Monday, September 8, 2008

Didn't I say so! King Federer tames new heir apparent Prince Andy

Well, as I thought and wrote earlier, Andy made it to the finals but was somewhat overwhelmed by Federer. As a Fedex fan, I still don't know when will he start playing like his old self but in the end he prevailed and that's heart warming for Roger's Fans. At the same time can you think of any other player that you love to watch, who will make you happy & sad at the same time.

I mean, come on Roger, OK we knew that making it a 6-0 final set was little too much to ask but why did you scare us by getting the score go to 6-2! This is the part where I get to seriously question on why is Roger still not closing out like he should. I don't deny that anyone would tighten up at such a special time but we are so used to seeing Roger play these points nonchalantly and almost without being unaffected mentally, physically and emotionally that this new Roger is a bit scary.

I know I should just enjoy the victory for now but I just can't. I mean
-he's become the first player to win 5 consecutive titles in two grand slame events
- his streak of being undefeated since 2004 in US Open is still intact
- he is the first man since1920s after Bill Tilden to win the tournament 5 times in a row
- he is now just one title shy of beating Pete Sampras' record of 14 slam titles - in fact, as I write this blog, I notice that 91% of more than 6000 people polled said that he will break Pete's record in 2009 and we all know that he will
- For a bad year, he's won slam, was finalist in two others and in Semis of the another, has a olymic doubles gold to boot

and yet, I feel a slight vaccum when it comes to his closing skills in a game, set or match. I still feel a certain hesitancy, a trepidation, a wavering when he's up be a good margin against an opponent. I do think his decision making during plays is a bit of question mark and that reflects in his volleys going out of the lines or his drops catching his own side of the net. I just can't get over the fact that he's great and yet he's only playing excellent this year.
Even the match stats are revealing;

Murray Federer

1st Serve % 45 of 81 = 56 % 48 of 81 = 59 %
Aces 3 3
Double Faults 3 0
Unforced Errors 28 33
Winning % 1st Serve 23 of 45 = 51 % 38 of 48 = 79 %
Winning % 2nd Serve 17 of 36 = 47 % 15 of 33 = 45 %
Winners 16 36
Receiving Points Won 28 of 81 = 35 % 41 of 81 = 51 %
BreakPoint Conversions 2 of 5 = 40 % 7 of 10 = 70 %
Net Approaches 7 of 11 = 64 % 31 of 44 = 70 %
Total Points Won 68 94
Fastest Serve 133 MPH 126 MPH
Avg. 1st Serve Speed 108 MPH 114 MPH
Avg. 2nd Serve Speed 82 MPH 92 MPH

as can be seen practically Roger's first serve gave him the edge with about 26 more winners was the difference, by no means a small feat but I'd like to see his overall stats to improve a lot specially the unforced errors that he's making more and more.

I am just hoping that 2009 will be Back To Fedex year in a big way. All in all, we couldn't have asked more of this great athlete than to close out the year on a winning note.

Whatever the new year may bring up, for now I'm just going to enjoy this win.
Roger Rules

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