There will be no comments from me this year. World and Wimbledon tennis
is now in
good shape, the standards of play are terrific as is the sportsmanship,
the umpiring and line calls are under control, Andy Murray will give it
his all as usual, but this time he really can win. The play we have
seen on the first day is as good as
many a final. The tournament speaks for itself, though, I have to say,
the Tsonga/Domitrov match was ultra.
JUNE 29th 2011
I said there would be no comments from me this year, but when Murray
came out to play Lopez I didn't like the look of him. He looked like a
loser. As I write this he is winning against Lopez, but I now don't see
him beating Tsonga or maybe Nadal. He could, but I don't see the
sporting attitude it needs. Is he hurting? Later, after winning, he
says no more than anyone else; but he's a gloomy chap - you can't be a
Wimbledon champion if you don't enjoy it a little bit more than that.
Well how wrong I was. Andy's attitude playing Nadal was great. He
played wonderfully. But Nadal was Nadal. Somewhere you will find my
comments the first time I saw Nadal play. Then, I didn't see how anyone
would ever stop him. The pressure was relentless and suddenly, Murray's
first serves dropped their success level. He depended on them. Andy
analyzed his own performance perfectly after the match, The next day as
a write this, Liam Broady is about to lose to Saville in the same way
unless he gets his first serve back. HE JUST DID! But it is now 4-2 to
Saville in the final set, with Saville to serve. Deuce....Advantage
Broady... then an AMAZING RALLY and Deuce..... Adv Saville, Game
Saville. My God he had to work for that!
30 all...40-30...Deuce...Adv Saville due unforced error. Saville takes
it. It was the same story as Murray in the same way.
Kvitova takes the Ladies - a really great performance, beating
Sharapova very convincingly in a hard fought match.
We know Federer can lose games he should win. He just won won he should
have lost. Why? Because he has enormous reserves of concetration and
science. Tennis science. On grass, when it is Wimbledon, he will apply
every ounce. I missed the great match he just played but I see that for
the first time he was puffed and sweating at the end. OK, it was a hot
day. The hotter it gets the more Federer has the advantage because he
is a tennis scientist. Having said that, the competition this year is
sensational and there are some young Americans coming through. If he
wins this year his claim to be the greates champion of all time is
valid because he has played against greater opponents, in y view, with
a greater variety of games, than any other man. I think this year we
are expecting too much of him.
The other man on whom the expectations and hopes could lead to stimulus
and pressure leading to triumph or disaster is, of course, Murray. I
like to think he has been experimenting with his game, wirth Wimbledon
the target. We shall see. He is a remarkable player.
JUNE 23rd 2010
Mahut v. Isner - where are these two going? 6 foot 9 inches give's
Isner an advantage and a disadvantage. Mahut is incredible as a
performer under pressure.. His return of serve is better because he is
fitter - amazingly fit. They end the day at 59 games all. But Isner
will not be able to play tomorrow in my view unless his physio is a
JUNE 24th 2010
I was wrong. Isner still didn't have to move to win. His serve plus
amazing strokes when he got to the ball (so many he didn't bother with)
were enough. I am very sorry that Mahut will not now go on towards the
final, as this is a knockout tournament. He is a truly great player. I
am not sure what to make of Isner's game. It depends utterly on doing
brilliant things with the ball when you get to it or have it, every
time, on never losing your serve games when the match is at stake, and
let the rest go hang. That is why the match went on so long and in my
view any match against Isner risks being just as long if his opponent
is as fit and persistent as Mahut. The point is few are!
It was NOT the greatest match ever. It was the most, in many respects,
it was the longest, and quite extraordinary, witrh great tennis
included at all stages, right to the end.
Conclusion: anyone who is going to beat Isner must be prepared to go
long.....or retunr his serves better than Mahut. Is that really
Haase v. Nadal on the other hand is SENSATIONAL tennis. The 4th set,
with Nadal fighting back is real tennins of another order than Isner.
But if Haase collapses under the onslaught that will prove me wrong
about it being a great match. Nadal is looking fitter than ever. He has
got to be a likely winner of Wimbledon this year if he keeps his
It went to 5 sets, it was much more exciting than Mahut/Isner, but in
the end Rafa slaughtered him.
JUNE 25th 2010
John Isner came back to play again today but let's face it, he was
completely knackered and lost. Nuff said, never mind who against. I
shall miss Mahut going on though.
Today, Roddick played superbly to beat Kohlschrieber. He needed all his
speed and his serve to do it, but it showed Roddick in true
championship form, fit psychologically and pohysically. I think we shall see him in the final.
Federer and Nadal notwhithstanding.
