Saturday, July 04, 2009

Wimbledon Final Preview: A One-Sided Contest?

Just how unlikely is an Andy Roddick victory over Roger Federer in tomorrow's Wimbledon final?

Let's look at the stats.

Federer has an 18-2 record against Roddick (18-3 if you count an exhibition match in 2007). Federer has beaten Roddick three times at Wimbledon, dropping a total of one set in those victories. His 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 thrashing of Roddick at the 2007 Australian Open semi finals was one of the all time great performances and caused this hilarious press conference. All signs point to a straight sets thrashing.

Does Roddick have any hope?

Well, the last two times they met, at Madrid and Miami, Roddick took Federer the distance. But this was during Federer's four-month slump when he didn't win a single title. Roddick's performance against Murray was extremely impressive, not just because of his serve, which everyone knows is a threat, but becausehe was able to slug it out with Murray from the back of the court.

Federer's game peaked in the semi final against Tommy Haas. A scoreline of 7-6, 7-5, 6-3 may fool some into thinking that the match was close. Tommy Haas played brilliantly yet he did not have a single break point on Federer's serve. Federer's stats were astounding: His first serve percentage was around 75% and he won 90% of those points. He won 80% of points on his second serve, hit 49 winners and only 15 unforced errors.

I like Roddick, I really do. He has charm, humour, charisma and an awesome serve. A lesser man would have dropped out of the Top 20 after the mental damage Federer has inflicted on him. For him to regularly make quarters and semis and stay close to the top five is not something to be scoffed at. It's great to see him get another shot at a grand slam. But even he knows this is a step too far. If he thought he had a shot against Federer he would not have cried after beating Murray. Guys who think they can win slams don't cry tears of joy after winning semis.

Every set will be hard fought and Roddick might take Federer into a tie break or two. Given his fantastic tie break record this year (something like 25-5), Roddick may even win a set. But he is not going to be Wimbledon champion.

On a side note, since 2004 only three men have played in a Wimbledon final. I thought that was a pretty interesting stat.

9 comments:

Ali said...

roddick's tie breaker record this year is (26-4)

though i want him to win, but its highly improbable. Federer is in a sublime form.

Kalsoom said...

I hope it's an upset. Those finals are always more fun to watch.

Kalsoom said...

Addendum: painful for most, fun for me. I'm rooting for the underdog.

karachi khatmal said...

roddick wins first set - well it could still end up one-sided, so half your prediction stil holds true

Asfandyar said...

kk:

if only roddick hadn't bottled that volley. :(

bubs said...

Wow that was some choke in the tie breaker. As Steve Waugh would say to him, "Andy, you just threw away Wimbledon."

Anonymous said...

One sided..eh?

Asfandyar said...

God I feel so bad for Roddick. Federer's quite the smug twat too isn't he, and even though I don't think he shone today he is a living legend. End of.

Ali said...

omg.. i feel like crying.. i rooted for roddick all the way.. that 2nd set tie-breaker from 6-2 to 6-8.. really drained roddick mentally, he had the match :'(