WIMBLEDON 2015 – My highlights: Day Eleven
First up, the world no. 1 Novak Djokovic vs Richard Gasquet. Gasquet had a nice run at Wimbledon, he defeated 2015 French Open Champ Stan Wawrinka in an epic 5 setter to reach the semi-final. In the battle of beautiful backhands, he was mentally stronger, and a more patient player. Novak showed some vulnerability in the match against Kevin Anderson, trailing 2 sets to love, he made a miraculous comeback to win in 5. The question was, what could Richard do to stop Novak form reaching another final at Wimbledon? Well, for starters, hold his own serve. He was quickly broken by Novak in his first service game but managed to break back straight away and push the set into a tiebreak. In the tiebreak Gasquet lost a mini break right at the beginning but broke back to level 2-2, and that was his last point, the first set went to Novak 7:6(2). In the second set, all Novak needed to do was to secure one break to win it 6:4. In the 3rd Gasquet had the disadvantage of serving second and thus had to fight for every service game coming form behind. He was broken by Novak and was 3-5 down, Richard showed some fighting spirit and held to 4-5 only to watch serve it out, and ending the match with a clean forehand winner. As beautiful as Richard's game is it was simply no match for Novak today. He served better, returned better, and covered the court better. And you wouldn't expect anything less form the world no. 1.
In the second match of the day, 1 time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray vs 7-time Wimbledon champ Roger Federer. Their most memorable meetings between the two on grass took place at Wimbledon in 2012 – Roger won his 7th title, and we watched Andy Murry break into tears. Just a few weeks later, this time at the Olympics, Andy came back to Wimbledon with a belief that he could actually defeat the mighty Roger and claim a gold medal. And he did. Then in 2013 he won Wimbledon against Novak, to become a first British player to do so in 77 years, but that's a story for another time. Andy has shown during his career that he's very much capable of beating the best – Roger, Novak, Rafa. Today, however, there was nothing he could do. I haven't seen Roger play this well in a while, in that semi-final match everything was working – backhand, forehand, drop shots, he was moving very fast, and THAT serve – unbelievable accuracy and consistency. Unbreakable. Andy had the disadvantage of serving second and was broken in the 1st set to give Roger 7:5 lead. And he didn’t played badly, but it felt like he had to fight for every point, every service game. In the 2nd set he was again serving second and fighting for every point at 4:5 down he managed to hold serve to level it to 5:5 in one of the most epic service games of the set – 14 and a half minutes full of breathtaking and spectacular shot making. On set point, when Andy was 5:6 down he sent the ball into the net and gave Roger the second set 7:5. In the 3rd set story was very similar, both played extremely well but it was again Andy under pressure to hold at 4:5 down, at 30:40 he sent a forehand long and saw his dream fly away with it. It was the highest quality gentlemen’s match I've seen so far. Accuracy, shot making, serving – Roger delivered a master class on Centre Court to secure himself a place in the final. Andy played a good match, a very good match even, but when Roger is staring down at you from the other side of the net, even your best might just not be enough.
Gentlemen's final will be played on Sunday.