Some great womens' tennis going on, both with old favourites and
newcomers. How about Henin and Clljsters coming up!
With every great match on TV, recordable, every tennis player can learn
for free from the best. Every technique of Federer's play is there to
be studied, in slow motion, by every player. Federer has trained his
JUNE 26th 2010
Murray goes through in top form, using the full arsenal. Nadal goes
through but he has a couple of injuries. he will need his day's rest..
JUNE 28th 2010
Federer v, Melzer
This game does not get off to a fluent start. Federer is winning but
not playing well. If Meltzer playes better, Federer will too. Federer
takes the first set but by hal way through the second set I have to say
this is poor tennis. I missed the rest but Federer says he played well.
Since he won, I guess it can't have been that bad, and other
commentators thought it was good. Oh well, I will shut up but for me,
in spite of the score he'll have to do better.
Clijsters and Henin took a set and half to warm up, Clijsters out to
lunch, then BAM the game was on! What a change. Clijteres took the
secoind set and Henin fights back. But Clijsters takes the match
Sharapova fought very bravely indeed against Serena Williams. Some
crashing seconds serves. I hate the noise and refused to watch her for
the last twon years but this was brave stuff. Nevertheless she lost. A
Now if Murray can beat Querrey, that will be some match. It's asking a
hell of a lot. If he's at his best, he can. He is the better player.
It's a great start but at set point Murray gets nerves. However, he
recovers, takes the set and takes charge in the second set. Querrey
fights back - GREAT TENNIS!
Murray's variety is staggering. And his whole demeanour is right for a
He takes the second set 6-3. Moving really well, chases every ball. He
needs to do better on his first serves though..
He did, but Querrey fought like a lion. Andy took the last set though
with real intelligence. An intelligent game, played with great energy.
Great defence, wonderful backhand slice and topspin..
Goodness me. Yen-Hsun Lu has beaten Andy Roddiclk who I expected to see
in the final ! That gfives Lu a chance in m y book.
JUNE 29th 2010
Pironkova! A name to conjure with now. She set the tone for the match
with Venus and won it. Power and great reactions. And LESS NOISE!! I am
with her all the way to the final!"
JUNE 30th 2001
Earlier on I said Federer was playing badly this year (for Federer that
is). I stand by that. He's going donw to Berdich, in spite of the fact
that his return of serve is better. Federer is missing so many shits
and his first serve is not getting in.
It's ridiculous really because if Federer gets his first serve in,
Berdych can almost never get it back, It would be a certain win for
Federer. But Federer's first serve is almost NEVER in this match! And
the rest of F'a play is hopelessly erratic.
3:46pm BST - It's all over. Berdych played well, Federer was PANTS.
Well, I did think we were asking too much of him this year but I
expectd a better showing than that. Murray would have absolutely
thrashed him on that form!.Could it be that Federer, in the back of his
subconscious mind, was hoping NOT to beat Murray, OR to lose to him?
Not a single commentator is saying Federer played badly. Why? It was
bloody awful! THE ANSWER IS HE IS IN PAIN: LEGS, BACK and OLD AGE!
Now it's Murray v. Tsonga. This will be really tough. No prediction
other than it could be a long one.
Half way through the first set the standard of play is very high. Great
aggression from Tsonga, great serves, play and running from Murray.
Either of these would have thrashed Roger F on his current form. Boris
Becker, usually a good judge, has just said "the real match hasn't
started yet" - how very, very wrong he is. It started in the first
game. Boris, wake up!
It goes to Tie-break in the first. Tsonga takes it 7-5 with brilliant
serves and play. All is not lost for Murray, but it's really tough. I
think Murray could and must tsake the second set and start to dominate.
5:10pm BST - He does, but Tsonga manages to hold his serve in the 4th
game. and breaks back in the 5th. He's pretty cool. Murray has problems
for the first time with serve and unforced errors. But he comes back
and takes his next service game to love.
5 games all; 6-5 to Murray.....after a struggle....6 all tie-break.
MURRAY TAKES IT BY A SQUEAK and makes for the loo!!!!!!
Meantime Nadal has come back and could win his match on court 2 against
Soderling. He leads 2 sets to 1.and looks like a winner.
Back with Murray and he beaks Tsonga in the 3rd game of the 3rd set.
Tsonga is fit and powerful but Murray has trhe speed.
6:08pm and into the 4th game....Tsonga nearly beeaks back! Murray stops
it but only with brilliance at the net!
MURRAY TAKES THE 5th GAME WITH SUPERB PLAY AGAINDST TSONGA's
SERVE. CHAMPION PLAY!!!
Murray takes the set 6-2 but has to fight like hell for the last game.
6:30pm MURRAY LEADS 2 to 1
He breaks a tired Tsonga in the first game!!
