A Grand Slam title drought ended last Sunday in an historic and riveting Wimbledon final with Roger Federer making history by beating the most touted Andy Murray for the Wimbledon trophy. Federer shocked the world even though many believed Murray would carry the day.
Murray’s bid to become the first British men’s singles champion at Wimbledon since 1936 attracted a peak television audience of almost 17million. The BBC confirmed that a five-minute peak audience of 16.9million tuned in to watch the match between Murray and Roger Federer, which was the highest audience figure for a Wimbledon final since at least 1990.
Murray was unable to match the achievement of Fred Perry set 76 years ago falling 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 to Federer. The Swiss ace now a tennis phenomenon claimed his seventh Wimbledon title to return to the top of the world rankings.
But for Murray, it meant he has now lost all four of his grand slam finals. Clearly devastated and breaking down in tears a number of times during his on-court interview, Murray said in the post-match press conference that: “It doesn’t get easier.
When you lose, it’s hard. It’s tough to take, but you need to try to show strength of character to come back from it. Hopefully one day you get there.”
The indefatigable Federer has proven to the world that he has all it takes to clinch the world number one position in tennis. He displayed a spectacular level of dexterity, skills, tenacity and determination in last Sunday’s Wimbledon final to earn him the current best spot in the world.
The victory also increased Federer’s record total to 17 major titles after being stuck on No. 16 for 2 years, and clinched a return to the top of the ATP rankings, overtaking Novak Djokovic, after an absence of a little more than two years.
Federer’s 286th week at No. 1 ties Sampras’ for the most in history. “He doesn’t want to stop now. He knows he’s going to continue to play well and try to break seven, and he could very well end up with eight or nine Wimbledons,” Sampras said “I just think he’s that much better than the other guys on grass, and he loves the court the way I loved that court. He’s a great champion, a classy champion, and I’m really happy for him.”
After a record of seven successive Wimbledon finals from 2003-09, winning the first six, Federer lost in the quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011, then wasted two match points and a two-set lead against Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals last year, raising questions about whether he might be slipping.
After losing in the semi-finals each of the previous three years, Murray was the first British man to reach the final at Wimbledon since Bunny Austin in 1938, and was trying to become the hosts’ first male title winner since Fred Perry in 1936.
Alas, Murray dropped to 0-4 in Grand Slam finals, three against Federer. Only one other man lost the first four major title matches of his career: Ivan Lendl, who coach’s Murray now. While Lendl never did win Wimbledon, perhaps Murray can take solace from knowing his coach did end up with eight Grand Slam titles.
Although Murray’s second break helped him take the opening set Federer stepped up in large part by winning 43 of the 57 points on his serve the rest of the way. He saved all five break points he faced after the first set.
A real key switch happened at 1-all in the third, when a drizzle transformed into heavy showers, causing a 40-minute delay while the retractable cover was moved over the court.
The roof was installed before the 2009 tournament; this was its first use for a final. Until then, Federer had won 86 points, Murray 85. Under the roof — with no wind to alter trajectories, allowing the third-seeded Swiss star to make pure, explosive contact with the ball — Federer won 65 points, Murray 52.
It was almost incredible since many could not believe Federer would beat Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals to reach his eighth final. Murray holds a winning 8-7 winning record against the GOAT—that’s “Greatest of All Time” for those this side of the Atlantic.
The last time they played however, Federer won, in the final at Dubai. Many people hoped that Murray would battle Djokovic in his first Wimbledon final. Eventually, it was Federer, who torpedoed his chance of clinching the Wimbledon trophy. The weighty question still in the mouth of pundits is, could Murray have won the Wimbledon title if he had faced Djokovic?
The 2012 Wimbledon Open will long be remembered for its historical perspective in a place for pride for the English race. It was an event that had the backing of the entire British tennis community who thronged there to wish Murray well against Roger.
But sadly were left devastated after Federer punctured their hopes and killed a highly expected jubilation. In all Murray had the chance of upstaging the legacy of Fred Perry as the last British player to win Wimbledon title back in 1936, but the Federer phenomenon saw that it never happened.