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As premature as this may sound, I wonder if we're seeing signs that Rafa's a spent force.
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Murray be winning. Tough opponent Becker, ideal first round material, plus they played each other at Queens.
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A lot of it's about keeping his body together, as has been the case for several years. If his knee's working it's impossible for anyone to beat him at the French for several years still, with the possible exception of ND. Even he would need to step up his play on clay.
But it looks from this as though it will be difficult for Nadal ever to win Wimbledon again. I suspect the same goes for Fed with an open roof. That would leave ND and AM as firm favourites at Wimbledon for the next few years - surely he'll win one!
If this match finishes in the next few minutes, it's a great day for Federer. I'm certainly not writing Roger off this year.
Agree RF is the big winner from that and arguably as a result Murray is worse off. Can't see Fed winning it this year though, his results have been markedly down. I assume he'd be out of the top four with an earlyish exit, which is revealing.
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Federer looked majestic today. On any other surface I'd agree that Federer's lost that that crucial edge. At Wimbledon, though, he's aggressive enough to remain a very strong contender. Whatever else happens on Murray and Federer's side of the draw, I still feel it's Novak's title to lose.
I hope Federer's still competing at the highest level by November. I've got front row tickets for the final of the ATP year end event. Watching Federer live is a privilege.
B+ (I say that as a Murray fan).
Certainly good enough for now.
Very strong contender certainly but probably third favourite, accurately reflected in the seedings. It would be no great surprise if he did pull out another win, but his early form, more than most players, is a limited indication of his prospects. His game naturally looks majestic and will always look silky and sweet when not under pressure. But when the ball comes back harder and starts hitting the lines, then you see a few more shanked backhands. I also feel the psychological advantage may have shifted slightly towards Murray after the Olympics. The fact that fed felt the need to put the pressure on Murray pre-tournament is interesting.
Don't worry though, I'm sure he'll still be magnificent to watch at the ATP finals
Given the first serve percentage and error count I'd go C+ but I wouldn't want it much higher in the first round. A good workout, moving in the right direction.
I don't want to play up Murray's chances, so I'll regard the two as joint second-favourites.
Federer had better be majestic come November. If he's not in the final, I won't get to see him.
Two years back we bought tickets for one of the group matches. Murray was scheduled to play, but pulled out, meaning we ended up watching Berdych vs. Tipsarevic. It was actually a really close match (it went to a tie-break in the third). Unfortunately, I had almost no investment in either player, so it was difficult to feel involved in the match. I decided to cheer for Tipsarevic for two reasons:
1. The absurdity of his "beauty will save the world" tattoo
2. The Berdych fan sat immediately in front of me's intolerable shrieking
We decided final tickets were the safest best each year thereafter. I loved every minute of last year's Federer- Djokovic final. It was insanely hot in the O2 and a shame it didn't go to a deciding set; but the tennis was sublime at times. I recorded the match. Watching the TV coverage back, you didn't get a sense of how partisan the crowd was.
Knowing my luck, it'll be a Berdych - Tipsarevic final this year. I have a feeling Nadal won't be there.
I'll concede a little more ground (and settle on a B -).
Watching the highlights back, Murray was a little too passive at times. He should be dictating points and controlling the tempo at this stage of the tournament.
Anyway, he's through; and that's good enough for now.
Very entertaining match on bbc1 at moment, Hewitt v brown, dustin brown is a proper dude
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