Federer proves he’s the main man once again!

12 months ago Roger Federer fell down on centre court at Wimbledon in defeat to Milos Raonic in the semi-finals unfortunately he then missed the remaining 6 months of the season but what has happened since is quite remarkable.

As you get older you are meant to slow down and the end of your career is getting closer right now he just keeps getting better.

When Roger fell last year and missed 6 months you wouldn’t blame him for potentially calling it a day especially at this point it had been a long four years without a major title but he believed, adapted and won again.

When it matters the most he is the main man on the tour this year. Melbourne, Indian Wells, Miami and now Wimbledon when he plays at these major tournaments he wins and the message he’s sent not only to the other ‘top four’ members but also to the upcoming stars on the tour is that he isn’t done yet.

I don’t think what he has achieved this year has received the credit deserved. Not only did he go and win these titles but the changes to his game. At the age of 35 he seems to be playing quicker than ever before. His service motion has been fast throughout his career but seems to race through games and still plays with elegance and flashy style which works really well though!

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The unlikely but totally deserved champion!

Going into Wimbledon I didn’t have Muguruza down as a contender. To be honest an early exit was predicted by many due to the rollercoaster of a time she has had since winning Roland Garros 13 months ago but it feels a life time ago.

The season had been disappointing and the headlines were about poor form and of course that on court bust up with her coach Sam Sumyk earlier in the year. Coming to Wimbledon Sam wasn’t there in the coaching team but former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez was and seemed to have brought some calmness and good feeling to the match.

As a former finalist she knows what it takes to get to the final and her game relies on that raw power she can generate via the backhand which is one of the best on the tour on it’s day and because of the risk behind the shot when it isn’t working and without it moments like this wouldn’t happen…

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There was a point during the tournament where I felt this is where she is a contender. During the match with Kerber she was just starting to take control as the first set went on and fought incredible hard and at such a high level something I haven’t seen from her in a while and the way she moved up the court but still defended quite deep when required was excellent.

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Muguruza is about 45% inside the baseline and 10% outside which is still a lot but she picked her shots incredibly well to get the better of the former world number one.

This is massive for Garbine. I remember she said winning Roland Garros was the best and worst thing that happened to her but she saved her best for when it mattered and more than anything that smile says it all.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Going into Wimbledon I didn’t have Muguruza down as a contender. To be honest an early exit was predicted by many due to the rollercoaster of a time she has had since winning Roland Garros 13 months ago but it feels a life time ago.

The season had been disappointing and the headlines were about poor form and of course that on court bust up with her coach Sam Sumyk earlier in the year. Coming to Wimbledon Sam wasn’t there in the coaching team but former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez was and seemed to have brought some calmness and good feeling to the match.

As a former finalist she knows what it takes to get to the final and her game relies on that raw power she can generate via the backhand which is one of the best on the tour on it’s day and because of the risk behind the shot when it isn’t working and without it moments like this wouldn’t happen…

 

There was a point during the tournament where I felt this is where she is a contender. During the match with Kerber she was just starting to take control as the first set went on and fought incredible hard and at such a high level something I haven’t seen from her in a while and the way she moved up the court but still defended quite deep when required was excellent.

 

Muguruza is about 45% inside the baseline and 10% outside which is still a lot but she picked her shots incredibly well to get the better of the former world number one.

This is massive for Garbine. I remember she said winning Roland Garros was the best and worst thing that happened to her but she saved her best for when it mattered and more than anything that smile says it all.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Grigor Dimitrov set for his biggest challenge on grass yet!

Grigor Dimitrov lived with a label for quite some time, that label was ‘Baby Fed’ and I think it is fair to say the Bulgarian has shook it off and it’s been tough and now he faces what I’d call his biggest ever challenge against the main man Roger Federer.

Dimitrov’s game back a few years ago was likened to that of Federer’s with the way he approached many shots and when you are then labelled with the caption of the next big thing as well it can be tough.

At the beginning of the season I think it’s fair to say that Grigor was the form player on the tour winning 15 of his 16 tour matches and winning two titles and his game has definitely improved but during the clay court season it didn’t work out for him as his style of play doesn’t adapt well to some of the slow conditions on the European clay courts but on the grass the speed of the courts allows him to use his full weapons to great extent.

Back in February I wrote about Dimitrov’s game and how he uses a slice serve down the T to help himself, the flicked forehand, backhand slice and of course the one handed backhand but on these fast courts at Wimbledon he has to try and boss rallies from the baseline and the way of beginning that process is with that inside out forehand.

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You can see above Dimitrov playing it against Gasquet in Melbourne. Worst case scenario for Dimitrov going for this shot against Federer is that the former champion might be able to get a slice racket on it to pro-long points and plant that seed of doubt in rallies but also Grigor cannot afford to go to slow with the shot as if Federer times well enough he could fire that backhand down the line.

This will be tough for Grigor but I feel over 5 sets it is do-able, a good start is essential for Grigor as going down an early break could cost him once Federer gets into a rhythm it’s tough to get out of.

