Murray Wins Second Wimbledon Title Over Raonic

Congrats to Murray and his fans. It’s been another long wait for them since Murray won his last slam three years ago and three more slam final losses. Muray won in straight sets 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2).

With Djokovic’s early exit this was Murray’s big chance which he took with both hands. He never looked in serious trouble. Even the match against Tsonga which went to five sets Murray closed out 6-1 in the decider.

I would definitely say this is a different Murray since Lendl joined his team again. It makes you wonder what could have happened if Lendl never left his team. I wasn’t always sure what to make of those first two slams Murray won.

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I didn’t watch the US Open final between him and Djokovic but from what I read the wind played a role in that match. Then in the Wimbledon final of 2013 Djokovic really looked like he was struggling physically to me after that marathon with Del Potro in the semis.

I think this title from Murray means quite a lot because it reaffirms that the first two was not some kind of fluke. Murray is the real deal and a rightful member of the big four again. With Wawrinka winning two slams and Djokovic’s dominance it wasn’t certain where Murray fitted in anymore.

But you have to say he proved once again that he is better than Stan and that he should be included in the big four. He has done his dues in the last couple of years after he had surgery and you have to respect how far he has come.

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I don’t think anyone can rightfully say he doesn’t deserve this title, even though Djokovic was absent. Sure, he hasn’t beaten Djokovic in a slam in their last five meetings but if anyone deserved the title after Djokovic’s exit it was Murray since he lost to Djokovic in the last two slam finals.

As opposed to Murray, Federer didn’t feature since that Australian Open semi-final loss to Djokovic.

  • What Happened to Raonic?

I have to admit that I found this match less interesting than I thought it would be. I guess it is just not the same with Djokovic or Federer there. But then again Raonic seemed uninspired as I thought might be the case.

If he could have gotten something going in the third set and forced at least one more set it would already have been a more interesting match. Only looking at Raonic’s first serve his first serve percentage dropped 4 points(68-64) from the Federer match, he served fewer aces per set(4.6-3), and his first-serve speed dropped by 3 mph.

Raonic also won 83% of points on his first serve against Federer as opposed to 67% against Murray. Now I realize Murray is a better returner of serve than Federer but Federer has historically done well against big servers.

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I also noticed that Raonic missed easy shots, kind of like he did against Federer in the second and third sets but he never came alive like he did against Federer in the fourth set. Of course, it helped Raonic that he won the first set against Federer.

I think in the end that match against Federer probably just took an edge off Raonic and he found it hard to get something going. But all credit to Murray of course who also didn’t allow Raonic to get something going.

He didn’t serve two consecutive double faults like Federer did in a big game as far as I know. In the tiebreaks, he was very solid as well and didn’t give Raonic a sniff of a chance.

  • Murray Officially Overtakes Federer as Djokovic’s Main Rival

When I heard Lendl is back in Murray’s camp I took note. Murray could now be a serious challenge to Djokovic if they met in the Wimbledon final. Djokovic never made the final but this version of Murray could have been a real test.

The 2013 Wimbledon final is not as relevant at this point as Djokovic looked like he was struggling physically but mostly because Djokovic is now a better player. I certainly think it would have been a good contest and was looking forward to it.

I think two big things happened during these championships. One, it became clear that Federer is very unlikely to win any more slams and Murray is very likely to win more slams.

With Federer flat on his face on Friday and the British crowd laughing at him and Murray winning the title today with the British crowd worshiping him I think it signaled a big change at the top of the men’s game.

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And that is the fact that Murray has at last overtaken Federer as Djokovic’s main rival. From 2012-2013 it was Nadal. From 2014-2015 it was Federer. Since the start of 2016, it has been Murray and with him winning Wimbledon it is now official.

Federer was certainly a worthy rival. He pushed Djokovic hard and had several wins over him in smaller events. Until now Murray has not achieved much against Djokovic. He is 10-24 against Djokovic in the head-to-head and lost the last five slam meetings.

But you can certainly see the Lendl version of him being much more competitive against the world #1. By winning Wimbledon he has already closed within 815 points of Djokovic in the race rankings(8040-7225).

That isn’t that much at all. Of course, it didn’t help Djokovic’s case that he lost early at Wimbledon but at least it gave him some much-needed rest time. His dominance since the beginning of 2015 has been unreal and somewhere it was going to catch up with him.

  • What Can We Expect for the Rest of the Season?

This is, of course, an Olympic year so there is quite a bit of tennis left to play. The next big event is the Canada Masters, then the Olympics in Rio, and then Cincinnati and the US Open. I think Djokovic’s break came at a good time.

He already didn’t play any warm-up grass court events before Wimbledon and now he had most of Wimbledon off too. He should be rested to make a strong run toward the end of the year while Murray has played a lot since the beginning of the clay court season.

With the Olympics this year that may catch up with him toward the end of the year. I think it is important for Djokovic to with the US Open this year to shut down any talk of decline before it begins but also to close in some more on Federer’s slam count.

The US Open is now also Murray’s second best slam and he will want to pick up another title there too. I wonder if he will play Canada, Rio, and Cincy. After a long clay and grass court season that may leave him tired for New York.

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We will see. As for Federer, it will be interesting to see how he bounces back as well. He should be fully match-fit again after all his Wimbledon matches but how did that loss to Raonic affect his confidence?

He looked more devastated after that loss than I ever saw him. As for Nadal, he just seems done. I guess he will be back in Canada but I can’t see him being a threat during the US hardcourt season.

Djokovic will be back in Canada as well and then I think he will head to Rio to try and win the Olympic gold in singles. Personally, I care more about him winning Cincy and completing the career Masters.

But Olympic gold sure wouldn’t hurt. But in the end, it is about the slams and I think Djokovic is better on hardcourt than two US Open titles. One becomes greedy when your favorite is winning so much but that would cap off a third 3-slam year as well which would be another great achievement.

  • Highlights

Edit: Murray is apparently 1090 points behind Djokovic in the race, not 815 as I said because 275 points from Davis Cup last year has not been subtracted yet for Murray but they will fall off before the end of the year.

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Posted in Grand Slams, Wimbledon.

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