Andy Murray won his 2nd Wimbledon title and in this men’s final analysis we will break down all the crucial facts which gave him the edge here.
In the first set everything went well for Murray, just like he wanted before the match – he was waiting for a chance to break Raonic’s serve and tried to force long rallies. On the other hand, Raonic clearly wanted the shortest points possible and there weren’t any surprises in game plans of both players. However, the thing which was really surprising was Raonic’s serve inefficiency – Andy Murray is, of course, one of the best returners on tour, but he broke the code of his opponent’s service too early and too easily. Raonic didn’t have enough variability in the first serve, which was the most important reason for his victory against Federer in the semifinals and Murray took advantage of that. The British player had one break point in the third game of the match, and then two more in the seventh game of the set, he converted third and easily saved his advantage until the end of the match. It is incredible that Raonic had 69% first serve percentage and he yet served only one ace in the set.
In the second set Raonic tried to mix things a bit with his serve and he was successful – he defended all four break points and had more easy points in his service games, but from the baseline he didn’t have any idea how to hurt Murray. Throughout the match Raonic rushed to the net after backhand slice, but in most occasions Murray’s passing shots, especially his short backhand diagonal was good enough for Raonic. However, it seems that Raonic’s positioning and inability to rush to the net faster were the main reasons of Murray’s success. Raonic couldn’t come up with a plan B, so it was only a matter of time when Murray would win the second set. That happened in the tie-break, in a routine fashion, the result was 7:3.
In the third set everybody expected that Raonic would completely lose the ground beneath his feet, but he probably played his best set in the finals. Although he continued with his backhand slice attacks with little success, he had some solid baseline points and for the first time in the finals Murray had to go for shots, not only to wait for Raonic’s errors, so Canadian earned his first break points in the match in the fifth game of the third set. However, Murray saved them both with excellent serves and denied Raonic. Until the end of the set neither of the players had any problems to save their service and we witnessed another tie break. Murray won this even easier than the previous one, with “copy-paste” points after excellent backhand passing shots and celebrated his third career Grand Slam trophy.
Murray’s return and his passing shot were keys of his victory today. Raonic clearly has strong weapons in his arsenal, but he will have to improve a lot, especially his footwork and his backhand side to compete for the biggest trophies such as Wimbledon.