I thought I’d get in another post before tomorrow since I have some free time and because it is men’s semi-final day at Wimbledon which is one of the biggest days on the tennis calendar. I posted polls on my last post and most people think Murray and Federer will win in four sets.
There seems to be a certain amount of predictability about these matches. But we all know it is a little more complicated than that and that upsets happen all the time. Or there would be no need to play the semis.
No one expected Djokovic to lose to Querrey even after he was down two sets to love and yet he did. Same thing goes for Murray and Federer. Believe it or not, we can have a Raonic vs Berdych final.
That is why we watch tennis. If the outcomes were certain there would be no point.
- Why Is This Federer’s Big Chance?
Why did I say this is Federer’s big chance? Why not Murray? When I talk of a big chance I am referring to winning the title of course, and not just the semis. In a sense, this is Murray’s big chance too.
He has lost his last three slam finals including the last two slams, all against Djokovic. With Djokovic absent, this is as big an opportunity for him as for Federer. Only Murray is not trying to win a record eight Wimbledon titles.
He also has more time to win slams than Federer as he is five years younger. Federer has been trying since 2012 now to win that elusive #18. It was meant to happen in the 2014 Wimbledon final where he narrowly lost to Djokovic 6-4 in the fifth set.
It was meant to happen in the 2015 Wimbledon final too after a devastating display of grass-court mastery against Murray in the semis. Again it was that man Djokovic who denied him in the final.
— Tennis Photos (@tennis_photos) July 7, 2016
Finally, it was also meant to happen in the US Open final last year but there was that impenetrable fortress Djokovic, again. Not even with a drunk and rampant crowd in his favor could he get the job done.
Federer kept pushing, though. He played some great tennis in Australia but again in the semis he was subjected to a masterclass from his nemesis as he bowed out in four sets again. Now that Djokovic is burned out after completing the Djoker slam in Paris and Federer is recovered from his injury he finally got the opportunity he’s been waiting for.
No Djokovic. His most successful slam. The stage is set. With Djokovic just completing the Djoker slam and closing in fast on Federer’s slam title record, this is his big opportunity to make some history of his own and make it a little harder for Djokovic to catch him.
- Djokovic’s Astonishing Onslaught
Not even Federer in his prime was able to win four consecutive slams. Djokovic has also won six of the last nine slams. That is a strike rate of 2/3 slams. Since 2015, he has won more titles(15) than losses(9).
He has had record leads in the rankings, won more Masters titles in a season than anyone in history, and chalked up the most successful season ever in 2015. Now that he is out of the picture for a short while it is easier to appreciate what he did.
He has reached the highest level of tennis and completeness as a tennis player ever seen. Over a period of two years, he doubled his slam count of six and became a serious GOAT contender.
At the current rate, he is going to smash every record in history. If Federer wants to protect his legacy it is absolutely imperative that he takes advantage of this golden opportunity. There is no room for error.
“Those experiences have helped us get tougher and hungrier for success.”#CallMeMartina
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 4, 2016
Djokovic has already reached a higher level of tennis and completeness than Federer. It is only a question of time before he adds the numbers as well. And you can be 100% sure that he is motivated to do just that.
If there is one thing Djokovic has more than anything it is drive and focus. He wants to be the greatest ever. End of story. For Federer to even have a shot at protecting his GOAT claim I feel it is imperative that he wins this title.
The clock is ticking. Federer is pushing 35 and Djokovic is 5 years younger. That is five more years to win slams than Federer and at his current rate of 2/3 slams if we take the last nine slams he will catch Federer in two years.
But even if he wins just two slams per year for the next three years he will catch Federer in 2.5 years. It can be done, and knowing Djokovic it will be done.
- Federer’s Task Is Very Difficult
Someone left a comment on my last post saying they think it is unrealistic that Federer will win #18. And while I don’t necessarily agree with that notion you can’t deny her logic. She said that Murray has already lost in eight slams finals and that Federer has not shown anything since January due to injury.
Murray is an extremely talented player but like so many talented players he struggles in the mental department. This all changes when Lendl is in his corner. When Lendl joined his team in 2012 Murray broke through to win his first slam at the US Open and then famously became the first Brit in 77 years to win Wimbledon as well.
Lendl then left Murray’s team only for Murray to lose in three more slams finals(having lost his first five). Now Lendl is back and does anyone else feel like this is now destiny for Murray to win the title as well?
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) July 7, 2016
It does, doesn’t it? With Murray losing in the last two slam finals, Federer being injured since the Australian Open, and Lendl back, it feels even more like destiny for Murray. Add to that the fact that Federer just needed five brutal sets to defeat Cilic and plays Raonic in the semis you can begin to appreciate why my reader said it is unrealistic for Federer to win the title.
I will never write Federer off because I know what a great champion he is but even the most fanatical Federer fan can appreciate what he is up against here. After a brutal five-setter against Cilic, he is now up against the two best grass courters of the season.
And that after he was out of tennis since the Australian Open until the grass court season. Like my reader said, more power to him if he gets it done but it doesn’t seem realistic.
— British Tennis (@BritishTennis) July 7, 2016
We will see. I don’t like to look further ahead than the next round but I thought this post was worth making. When the semis are over I will reassess the situation and make another post.
Raonic and Federer are first up again on Center Court tomorrow followed by Berdych and Murray.