A dream match up has been set as both the defending champion Novak Djokovic and seven time champion Roger Federer demolished their opponents in straight sets in the semi-finals on Friday. It will be a repeat of last year’s epic five set final which lasted almost four hours. The final will mark the 40th meeting between the two with Federer having the edge with a 20-19 mark and their third meeting in four years at this event. Djokovic proved too strong for the Frenchman Richard Gasquet winning 7-6(2),6-4,6-4; while Federer played vintage tennis to oust the British hope Andy Murray 7-5,7-5,6-4.
Federer who jointly holds the record with American Pete Sampras with seven titles in the Open Era (since 1968), served 20 aces and hit 56 winners against Scotland’s Andy Murray to put himself in line to win an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon crown and his 18th grand slam title in what will be his 26th Grand Slam final apperance (17-8). After surviving a break point in the opening game of the match the Swiss was in complete control of the match as he never faced a break point thereafter and made only 11 unforced errors to become the second oldest men’s finalist since the Australian Ken Rosewall in 1974.
Federer put on a serving clinic on the pristine lawns of Wimbledon and the dominant theme of the match was Murray fighting off one wave of onslaught after another from the Swiss Maestro. The game reached a crescendo in the 10th game of the second set – as Murray valiantly fought off 5 break points to draw level at 5-5. Just as most tennis fans expected to find a chink in the Federer servathon, Federer calmly stepped up to the service line and closed out his serve game with minimum fuss.
The pressure was once again on the 3rd seeded Murray to push the set into a tie-break, but Federer was not to be denied this time and he broke Murray to seal the game and the second set. From that point, it was a matter of time before the inevitable conclusion to one of the finest tennis displays on the greatest tennis court in the game. Just a month shy from his 34th birthday Federer will look to topple the 2011 & 2014 champion from Serbia who will be contesting his 17th grand slam final (8-8). The duo are tied at 1-1 on the center court, Federer beat Djokovic in four sets in the semi-final of 2012, while Djokovic exacted sweet revenge in a pulsating five set win in last year’s Championship match.
In the first semi-final Djokovic broke the Frenchman Gasquet’s serve in the second game but the 2007 semi-finalist broke right back and the inevitable tie-break followed as neither player came close to breaking serve again in the first set. The top seed stepped up a gear and raced away to a 7-2 win in the tie-break and the Frenchman who won a marathon fifth set 11-9 to upset the French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka barely troubled the world champion thereafter.
Djokovic broke the Gasquet serve in the first game of the second set and then in the third game of the third set and despite an injury time out for treating his left shoulder the Serb extended his head to head record to 13-11 against the no. 21 seed. Federer is now 13-11 against Murray and the losing semi-finalists will now try to redeem themselves as Britain clashes against France in the Davis Cup quarter-final next weekend on the grass courts of Queen’s club.
Djokovic has won five titles in 2015; a fifth Australian Open in Melbourne, the Indian Wells and Miami double which he accomplished for an unprecedented third time, Monte Carlo and Rome Masters. The World No.1 goes into the final with a 47-3 mark for the year. Federer with four titles in Brisbane, Dubai, the inaugural Istanbul Open and a seventh Halle crown has a 40-6 record in 2015. Federer won the Dubai Dutyfree Open final beating Djokovic in straight sets, but lost the Indian Wells final in three and the Rome Masters in straight sets.
The two are tied at 6-6 in all grand slam matches. The key to Federer’s 11 match winning streak on grass has been his serve and at one stage, he went 116 service games without being broken when Giles Simon ended the run in the second set of their quarter-final. Should he keep his unforced errors in check, his superior all court game should enable him to add another milestone as he looks to win the ultimate prize in tennis which he claimed from 2003-2007 and in 2009 & 2012.
Predicton :- Federer in four or five.
In the women’s final to be played today, the 20th seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain will need a miracle or maybe even two to stop the marauding Serena Williams who will be going for her sixth Wimbledon crown and a 21st grand slam title. Muguruza does have a win over the younger Williams sister – a 6-2 6-2 blow out in the 2014 French Open, but in the finals of a major that will give Serena a Serena slam, it is hard to see the Spaniard triumph over the American.
Prediction :- Williams in two close sets
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]