He takes th first 4 games, it looks like a wipeout but with great play
Tsonga wins his serve in the 5th.
At the last minute Tsonga wins his serve with great play to make Andy
serve out the match at 6-2 in the final set..
A GREAT MATCH! GREAT SPORT! GREAT TENNIS!!!!
Now he has to beat Nadal. Ooff!
JULY 1st 2010
I know Pironkova is too young and inexperienced but I still believed
she could come back in set 3 to beat Zvonoreva. One day I hope to see
Pironkova win Wimbledon, in beautiful silence!!
Now Kvitova is a left-hander. And very tall. She has a chance against
Serena. But if Serena gets mad....!
First set goes to tie-break - quite a fight, Serena's serve finally
wins it. Kvitova could still take second set, but if Serena raises
She does. Could win women's singles once again!
JULY 2nd 2010
Two great matches today:
Murray v. Nadal - Rafa is world No1, on form, enough said. To beat him
will be amazing.
Berdych v. Djokovic - Berdych looks like a winner. He has the
temperament and the physique. He could take the chanpionship at the
final. But D is a powerful player.
Just as an aside, I repeat my opinion that offering equal prize money
for the ladies is a pathetic pretence of politcal correctness and will
remain so until they play the same number of games to win.
Back to Berdych - in my book he has every quality required of a
Wimbledon and World Champion. Although 6ft 5ins tall he has the speed
to hold Nadal and a coolness of judgement to equal Federer at his past
2:27pm - it looks like he could take the first two sets.
Its 6 all in the tie-break after fantastic defence by Djokovic. D is so
tough, it is amazing. But even if he wins the second set he surely
can't win the match. B's return of serve is so good.
Now 9 all! D double-faults and it's 2 sets to B.
If there is one
type of shot that will win this tournament for Berdych it is his
horizontal backhand low slice on-the-run. With this, he returns fast,
deep balls that would trip most players up, and sends them back with a
spin that is liable to skew the opponent's return out of court unless
they play it safe.
Now for it: Andy v. Rafa. They will
both get huge support for the spectators. They are both at the top of
I predict a really great match from the very beginning
Murray makes one mistake at 4 games all and Rafa pounces!! 5-4 and
Nadal is suddenly serving for the set. Up till then, Murray was doing
M fights back! So nearly gets to Deuce but no.... 1st set suddenly lost.
Murray had 5 aces, Nadal none, he could have taken that set but Nadal's
'pounce' was just brilliant.
Murray can come back though. Takes first game of 2nd set to love on
serve. By 2 games to one it is clear that Murray is playing best, as he
did in the first set. You can play better than your opponent and still
lose if the points you win are not the critical ones!! SO NEAR TO
A BREAK AT 2-1 but no! Though M leads 3-2 again after another love game.
2 break points for Murray at 4-3. Loses one, put off by crowd on serve
return. Loses second after rally. Deuce....Adv Nadal (brilliant play by
N) Back to deuce after brilliant play by Murray. Adv N.... Game N - 4-4
now.... 5-4 Murray (easy)....5-5....6-5 Murray (great play, a cracking
ace included!)...6-6 after great play by Nadal.
Tie-break: 1 to M; 2 to M (BRILLIANT RETURN!) 2-1 M (Nadal great
play); 2-2 after rally; 3-2 M great forehand down the line at
last!; 3-3 GREAT PLAY!;
4-3 to N; 4-4 after M's ace; 5-4 aafter second M ace; 5-5 after
unbelievable play by both! 6-5 to M after N's serve fails under
6-6!!! N brilliance! 7-6 N, tactical winner; then N takes it. He
got lucky but deserved it.
CAN MURRAY COME BACK? Tennis-wise yes. Pressure-wise? Who can say if he
will. He can. He can beat Nadal.
5:43pm BST - Murray breaks N in the first game of the 3rd set.
At 4-3, Murray serving, Nadal tries to break back...... 30
all.....Deuce....after several chances Nadal takes it and breaks
In the end Nadal wins, by never giving up on anything and eventually
Andy, who won more points (I think, or at least as many) in the match
than Nadal and was the better
server AND the better returner of serve, made his errors on the
critical seconds of the game. Although Rafa won in three straight sets
it was a really close match and a really great one.
Nadal v. Berdych
could be extraordinary!
JULY 3rd 2010
I didn't watch the Ladies Final as it was a foregone conclusion. Talk
about easy money. I refer to my previous opinion. At £1 million
It's a RACKET.
Good news for young British tennis is the all-British final of the boys
doubles. Lewis Burton and George Burton will play Tom Farquharson and
Some of the UK
tabloids do not seem to understand what a great match Andy Murray
played. It was terrific play. He handled the pressure. He can win a
grand slam one day!
