and semifinal had taken their toll. We shall see to what degree he is able to regroup in time for the final. At the least, expecting him not to meekly submit to a straight sets drubbing seems reasonable.
During the 2011 clay court season Federer was looking in good form (the best he had been in for 12 months?) – as if he was going to come nicely to the boil at Wimbledon. But then he peaked in the Roland Garros semifinal against Djokovic, and Nadal sent him all the dispiriting way back down again.
During this spring Federer again was looking good, though more at Madrid than at RG. Come the repeat of the semifinal with Djokovic it seemed like his ambition had already checked out of the tournament. Why expend himself trying to beat Djokovic, only to on the receiving end, yet again, of one of Nadal’s RG final performances?
The confidence that Federer had in his backhand during the YEC last November has survived intact. Not only was it clear during the indoor tournaments, but also in Madrid. My presumption is that having the roof closed at Wimbledon helps this as well. Certainly this week Federer has been taking the backhands earlier, ie lower to the ground, when he can flick it; he hasn’t been turned round while playing them, and this has kept the rest of his game stable, it seems.
Both on- and off-court Federer seems to have an air of serenity that suggests that, should Murray win tomorrow, it will be a quite staggering result.
The statistical projections at Heavytopspin.com favour Murray over Federer 50.2% to 49.8%, which totally disagrees with me.