Sunday, July 6, 2008

UPDATE: Changing of the Guard

Wow. That was incredible.

Tonight and tomorrow from Tennis Chatter:

-Video post

-Match analysis

Well, it's hard to break down a match like this and place its outcome on a few points, or just one factor or another. If there is one thing to say, it would be that Rafael Nadal was just better, and more consistent. In this match, that translates to: "Rafael Nadal didn't miss a freaking shot in five hours of tennis."

But, in all my amateur ways, let me at least a few things about why Roger Federer wasn't able to win his sixth-straight Wimbledon crown:

Federer, who went 42 of 75 (56%) at the net for the match, wasn't the better volleyer. Yes, the Swiss won more points than Rafa at net, but Nadal was 22 of 31 (71%), finding a much better success rate. To me this speaks volumes of Nadal's passing ability, but also shows that if Federer is going to approach the net 75 times in a match, his shot selection needs to be more fine-tuned. Many times Federer reached for a ball her could've stepped toward or chose to take a ball out of the air instead of scooping it off the turf.

Secondly, Rafa's fitness proved to be too much for Fed, showing that athleticism has as much of a place at Wimbledon as anywhere else. In the third set, Federer his 16 unforced errors to Nadal's 7. Most of these errors came off of the Mighty Fed's spectacular forehand, a shot that become more of a liability than a weapon in the final few games.

-Tournament wrap
-What this means for men's - and all of - tennis

Congratulations, Rafael Nadal.

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