JULY 4th 2010
Rafa wins in
straight sets but he had ro work hard for the second one. Not an
exciting match, Berdich was put on the defensive a bit. But it was not
a walkover. The simple triuth is that the world No1 was at the top of
his form and when he needed to he piled on the pressure with a
suddenness and remorselessness that was irresistable. A worthy winner
and a hugely popular one, with a performance that gave added
credibility to Andy Murray's efforts two days ago.
Very sad that Nadal is
temporarily disabled, but it gives a chance of a final of Murray v.
Federer. It would be good if Murray won as it has been a long time
for Britain, but to get to the final means he is good enough
and it will be a great game if he gets there.
When it comes to the women,
until they stop shrieking (which
they call grunting) I am not interested. Any player should be allowed
to call a let if they are put off by 'grunting' and the umpire should
allow an appeal, up to 6 times in any game. In addition, the referee
put a limit on the volume of any 'grunting' as gauged by a machine and
insist the point be replayed the first time and lost the second and
subsequent. [Post script July
2nd - Dementieva-S.Williams match grunt-level is just about acceptable,
as it is low, regular, matched or proportionate to the
circumstance and does not interfere with the game or
the pleasure of watching their great play]
The ridiculous French girl who says she will do whatever she
wants, as she is an individual player playing an individual game,
has a lot to learn. She needs people to play against, people to make
balls and rackets, make and maintain courts and a public who want to
see her and pay, and we don't. he will go nowhere and in the meantime
she should shut up.
Britain's Robson's racquet play is good, she played well and could have
won but has to be much quicker off the mark at the back of the court.
She had better not start grunting, she doesn't need it. Her great serve
went off at the end, but she is definitely a possible great player. At
age 15, that was good stuff.
June 23 2009
I think Murray will win this round but my God, Kendrick has some
and some great moments. If he were to really give himself to the sport,
he could be a great player. Quite a guy. He has studied Murray's game
Murray wins, but Kendrick put up a great fight. He expected every ball
to come back, no matter how good his strike. Murray also had some great
moments, the crowd had their money's worth, He will have to make
fewer mistakes though to win Wimbledon.
JUNE 24th 2009
Laura Robson and partner
Georgie Stoop beat fellow British pairing Jade Curtis and Anna Smith
13-11 in the deciding set. Now that's tennis, ladies, absolutely first
class. As for Sharapova, thank God she's out of it. It's tennis, not a
shouting match and the crowd were with Dulko all the way.
JUNE 25th 2009
2:00 pm If Lleyton Hewitt continues to play as well as this
he could beat Federer and take the Wimbledon title, of that there is no
doubt. But to continue at this level would be truly amazing. Del Potro
is bringing the best out of him. Its a pairing that may not happen
again in the tournament. Of course in a while Del Potro may show us
something equally stunning and prove me wrong.
3:45pm Del Potro did show us something stunning, a spirit and
talent to never give up. He made Hewitt serve for the match more than
once and fail. But he did not prove me wrong, Hewitt showed real tennis
science and great foot work. He will make a worthy adversary for
Federer this year.
7:00 pm Murray has picked up his game and won smoothly against
Gulbis, with good play, good tactics and an effective way of turning a
defensive backhand slice into an attacking backhand slice. Andy must
bear in mind that it was UNforced errors that really lost the match for
Gulbis and unnerved him, taking the edge off his attack. Admittedly
they looked unforced, but in fact they were often because Murray broke
the rhythm and speed, which left Gulbis uncertain how hard to strike.
Clever stuff, and Andy's forehand cross-courts were killers.
JUNE 27th 2009
6:10 pm For some reason the commentators feel Murrays's win
against Troicki is a foregone conclusion. I do not. It will not be easy.
6:37 pm Murray has taken the first set with brilliant,
intelligent play. He had a plan to beat this guy, he is putting it into
action. I am incredibly impressed. This man is really a tennis-player.
7:05 pm Second set in the bag, despite attempts from Troicki to fight
back. M's return of serve is wonderful. He is playing carefully, and
that way, with some brilliant aces to help, he can win. He will need a
different game against Hewitt though.
7:46 pm Murray takes the third set, though in the penultimate
game, Troicki showed some form which, if he had played like that
earlier, could have made it another story. He took it in straight
points. Instead in this last set, Andy showed techniques capable of
matching and beating both Hewitt and Federer, which is good, as he will
need to do just that before Wimbledon 2009 is over.
