While three of the men’s quarter-finals were disappointingly one-sided, the second of the semi-finals is the most exciting prospective match of the tournament featuring the top two seeds from the bottom half, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Federer sailed past Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals, 6-3 7-5 6-2 in just one hour and 35 minutes. The world number two served exceptionally well, getting 73% of first serves in and dropping just 19 points on serve throughout the entire match. Federer was broken for the first time in the tournament, playing a dreadful game when serving for the second set. However, he broke straight back at 5-5 and after a brief rain delay, served it out convincingly.
Murray also won in three sets but faced a marginally trickier match against Vasek Pospisil. Pospisil played a good match and demonstrated why his game is so well suited to the grass. His big serve and eagerness to finish at the net helped him keep this reasonably close. Pospisil was unlucky in the second set when the umpire handed him a time violation just as he stepped up to serve at 5-5 *30-30. It was poor timing and clearly threw Pospisil off his rhythm as he played a passive point immediately after. The umpire decided to dish out another time violation, this time the loss of a first serve when Pospisil was serving at 4-4 *0-30. Even the Centre Court crowd were booing. Pospisil got into difficulty when the rallies lengthened with Murray winning the majority of them. The Brit eventually came through, 6-4 7-5 6-4.
Murray and Federer have both had very favourable runs through the draw; Murray’s dropped two sets, one against Andreas Seppi in the third round and one to Ivo Karlovic in the fourth round, while Federer’s only non-straight sets match was in the third round against Sam Groth. Federer leads the head-to-head with Murray, 12-11 and has won their last three matches including a 6-0 6-1 thrashing at the World Tour Finals. It is worth pointing out though that Murray’s level in 2015 has been far superior compared to 2014 where he was still coming back from the back surgery. Apart from a pair of poor performances in Rotterdam and Dubai, Murray’s only losses this year have come against Djokovic.
Federer and Murray’s last two matches on grass were in the summer of 2012. Federer defeated Murray for the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, the last Slam he won, but Murray well and truly turned the tables with one of his best performances, a 6-2 6-1 6-4 victory in the final of the Olympics. It will be interesting to hear the crowd as Federer is adored pretty much everywhere he goes. If he serves as well as he has done this fortnight, he might just have the edge. Federer has played the better tennis to get to this stage but with the calibre of their respective draws, I don’t think that counts for much. I find myself leaning more towards Murray…
Prediction: Murray d. Federer in 5 sets