Partial Results from Men's Semis, Day 11
July 06, 2012 | 09:38 PM
Today Roger might have said the same thing. He has served better as he's aged - not harder, but smarter, gaining measurable improvement in his points won on serve: his 90% on this stat has been surpassed only by Isner for the last two years, and is a couple of percent higher than it was in his prime years. Without this improvement, his loss of foot speed and the resulting decline in his win percentage on return points would have hurt him more than it has.
Today, Fed pitched another beautiful game, walking none (no double-faults), and winning 74% of points on his serve - the same as he did against Youzhny in the quarters. While Youzhny may have returned well, he is no Djokovic in that department.
Although Fed won 15% fewer points on return than he did against Youzhny, his 34% was 8% points better than Joker's today as a result of his serving. In 4 sets, the best returner in the game could only earn 3 break points against him and only convert one.
The inability to challenge Fed on serve frustrated the Serb, who looked flat by the end of the 3rd set, and without being able to challenge Roger on his serve in the 4th, he never found any energy:
- Joker won but 6 points on Fed's serve in the 4th set (7 in the 3rd, 4 in the first)
Only when Roger's 1st serve percent dropped to 57% in the 2nd set did Joker win more points (9).
Fed's energy and play on return games took off in the last two sets:
- from winning 5 points in the return games in the 1st set and 3 in the 2nd, Rog went to winning 15 and 16.
In her remarks about her serving improvement, Serena added that the more she aged, and the more I like to hit aces.
This last was what seemed to separate her from her last opponent, Azarenka.
Fed might have shared that sentiment 3 years ago when he hit over 50 aces against Roddick in the final, but he no longer relies on aces to separate him from his opponents. With the big serving competition in the men's game, Fed couldn't win the ace count in any given match (Roddick almost won the day in '09).
Tomorrow, if her radar suddenly goes off, Serena may have to live by more than her aces.
As for Fed, if he continues to serve this way - and there's no reason to think he won't - England will be ready to let Andy and the Scots secede from the Kingdom.
There are rumors that the Queen will attend the Sunday final. Even if Roger spoiled her day, if she is lucky the British journeyman doubles specialist, 31 year old Jonathan Marray from Liverpool - might already have won a Wimbledon title for England in the men's doubles which follows the women's singles on Centre Court tomorrow. Teamed with a rookie 28 year old from Denmark, Frederik Nielsen (playing in his first Wimbledon), Marray upset the Bryans today on an outside court in the semis:
Complete score: Marray & Nielsen def. BRYANS 6-4, 7-6 (11-9), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5).
Marray & Nielsen will play 5th seeds Lindstedt and Tecau.
The BRYANS are not completely off the medal stand at Wimbledon yet: each is playing his semi-final in the mixed on Court One tomorrow. Their partners, Americans Raymond and Huber, lost to the Williams in the women's double semis today.
The WILLIAMS will compete in the title round tomorrow after the men's doubles finals, against 6th seeded Czechs Hlavadackova and Hradecka.
As for the QUEEN, even if England comes up short in their two finals tomorrow, she will have two weeks of Olympics to find something more to celebrate in her Diamond Jubilee year.
Tomorrow I will review Murray's win in an exciting match over Tsonga in 4 sets and gather any further thoughts on the men's final, while reporting on the women's final and the doubles results.
Wimbledon Day 11, 7.6.12