On one end a player who has improved leaps and bounds in the last 4 years and on the other end a player that is making amends to improve leaps and bounds and the results are clearly going in each of their favor – with both Murray and Raonic respectively showing a game so improved that they left behind players like Djokovic, Federer, Wawrinka, Berdych, Tsonga, Nishikori amongst so many other quality tennis stars to reach the final of Wimbledon 2016 – a tournament that saw Federer reaching semi after having a poor first half of the year, a tournament wherein Djokovic failed to reach the top 16, a tournament wherein the young 19 year old Zverev and 21 year old Kyrgios, the future of tennis made the top 16.
It’s been an year of yet another glorying action at Wimbledon and it all came down after a fortnight to a match wherein the big serving Raonic took on the strong power of Murray and impeccably fitness of the man – while Raonic is coached by the tennis legend John McCenroe, the coach for Murray is another legend in Evan Lendl.
McCenroe won 3 Wimbledon titles but Lendl having won all the 3 other grand slams was deprived of the Wimbledon glory, however it was under his coaching that Andy Murray became the first player from the United Kingdom to win a Wimbledon after 70 years i.e. in the year 2013.
THE FINAL :
The head to head record for Murray and Raonic stands at 6-3, with the Canadian trailing 3 wins. Murray has had already beaten Raonic on clay, grass and hard court this year and coming into the match, the stats favored him but are sports really about stats!
The first set was a battle being equally fought from both the sides of the nets, Murray and Raonic both executed rocket serves and were leveled at 3-3. It was however Raonic that lost the first blood and the big blow came in the form of a break of serve at this point. At 15-15, Murray’s brilliant backhand pass gave him the lead at 30-15. Raonic tried to be aggressive and again got levelled at 30-30 but the ruthless Murray was not going to accept letting go of a crucial break point and a brilliant forehand at 40-30 gave Murray the break point.
Not losing his serve all through the set, Murray was leading the match 1-0, Raonic needing to win 3 of the next 4 sets, while Murray’s equation was 2 to win off 4 sets.
The second set went down to the wire as both Murray and Raonic held onto their serves and the match progressed to the tie-break at 6-6.
In the tie-break, Murray won the first point due to Raonic’s error of netting a slice – a shot that takes great mastery to be executed to perfection. A backhand fault and a backhand that got net, explains the next 2 points in favor of Murray – Raonic was making errors. It was these errors that cost him and Murray won the 2nd set 7-6 (3).
Andy Murray was now just a set away from victory and his game was showing the inner confidence that he was feeling – the crowd understandably supporting their favorite, the Prime Minister in attendance couldn’t be more proud. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge waited patiently to see Murray seize the moment – was Raonic going to fight his way back by winning next 3?
The 3rd set was no different than the 2nd and a competitive Raonic ensured that the strongest part of his game i.e. his serve remained strong all throughout but the man at the other end was serving equally well.
Murray and Raonic both were unbroken in the last set and we had yet another tie-break to decide whether the 3rd set is good to get us a new champion or will the match progress further to 2 sets.
Murray sprinted to a 5-0 lead in the tie-break and Raonic could only do so much against a Murray at his finest form. Raonic won 2 points – a netted backhand from Murray and a forehand long but the next point was a netted backhand from Raonic this time and THUS THE MOMENT, Andy Murray – Wimbledon champion for the 2nd time.
Kontinen/Watson bt Farah/Groenefeld 7-6 6-4 (Mixed Doubles Final)
Shapovalov bt Minaur 4-6 6-1 6-3 (Boys Singles Final)
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