For Roger Federer it will be his 10th Wimbledon semi-final, for Andy Murray it is his 6th semi-final at Wimbledon. Andy has only made the final on two occasions and of course won the tournament back in 2013, Roger Federer on the other hand has never lost a Wimbledon semi-final throughout his career!
Their last meeting was one to forget for us Andy Murray fans with Murray losing 6-0 6-1 at the World Tour Finals in London which prompted a lot of unfair and harsh criticism of Amelie Mauresmo (Andy Murray’s coach). The match wasn’t pretty and the reaction was a bit over the top however those who criticised Murray and his coaching team have been back tracking over the season.
I always look forward to battles between Roger and Andy. They are two great players and great personalities and always put on a show. Roger currently leads the H2H between the two players 12-11 with Murray not winning any of their last three meetings with his last win the Olympic Final in 2012.
Both players are playing so well at the moment. Federer has improved a bit under Edberg but in all honesty was their much to improve on from a man with 17 Grand Slam titles? Andy in my opinion is playing the tennis of his career right now even better than the tennis we saw in 2012 and 2013.
With both players playing well and winning a title on grass before Wimbledon what could be the things to watch out for in their meeting on Friday?
Murray’s Second Serve
Andy’s second serve is not the best on the tour. I would have said at the start of the year it was a free point for the opponents. The serve did improve as the year went on and was very effective on the clay court. There has been a lot of talk about his second serve at Wimbledon which may be a little unfair. Murray’s second serve did come under attack a few times by Pospisil in the quarter finals. We did see him mix it up a little against Karlovic adding some spin to it and also Murray did at times take a bit of pace off the first serve and added some spin to get it in so Karlovic didn’t get a look at a second serve.
I don’t think Murray should completely change how he serves against Roger. The second serve will get attacked, I think he has to make sure he gets good bounce on it. Murray served a second serve speed at about 87mph throughout his last match, if he could 10mph to it and a bit of spin it could work however you don’t really want to give Federer time on the ad side to run around the forehand to play a backhand cross court and get you on the defensive.
Chip and Charge!
From Murray’s second serve to Roger’s. Roger has added a bit more of serve and volley to his game since Stefan Edberg joined the team. On the second serve it can be a weapon. Federer will be looking for a serve out wide or even down the middle of the service box and will follow it in to try and end the point on the third shot of the serve from a volley at the net.
This can be very effective but against Murray it can be dangerous. Murray is one of the best in the business at playing passing shots and his lob shot is definitely the best on the tour right now. Quite a few players seem to return the serve right at Federer to try and make it awkward for him to play the volley but he is so talented he can do that. Murray definitely has the weapons and the defensive skills to find a way past Roger at the net.
Murray’s two-handed backhand could be quite a decisive weapon for him against Roger.
As shown above the two handed backhand plays into the Federer backhand which we know is a weapon, I think once Murray plays the shot he can afford to stick to his position like he can do against a lot of players, he should be looking at closing the angle at the net. If you close the down the line option at the net it forces Roger’s hand to play a slice backhand cross court to open up that space and as we know Federer can produce shots through the eye of a needle. If you don’t close off the backhand down the line option then he will pick you off.
The two handed backhand from Murray can be an exceptional shot like a bullet speeding through the court and just clipping the outside line forcing the opponent wide. If he can find his rhythm on the shot then he has a good chance.
Move Fed About!
Federer likes to play a fast game and is quick between points something you don’t want as the opponent if you 2 metres behind the baseline and Federer 2 metres inside the baseline bossing rallies.
Federer can go for the forehand cross court of the backhand. He has so many weapons available in this situation and even thought Murray is one of the best defenders defending against Fed can be tough.
Will Murray level the H2H at 12-12 and reach another Wimbledon final or will Federer keep up his record of never losing a Wimbledon semi-final?