Sets up rematch of the final that never was in 2014
LONDON, UK – Roger Federer pushed aside fellow countryman Stan Wawrinka to set up a rematch with Novak Djokovic, after withdrawing from the final moments before it was due to start last year.
Setting aside all the drama from last year’s semi-final, and with none of the subsequent pressures in play, we could enjoy (hopefully) a semi-final of the highest quality.
Wawrinka came to play, breaking Federer mid-way through the set, and looked like he was going to be putting him under pressure throughout, but Federer stuck to his guns to break back a few games later.
Nerves and timing is everything, and after such a strong start, a sloppy final game by Wawrinka in the first set saw Federer capitalise to take it 7-5.
It was almost as though he had reverted somewhat the mentality that had plagued him in his opening match. He seemed to want to speed up his serve, which is the wrong tactic against Federer, who actually enjoys the play being fast.
The wind seemed to seep out of Wawrinka’s sails at that points, error-strewn games and a swift break looked to spell an early doom for the Swiss No. 2 as Federer led with a set and 3-0.
Gone was the (tennis) drama of the year before as the second set proceeded to get away from Wawrinka rapidly. Still, nerves seemed evident as he battled to try and break Wawrinka for the match, before serving out to love.
Fans were denied the final last year, finding out at the last moment, and so will now get the final many would have wanted when they bought those tickets all those months ago.
Wawrinka has at least been consistent this year, at a high level but when it comes to Federer outside of the clay it just doesn’t work, as he explained:
“In general, his game is tough for me, for my game. I will say he has the perfect game against my game. He’s mixing a lot, he’s serving well, he’s putting a lot of pressure, playing so fast. If you look today, it’s not that I play really bad. I’m not tough enough mentally with myself, I’m not completely there. But one, two point change the first set completely.”
Of course this time last year, Federer was sat in a press conference fielding questions surrounding what had happened on (and off) the court after the emotionally charged semi-final, and things were not as pleasant for him, as he recounted:
“Feeling slightly better than last year. Yeah, the press conference wasn’t the fun part, I could tell you that, because I knew I was not in good shape. This year obviously it’s very different. I feel completely normal. It’s a big relief for me. Happy of how the week’s gone so far. Yeah, so it’s a good feeling this time around.”
He will face Djokovic in the final, not before 6pm Sunday.
Main Image Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty
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