JUNE 29 2009
4:00 Sadly Lleyton Hewitt seems to be damaged. He has lost his form and
Stepanek is playing a brilliant game. H has lost the first set 6-4 and
I think he going down in the second. No way he can win Wimbledon now,
evem if he wins this match which looks unlikely.
5:40 Hewitt has fought back and taken the third set 6-1. But his
match against the brilliant Stepanek depenss on him gettinhg his first
serve IN, and coming up with his utterly brilliant return of serve
REGULARLY. If Hewitt plays hos best, he is just bloody amazing. But can
e do it, for two more sets and the rest of Wimbledon. He has fought
his way back from 2 sets down several times in his career.. Stepanek is
a really interesting opponent. This is tennis to bring a lump in the
throat. I think it will bring the crowd to its fee before the day is
6:18 Hewitt takes the fourtth 6-2. Curiously he does not have the
patience to win all the long rallies, even though there are not that
many. But he has tired out Stepanek and his moral is on the bounce. His
speed is dazzling.
6:22 He breaks Stepanek in the first game of the final set! "He strikes
like Thunderball!" Stepanek's footwork, balletic up to now, falters.
And yes, Hewitt wins convicingly.
Now, we have to see if Murray can use his great return of serve to hold
back the sheer force of Wawrinka, and use his intelligence to
outwit his combination of force and control on all his shots. Wawrinka
has a killer backhand.
I could be wrong, but there is a moment when Murray, in the second set,
did a good drop-shot. The only reply possible we another dropshot, and
Murray failed to realise this. That for me indicates the pressure has
got to Murray and he could go down. He has to hold his nerve. If he
does, he can still do it as he is learning Wawrinka's game minute by
He holds his nerve.
He takes the second set, 6-3, convincingly.
It is 8:00 pm, one set all, the roof is on, what can go wrong now?
There can be no light problem.
Wawrinka ups his game.
He fights like Hewitt! But he does not get his first serves in...
He only just holds his serves sometimes when his first serve fails...
8:40 pm Then he BREAKS Wawrinka in the 7th game!
His first serve improves. To win Wimbledon, he will need his first
serve every time. Ah, thanks MacEnroe, you have just said it. His will
and speed and genius which have saved him here so far are not enough.
8:47 pm 2 sets to 1
9:10 pm Wawrinka is tired. Murray should win eventually now, but W is
good, there is no doubt about that.
It's 4-3 at 9:20 pm and both player are playing HARD! Great,
9:29 pm....4-4 Now it is a battle of wills for this set and for
Murray, the match.
5-4 to Andy but Wawrinka starts acing. It's 5-5 even though Andy fights
But after a struggle it's 6-5 Wawrinka!
He takes the set with an ace.
There have been moments in this match when it looked like Murray had
complete control, but W always came back!
In the final set, Murray serves and holds, then breaks W from love 40.
Then holds with brilliant play. Huge.
But he must try to break EVERY serve.
10:18 Wawrinka breaks back to make it 3-2 to Murray but W
He's acing again to 40 love, 40-15, game - 3 games all
But Murray breaks back and ends up serving for the match at 5-3
He wins, but what a sodding fight! Wawrink was the steadier, better
player in many respects but Murray had more genius
JULY 1st 2009
The commentators have been brilliant up till now with their analysis
but today none of them spotted the real depth of Federer's strategy. I
hesitate even to reveal it here. Suffice to say luck did not play a
part in Federer taking the first 2 sets. It is possible he could have
taken them another way, with the expenditure of immense effort and a
risk of failing. As it was he took them with a trick of strategy so
cunning I would almost call it cruel. He refused to combat Karlovic's
strengths and let the Croatian waste them, winning serve after serve
while Federer never revealed his game. Until he decided to fight that
serve and win, taking it early, and then fight the point no holds
barred. he only did it on rare, vital occasions.
Now, after the first 2 sets, Karlovic will have seen the light. Indeed
he has remived his glasses. In one sense Federer will have a harder
time in the third set as the velvet gloves will have come off. He
cannot afford to lose a service game or make any mistakes on the
crucial breaks. He should win, because Karlovic is a really limited
tennis player, but his physical advantages of reach and strength of
serve are still terrifying.
2:45 pm, At 5 sets all Federer aims to break, revealing he can take the
serves but fails. It will be a tie break! Feerer could possibly lose
2:54 It's a tie break, but Karlovic is let's face it, a terrible,
gigantic tennis player up against a maestro. After the match Federer is
very careful not to talk about his strategy at all. Very wise. There
are more games to play. This was a match like no other but there are
elements that apply.....
3:00 pm Now Murray is back on court to face Ferrero. Both looking very
fit. I make no predictions but Murray CAN win and SHOULD win. The
weather could favour Ferrero. McEnroe is back on commentary - good.
