Tennis: The better player lost the Men’s Wimbledon final

Roger Federer was, by far, the better player in the 2019 Men’s Wimbledon final, and yet he lost! Roger fired 40 more winners – 94 to 54, broke serve four more times – 7 to 3, fired 15 more aces, and won 14 more points than the winner – Novak Djokovic. He also won 51 of 65 net points as compared with 24 of 38 by Novak, and won 36% of the receiving points as compared with 32% by Djokovic. Roger was also better in the first and second serve win percentages!!

Roger was the better and more aggressive grass court player in the match.

All those stats are indicative of the aggression displayed by Roger, and we all know Federer plays way more aggressive than Djokovic – whose aggression begins and ends with the return of serve. With Federer winning a higher percentage of the receiving points, and creating and converting more break-point opportunities, even Djokovic’s “return-of-serve” dominance is questionable for the match.

Federer lacked in the unforced errors only, and produced 10 more unforced errors, in the match, than Djokovic. The unforced errors stat, however, is indicative of defensive and careful play, and not many, if any at all, can beat Djokovic at defense.  

Roger Federer
Federer plays an aggressive brand of tennis

Shouldn’t the grass at Wimbledon reward the aggressor?

Shouldn’t the grass at Wimbledon reward the aggressive player who was better in all aspects, except defense, and also won 14 more total points?

Federer, with the same stats, would have won the match in straight, about 15, or more, years ago. On the grass, the aggressive all-court player – with 14 more total points than the defensive opponent – should win 9.999 out of 10 times, but the slower grass, nowadays, allows an exceptional retriever to outplay the talented and better, albeit aggressive, player 8 of 10 times.

Is the Wimbledon grass the new clay?

The pressure, on the slower court, is always on the aggressive player. The aggressor must come up with something incredible and hit, at least, three winners to win a point. The defensive player can win by patrolling the baseline and putting balls back into play, while waiting for the aggressor to commit errors. The aggressor, on the slower courts, risks charging the net and gets riddled with passing shots fired by the grinder, from out-of-balance positions.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that both, the Men’s and Women’s Wimbledon, titles this year were won by exceptional retrievers. The grass now plays like the slightly faster version of the slow clay. Is the Wimbledon grass the new Clay?

Roger Federer

The entire world mourned the loss of the better player.

This is not the first time Federer lost, and it won’t be his last loss. This time, however, Federer lost as the better player, and the entire world mourned his loss at the Wimbledon final. Even Rafael Nadal’s uncle, Toni Nadal, couldn’t help but feel sorry for Roger.

“This time I’m sorry, really, for Roger,” Toni Nadal commented. “I know how to feel after having wasted two match points with his service and, at this moment, it is hard for me to write these lines thinking about him.

“I do not know what was best for our interests but, as everything was developed, I did not want his defeat at all. Both contenders showed why they are among the best in history. Federer, once again, has shown that the years do not pass for him and Djokovic is a tireless fighter.”

There is little we can do except dedicate this song to Roger Federer.

There is little, however, we can do to alleviate the pain and regret of the loss, except dedicate, with the writer’s and singer’s permission, this wonderfully written and superbly sung melody – about the trials and the indomitable spirit of a tennis pro – to Roger. The inspirational lyrics, written by a tennis player and a hard-core Federer fan, we hope, will inspire Roger to get over the loss and win a few more of the big ones.

Wimbledon must speed up its courts.

138mph has been complaining about the continuous slowing down of the courts and balls, aided by the advancements in string technology, to favor the grinders and retrievers. Wimbledon has been the worst culprit and shamelessly abetted the retrievers and grinders to tilt the scales against aggressive all-court players and in favor of retrievers, grinders, and defensive players. The all-court player is basically done and dusted because the slow courts don’t favor risky visits to the net. One dimensional baseline bashers with the ability to reach, the unreachable, balls rule the world of tennis on the clay, hard, and grass. The homogeneity of the surfaces have resulted in the demise of all-court skills and the conquest of the grass by the grinders and dirt rats.

Wimbledon must speed up their courts to allow the big servers, all-court players, and serve-and-volley experts a reasonable shot at the title. Wimbledon was meant to be the turf for the super talented with an aggressive all-court game. It has instead turned into a hunting ground for the baseline retrievers and grinders with an over the top ability to track down balls.  

3 thoughts on “Tennis: The better player lost the Men’s Wimbledon final

  • July 24, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Exceptional points. I would say that all the surfaces are being made for fans who just want to see long rallies.

  • July 24, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Roger should have won that, but he choked. And, yes, on the slower courts, the pressure is always on the aggressive player to come up with something spectacular. Well written piece.

  • July 29, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    I watched the first set, saw brilliant shots from Federer and believed he could still win this match. But Novak kept bouncing back and made it to the tiebreak. Fed had some shining moments, but then lost straight points due to unforced errors. And he lost the first set. After that I didn’t dare to watch the rest. Those memory from 2014 and 2015 Final are so painful. But those time, Fed didn’t have strong backhand. Somehow he managed to reach 5th set in W2014 by his serve but Djokovic always had the upper hand. This time Fed has big chance to win. I went to bed and prayed for him.
    But after all, he lost again with most statistics favor him, with 2 match points when serving for the championship. He is the better player in most time except the tiebreak. It is the most terrible moment in tennis for me since watching tennis years ago. From that, I decide not to watch tennis again. Federer can create the highest level of tennis, but in the end, Novak is the one who survives because his mental strength. Rafa had that strength too, but he doesn’t have the tactic to beat Novak. I wish Rafa would have played that match point.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *