Federer Nearly There…

July 15th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News


I am not far away from putting together a football preview piece – way too soon for many people, I know, but it served us well last year – and this is only a minor update.

It is hard to know what to say about Andy Murray at Wimbledon. The bookmakers were right to ease him out because of ongoing fitness problems and he never looked right to me, even when getting through the first week. When he lost to Sam Querrey he was clearly in pain and should have retired. On the other hand, as a sometimes brutally direct John McEnroe pointed out, the gap in class early on was so apparent that Murray should really have won in straight sets before the hip played up. I think he didn’t want to disappoint people but it’s important now to have a proper rest before Flushing Meadows.

Roger Federer has been making the game look so easy that those with ante-post vouchers are already counting their money. I can be wrong about a tournament and I was wrong about Murray here, although I would hold fast to my dying day that Federer was a terrible price at 2/1 favourite.

Nor is he quite home yet, although any gambler worth his salt would save on Marin Cilic to guarantee a profit. Thomas Berdych is a high-class journeyman on the circuit and no one gave him a chance against Federer. They were right, but his strong, pragmatic approach meant that the first two sets went to a tie-break. Cilic is capable of something similar and when things go that way, there is always the chance that picking up a single set will change the complexion of the match. Of course, if I had to bet (no point now) I’d say Federer but I think you’ll find it much closer than many experts predict.

Venus Williams looked outstanding against Johanna Konta, who did not serve as well as she had against Simona Halep. I have friends with attractive doubles on Williams and Federer (very shrewd indeed) and I wish them well. Muguruza will be no push-over, however, and I think the final will be as close as the men’s. I have lost on the event, which is a pity after a good run, but if I had one final wager it would be that neither match is decided in straight sets.