After 5 games, Murray could have broken twice but failed to take
advantage. he has allowe Ferrero to get his game going. Now Murray will
have to win against an opponent whose morale could have been crushed
early but is up and running. Murray is serving well, but he looks
depressed and knackered. It is a hot, heavy day.
Finally at 5 games all, Murray breaks. He will have to do a lot better
to win Wimbledon.
In the second set Ferrero breaks early due to unforced errors by
impatient Murray, and then holds.
Eventually Murray breaks back and it's 4-3, but it's due to faults by
At last Murray gets his great return of serve going, cuts out the
unforced errors. About time!
The combination brings us to 5-3 to Murray, then he takes the next 20
points and the set.
Was this strategy, like Federer in match logged just above? No, it was
mistakes and it could have lost him the set if he had not woken up, and
it depended on Ferrero losing it at a key moment.
Set 3, Murray is now awake thank goodness. It's a fight, with
Murray on top, just.
At last some great tennis. including a Murray point so good it made
Ferrero smile! The game's afoot!!
Murray playing well. Breaks with hard work to make it 3-2, 4-2, 5-2,
6-2 He is through to the semi!!!
Now McEnroe thinks Murray would rather face Hewitt than Roddick. In one
way I disagree. In his current form, if he beats Roddick, Hewitt is a
greater threat to Andy. On the other hand, if Roddick beats Hewitt, it
will mean Roddick is in top form so that's bad news too!
5:24 pm Roddick is one set up, its a tie break in the second. Roddick
relies too much on aces. Hewitt is the marginally better player, but he
could lose this set as well. I hope not, he is an amazing player.
5:32 pm - it's 6 all, then 7-6 Hewitt, 7-7, 8-7 Roddick, 8-8, 9-8
Hewitt, 9-9 (amazing rally), 10-9 Roddick, 10-10, 11-10 Hewitt, SET TO
HEWITT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 sets all.
The third set went with serve, some great tennis, but Hewitt lost it in
the tie break
In the fourth set Roddick holds an early lead from a break. I will make
If Hewitt wins this (now unlikely?) he will win the Championship (unless
groin injury gets him). If Roddick wins, he could win the Championship.
Whatever happens, Federer and Murray will have one hell of a fight to
win it against either of these two in their current form, but Federer
should beat Roddick. Murray will be pushed to beat Hewitt.
7:00 pm Hewitt in classic form has broken back two games ago, now
we are at 5-4 to Hewitt, Andy serving. Hewitt has been acing well.
Andy's serve is faltering slightly. Hewitts returns are crackers - HE
TAKES THE SET - IT IS 2 SETS ALL
The final set will either break Hewitt down or prove he is up for the
rest of the Championship providing not injured.
It looks good for Hewitt but then....
Roddick breaks to make it 5-4, 40-30, Game, set, match. If Murray can
win against Roddick when he is serving this well, and the rest of his
game not at all bad.... well he can, because Roddick's return of really canny serving is NOT GOOD.
JULY 02 2009
Today, Dementieva v. S.Williams. My server is offline as a
power-failure has taken out the entire server centre, so there will be
no detailed account and I have other work. But this is terrific tennis.
I would like to see Dementieva v Venus in the final, as in my view they
are today's greatest players.
Dementieva has improved her serve which was the weak spot. Maybe next
4:04 pm It will have to be next year, as this time Serena somehow
managed to hold on and win through in a match where most of the time
she was losing. The match made me change my mind about prize money for
the womens game. This was staggeringly good, by far the best women's
match I have ever seen. I don't expect Venus v Safina to be as good.
5:15 pm Well, that was a waste of time, it was not a match. It is a
pity we won't see Dementieva in the final as the Williams-Williams
final is just eetertainment. If Serena gets mad enough she might win,
if Venus doesn't get mad at all she might lose. Dementieva just might have won.
5:27 Ah, for the first time I hear it from the commentators.
"Dementieva outplayed Serena for most of the match". She did indeed.
JULY 03 2009
I was amazed he beat Hewitt, I thought
Hewitt would beat Roddick, Murray and possibly Federer. Now Murray has
to beat a fired up, experienced challenger bent on victory AND the
greatest living Wimbledon champion. He would need some extraordinary
luck as well as amazing play to do that. Surely not possible to beat
both unless, which is just possible, they lose their nerve in the
presence of the home crowd and Murray just has the edge on speed and
return of serve.
The first thing to note is the QUALITY of the Haas serve. The power we
take for granted, but the placement, variety and control is exceptional
on first and second alike.
