Tennis Trading News – Monday 9th July 2012

Phew! What a fortnight of tennis that was.

Two weeks after Andy Murray arrived at SW19 looking hopeless and defeated, he went on to become the first British man since Bunny Austin in 1938 to reach a Wimbledon final and once there gave Roger Federer one of the toughest matches of his career, before eventually succumbing at the end.

It’s not too difficult to select the biggest shock of the tournament in both the men’s and women’s event.

On the women’s side, nobody gave Sabine Lisicki a chance against French Open winner, Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, but the German looked comfortable in a straight sets victory over the world no.1.

On the men’s side, we saw a shock, the like of which has not been witnessed this decade, when world no.2, Rafa Nadal fell in the second round to little known Czech journeyman, Lukas Rosal.

The best comeback this year came on Centre Court on the first Friday when Roger Federer found himself two sets down to Justin Benneteau. The Swiss maestro had played some top class tennis in the opening two rounds but suddenly he looked in real trouble against the Frenchman.

Federer did manage to turn the match on its head, but not before coming through a tense tie-break in the fourth set.

Federer and Murray had both been given little chance of victory against the new dynamic duo of Djokovic and Nadal at the top of the men’s game, but suddenly Nadal was out and Murray had come through a couple of tough encounters with Karlovic and Baghdatis to make it through to the second week.

In his quarter-final match Andy Murray found himself a set down to Ferrer, with the ultra-competitive Spaniard serving for the second set. Somehow Murray managed to find a break and then again rallied to come through the tie-break in which he’d been 5-2 down.

After a worrying third round performance Roger Federer had managed to find his way through to the semi-final but wasn’t given much chance against Novak Djokovic; the man who had defeated him in straight sets, just weeks earlier at Roland Garros.

Federer was immense, and swept Djokovic aside in four sets. Could the 30-year-old who this time last year seemed to be slipping down the rankings and contemplating retirement, really make his way back to world no.1. A victory in the final would make that dream a reality.

In the final he met Andy Murray who had shown huge resolve and nerve to come through a tight encounter with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Most expected Murray to wilt under the pressure of appearing in a Wimbledon final, but he came firing out of the blocks early on, making Federer look like the inexperienced newcomer, and taking the first set too.

We all expected Murray to crack at some point. It never happened. But unfortunately for Andy, Federer raised his game to levels probably never before seen in SW19. It was a testament to Murray in the end that he stayed in touch with Federer throughout the last two sets.
Meanwhile, in the women’s event, with Maria Sharapova out, Serena Williams had her eye on a 14th Grand Slam success. A quarter final match-up with defending champion, Petra Kvitova looked to be tough and indeed it was as both women slugged it out with huge, powerful hitting. Ultimately Serena came through in straight sets before going on to comfortably defeat Victoria Azarenka in the semis.

In the final Serena came up against the much underrated Pole, Agnieszka Radwanska, who after losing the opening set comfortably, rallied well to pinch the second and take the match to a deciding set. Serena stepped on the gas and came through the final set easily, finally completing her long road back from injury with a Grand Slam title.

So as we head toward the final Slam of the season in New York, both the men’s and women’s games are looking intriguingly poised.

Federer is back at the top, but Nadal, Djokovic and more than ever, Murray, won’t be planning on letting him stay there for long.

Serena became the seventh different woman in succession to win a Grand Slam title. She’ll probably be favourite in New York, but it promises to be quite a battle on the women’s side too.

Tennis Trading

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