 

Spoilt and ungrateful Bernard Tomic admits to being bored!

Not for the first time and probably not the last Bernard Tomic has grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The Australian who once had his dad removed from the court during a match admitted after his defeat by Mischa Zverev who beat Murray in Australian that he was bored…

When asked about giving back the prize money of £35,000 he said well we all work for money and got quite defensive and ended up saying I will if Roger or Novak do which shows how childish he is.

Bernard Tomic probably doesn’t know how lucky he is to able to travel the world playing a sport he is meant to love or enjoy well it certainly doesn’t rub off like that and to admit to being bored is disgusting but he’s still happy to turn up to pick up his £35,000 prize money.

If I were a parent or a coach there would be one player I’d say don’t be like them and it would be him.

Maybe Tomic should pop into the real world for a few weeks and see what it’s really like.

You see players give their all and the emotion they show week in week out to play at these events and it’s wasted on him.

I don’t think we have ever seen it with him and if I’m brutally honest he’s just spoilt and ungrateful.

Pat Cash and Martina Navaratilova had some words on this…

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Cruise Control

As cool as you like. Andy has cruised into round three and will be back in action on Friday afternoon as the world number one turned on the style to see off the unpredictable Dustin Brown.

Dustin has a reputation at SW19 having seen off Rafael Nadal famously in the second round back in 2015 delighting the centre court crowd to his variety of tennis skill but today Andy Murray had his card marked and put on a performance and a half as he cruised through to Friday.

6-3 6-2 6-2 is a scoreline I didn’t expect as Dustin usually hangs in well but Murray was quick to reacting to the countless drop shots as well as producing some stunning tennis whether it was that famous two-handed lob or those passing shots where he goes for a little jog around the net post.

There were plenty of concerns coming into the tournament about form and hip injury but based on the first two matches, it’s looking very good!

25 games played today:

31 winners
5 unforced errors
52/66 points won on serve

cruise control

Hats off ladies!

First up on centre court today was Johanna Konta and Donna Vekic. These two faced each other back in Nottingham just a week or so ago with Vekic winning the final but this time round on one the biggest arena’s on the tennis circuit it was the Brit who fought her way to the third round after a brutal 3 hours and 10 minutes of tennis.

On a day when temperatures reached 30 degrees on centre court and we also saw flying ant day these two ladies put on a show and a half. Both served incredibly well in high pressure situations especially as the match went into the latter stages of the final set but they continued to hold nerve and the tension in the match was sublime.

As the final set went on and on both players seemed to find themselves 0-30 down on serve but held nerve until right towards the end when Johanna Konta thought, let’s go for this and let the forehand cross-court go and press the defence of Vekic after looking a little tight on return throughout the whole match and progressed to the third round for the first time at Wimbledon.

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All credit to these ladies for playing a stunning match on centre court and you will not see a bigger embrace at the net all fortnight at Wimbledon!

How Medvedev saw off Stan by going after his backhand slice

Stan Wawrinka was one of the early casualties at Queens Club just a few weeks ago and was the standout casualty in round one at Wimbledon but what went wrong?

Stan has never been able to master grass so this year he brought in Paul Annacone to boost his chances, two first round exits later it couldn’t have gone worse. Stan did seem to be struggling with a knee issue at Queens and did receive treatment in the loss to Medvedev but you can’t put it all down to that.

Stan’s game is quite defensive. He is one of the big defenders on court and this is where his game doesn’t work well on grass.

These grass courts around the world are a fast surface especially on the first week or so of the tournaments as no-one has played on them for almost 12 months so they are slippy and for players who have big ground strokes and a big serve it skids through the court making them dangerous hence why on the women’s side Karolina Pliskova is one of the favourites as the surface suits her style of play.

I watched Daniil Medvedev play against Novak Djokovic for the first time in Eastbourne last weekend and I was incredibly impressed, his game suited the surface and he played very well but was desperately unlucky in the match not to win.

Watching Stan against Daniil I’d say only one did their homework and that was Daniil. Time and time again we saw him go for that serve out-wide into the Wawrinka backhand which is a threat on the front foot but on the back foot it’s not a shot that will extend and keep yourself in rallies.

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This still is first set at set point and Daniil plays it perfectly. You couldn’t have played a better point. He went for that serve out-wide into the BH slice of Stan and a backhand slice is a good weapon to have on tour but returning a serve on grass against a big baseline player means you have to keep the BH low but time and time again it came back to the Russian and it basically said hit me on it.

 Danil

The height and lack of speed that Stan got on that in particular return compared to a forehand return gave Medvedev countless options. Stan is about 2 metres behind the baseline and Daniil could go cross court, inside out down the line or if he fancies it a cheeky drop shot.

After watching Daniil in Eastbourne I wouldn’t call this a shock, when I heard he would be playing Wawrinka I thought this could get tricky, all credit to the young man!