The second thing is: will Federer use what I now see as his strategy to the full (see his last
match against a great server, recorded above)? The answer is YES, and
he needs to! He comes to the tie break without a bead of sweat or even
a deep breath and just takes the first set, even with the odd
mistake - and brilliant play from Haas.
In the second set we see serve and volley in great style. No breaks of
2:20 Still no breaak, 4-4
Federer has a set point but fails, it goes to 5-5, 6-5 Federer, and
then some GREAT PLAY from both. Deuce...
Adv Federer, fantastic rally, GAME FEDERER, so good Tommy Haas smiles,
you just have to. It's a privilege to lose a point to this guy. The
serve from Haas was great but
Federer just decided he was going to take that point and fought it
through a great rally.
Third set, Federer back into the strategy. No sweat, take your chances
but let Tommy win his serves if he really deserves them. Federer is
using these games to practise a few particular attacking shots more
than defense, but only when he chooses to and to make sure he never
loses his own serve. He sees if he can break Tommy, gets close, but
will not exhaust himself trying or reveal his hand.
Federer breaks 5-3 - more correct to say Haas broke, he just could not
keep up the perfection needed. Federer takes the last game in seconds,
the set and the match. The really frightening thing is that even though
the weather wrmed up at the end, Federer never broke sweat or got even
mildly breathless. He took the last game skipping around like a lamb.
NOW, MURRAY-RODDICK. There could be some sweat and breathing here!
I think I can see how Roddick could lose if Murray uses the Federer
strategy. He has learned a lot from Federer. If he has learned the
Federer strategy as well, he could win this match. But he must hold his
4:06 pm 4-4, Roddick serving. So far Andy has had some good
moments, and some less good. Roddick take this game t love based on his
serve. Murray comes out fighting in the next game but Roddick fights
back to 30 all., 30-40 and BREAKS. Roddick one that by superb play to
beat good play from Murray. The set is lost, much as I feared.
We must now hope the Murray dander is up!!!!
My God, it is, he goes
to break Roddick in the first game and he does!! If only he had
not let the first set go!
Now he has to HOLD SERVE. The Federer strategy is his only hope. He is
doing well, brimming in confidence now. Why the hell does he have to
lose a set to get fired up? Don't know, but he does. Roddick is fired
up anyway and taking his serve games to love. Murray holds....just.
Roddick holds, easily. Murray MUST now hold at 5-4 to win the second
set. He reaches 40:15 with great play despite poor serves and then
ACES! ONE SET ALL!!!
SET 3 - Roddick is down 0-40 in the first game but fights back and
17 stroke rally...Murry wins. Then fires up to make sure of service
But in the 4th game its deuce, then Adv Roddick, deuce, Adv Roddick
with dropshot, Game Roddick
Can Murray break back?
Not for the moment
wrong was Murrays first serve. When he gets it in, Roddick cnnot cope,
ut he was not getting it in,
Roddick serves for the set but Murray takes him to love 40, 15-40, BREAKS BACK
Murray ACES then fluffs twice then ACES to take the game. 5 all,
Roddick to serve
TIE BREAK - Murray
manages 3 aces in a row to recover to set point, Roddick to serve. Luck
goes against Murray though
6 all Roddick to serve, 7-6, set point to Roddick, and Murray
retrieves, 7 all, then mis-hits. Roddick serves and takes the set.
Roddick won that, Murray didn't lose it. But can he now win TWO SETS?
The 4th set goes to Tie Break
But Roddick realy does deserve a Wimbledon final, and he deserves THIS
How strange that none of the commentators have picked up the simple
fact that if Andy had got more first serves in he would have won, it's
as simple as that. Ah, finally Tim Henman has pointed it out. Thanks
July 04 2009
Venus has had too easy a ride to the final. Serena has had her game
honed by Dementieva. That means that unless Venus gets coolly fired up
and it does not go to nerves, Serena will take it.
Yup, there's no beating Serena when she's fired up and in top practice.
That will make Dementieva feel a lot better, she has proved she had
championship mettle, style and capability.
Tomorrow, money's on Federer but he will have to have work for it.
This was an excellent match. Stosur and Stubbs (aged 40) were in top
form. Venus had been warmed up by losing the singles, but Serena was a
bit off after her winning effort. Eventually both sisters got it
together and won with some force against very talented and stubborn
JULY 05 2009
Off we go, at a high standard straight away. If Federer science applies
it will go with serve, but with Roddick expending twice the energy and
Federer will strike at 5 all or the tie-break, unless he gets an
opportunity earlier when of course he will go for it flat out. There is
also the 'Federer Surprise' attack when he will run like hell to win a
rally that has taxed his opponent, which may come into play at a
psychological moment. Federer Tennis Science and disguise permeates his
game. But Roddick has worked on all his own weaknesses, so this will be
a really tough match. Roddick's serve is like a cannon and the aces are
coming. He is looking as cool as Federer.
