2009 Wimbledon – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Finals
Every day throughout Wimbledon Nick’s Picks will bring you the latest analysis and predictions. We are also teaming up with The Independent Newspaper in London to cover the event!
Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Andy Roddick (USA)
Haas pushed Federer in the semis, but it was Federer that was able to take his game to the next level and reach the finals of Wimbledon for the seventh consecutive time. Federer didn’t face a single break point on his serve and committed just 15 unforced errors (compared to 31 from Haas). He also won close to 90% of the points on his first serve and came to the net 43 times (converting 88% of the time). Federer demonstrated why he is the most versatile player in the game.
Roddick continued his fantastic play with a dramatic four-set victory over Andy Murray in the semis. He served exceptionally well (getting in 75% of his first serves) and his movement was superb. Roddick also came into the net much more than Murray (75 times to 20 times) and this really put pressure on his opponent. This is Roddick’s third Wimbledon final and first since 2005. He is also looking for his second career Grand Slam title having not won one since the 2003 US Open.
Federer is 18-2 against Roddick and has beaten him three times already this year. This is their fourth meeting at Wimbledon and their third in the finals. Federer has won all of those matches, while dropping only one set. There would be no better place for Federer to break Pete Sampras’ Grand Slam title record than at Wimbledon. When you combine Federer’s history there with the ambiance of Wimbledon, you couldn’t ask for a better situation if you are a sports fan.
This will not be an easy match for Federer with the way Roddick is playing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Roddick serve so well over a period of this many matches and he is forcing the issue as well. He’s played two very difficult matches (Hewitt and Murray) and is in the best shape of his life. There is no doubt that his coach, Larry Stefanki, will have him ready for Federer both mentally and physically. The question is, how will he handle Federer’s variety?
Watching Federer is like watching a magician. He hits shots that leave you scratching your head trying to figure out how he just did that. You saw that look from Tommy Haas a couple of times during the semis. He has only dropped one set in the entire tournament (to Kohlschreiber in the third round) and has looked very comfortable on the court. It is just amazing to watch how easy the game comes to Federer and it is simply beautiful.
I definitely feel that Roddick can put pressure on Federer enough to make this interesting. He needs to continue serving well and coming in when he can (and when Federer doesn’t expect it). There is no doubt that you have to give the edge to Federer, but don’t count Roddick totally out until the match is over!
Nick’s Pick – Federer in 4 sets