2:35 5 games all. Federer goes for the break as I
predicted, Roddick replies with bodyline. 30-40 break point Federer,
deuce, adv Roddick, deuce (great pass), adv Federer, deuce, adv
Federer, JUST OUT, deuce, adv Federer, desuce, adv Roddick (bad for
Federer that, not in the plan!) YES. Roddick wins the game. That is not
in the Federer plan A at all. He hit three great shots which were just
out over the base-line, each of which would have won the match, and
were not difficult to do. Alarm bells for Federer. He has lost all his
2:50 RODDICK BREAKS and WINS THE SET.
The big difference in this match is this time Roddick has set out to
win Wimbledon, before he had never believed he would get further than
get to the final. He has decided from way back to plan to win this
match by preparation and Federer knows it.
I expected Federer to go to plan B and try an early break in the second
set but NO! He is still on plan A. Roddick aces regularly.
5 games all, but to win the last serve Federer had to really wake up
and play his best, which he has NOT been doing. Roddick was playing at
Federer standard in a great rally. Federer is meeting his match. I
would not put any money on Federer now to win, as Roddick has learned
Federer's tricks and has a cannonball serve and the will to win. He
does not bother to challenge calls he could have won!
TIE BREAK - 143mph Roddick - Federer is going down!
Unbelievably he doesn't, but it's luck as well as a good serving by
Federer and tiny loss of nerve by Roddick that allows Federer to fight
back from set point against him with six points in a row. I still think
Roddick can win now, and in my opinion he deserves to win. Today he is,
so far, the better player and not just because of his serves. He is
outplaying Federer using Federer-class shots. But can he keep it up???
4:14pm TIE BREAK Federer rises to the occasion, gets to 5-1, then
5-2, 5-3, 6-3(brilliant!), 6-4, 6-5 Federer to serve...
he takes it with brilliant serve and volley, Roddick's return was
the best possible, it was a really well fought tiebreak.
In that last set it was even money provided Roddick does not miss his
4:20 pm FEDERER LEADS 3 sets to ONE - Roddick could still win. He
deserves to actually.
4:35 Roddick breaks after he plays well and Federer plays
BADLY. 3-1 Roddick
Becker comments "I have seen
Roger play better" - that's putting it mildly, and Andy is playing at
Federer's top level.
4:48 pm Roddick is holding and he is not tired!
4:50 pm Roddick serves for the set at 5-3.
0-15, 0-30 (great return), 15-30, 30-30, 40-30(Federer) fails on
killer GAME RODDICK - 2 sets all
Federer will use a different strategy now. Every game will be a break
target to drain Roddick dry.
Roddick just saves the break points in hs first serve-game. No problems
in the next, but neither has Federer.
The fact is Federer is fluffing some of his otherwise ungettable
passes. The 'control' is not at its best. He has served more aces than
Roddick, but that is because he returns some of what for Roddick would
otherwise be an ace.
5:22 pm Roddick serves to make it 5:5 40-0, Game no problem.
6 games all, play is even, at 7-6 Federer had chances to break and win
but fluffed them. At 7-7 he only just saves 3 set points.
6:01 pm Deuce but Roddick aces, the holds 11-11
Federer aces the next game. 45 aces. That's 45 serves Roddick has not
attempted to reach.
Federer has had 100 winning shots. what has filed him is what he
usually does easily. He has missed his key strokes in match-play.
Weird. And Andy had not let him off any of this poor play.
6:15 pm Again, Federer almost breaks but Andy holds to 13 all.
But Federer is not sweating and his game is improving. He sails through
his next service game. But he fails again to kill and its 14 all, the
14-15 Roddick serving to survive.
0-15, 0-30, 15-30(ace), 30-30, 40-30, Deuce, Adv R., Deuce, Adv
Federer, my God, he's won. He got the second set by luck, but at the
end he earned it.
On reflection, it is good for Federer that he had a really good
challenger today. If he had not had a touch of luck in the middle, and
got his best game going at the end, he could have lost. As it is, he
really earned all the records he has now broken.
at Melbourne Park. Never mind last night's admission from a beaten and
peeved Roger Federer that he had "created a monster" of pressure and
expectation by winning all those previous grand slams. The real
Godzilla at the Australian Open yesterday was Novak Djokovic's
semi-final performance to defeat the world No 1 over three astonishing
Robson, 14, overpowered the 17-year-old Slovakian in the first set
and dropped just four points on her own serve.
The Londoner made more mistakes at the start of the second set
but recovered from going a break down to seal an impressive 6-2 7-5