Nick Bollettieri: Now you can see why Roger Federer is my all-time No 1

Champion is the complete package – but Murray belongs on the same court

Here's a couple of simple statements. Yesterday afternoon on Centre Court, Roger Federer showed why he is the greatest player in the history of the game. Yesterday afternoon on Centre Court, Roger Federer played three of the best sets he has ever produced. Holy cow, this is one magician. Now the No 1 player in the world rankings again, the No 1 player the world's ever seen. Seven Wimbledon titles and – know what? – don't stop counting yet.

What makes the difference with Federer is that he has a bit – actually one hell of a lot – of everything. He's the all-round player. Add that to an intelligence and feel for the game and that's the complete package.

As for Andy Murray, he has proved over the last two weeks that he deserves to belong with the big three. There are four big beasts now. This did a lot for him – he played well yesterday in what was a great, great match. What better way is there for me to sign off at Wimbledon 2012 than by saying it's been a good one, won by the great one?

Murray's flying start

Murray came out exactly how he had to. Nerves? No way, man. He took it to Federer and, boy, that first game will have done wonders for Murray. He mixed his game up and it was Federer who looked out of sorts to start with. In the first two games Federer put four elementary forehands into the net or wide.

Of course, that wasn't going to last. This is Roger Federer we are talking about here, guys, but Murray was matching him, mixing up his game, not getting caught too deep or concentrating on playing defence. When he went behind for the first time in the set he kept cool and served well. It was so tight, that first set, and it came down to a couple of moments – Murray had two break points and took them, Federer had three and made one. Small margins – what it's all about at this level.

But what you have also got to remember is that Federer has taken more than a couple of turns around the block at this level. Take one look at that honours board the players walk by on the way to the court and you see. Look at his record, his 24 Slam finals. He was not going to lie down out there.

The turnaround

I cannot think of anybody who would be so unworried by losing the first set of a Slam final than Federer. This is one unruffled guy. So he comes back out and starts pinging that one-handed backhand. It's one of the best sights seen on a tennis court, the way he stands tall, pirouettes on one leg and guides the ball like a missile with that huge follow-through. It's the racket acceleration that's the key. Man alive, it is a dream.

To make it work you also need the footwork of a dancer, and it is Federer's movement that is such a killer. Murray is a damn good mover too, and that is why he is a contender.

There was another key factor to Federer's recovery. I said at the start of the tournament he would have to look to come in more and, of course, Roger knew that too and, of course, Roger did that. His touch volleying was excellent and the drop volley worked well throughout.

The roof

Playing beneath the roof suits Federer as nothing can disturb that immaculate game. His serve, in particular, just starts purring. When that roof slammed shut it was the beginning of the end for Murray. Federer has a commanding record indoors and he was not going to let this one slip. Now he was mixing up his game brilliantly, working Murray around the court, slicing to change the direction of rallies and coming in to finish them off. Clinical.

Making the right call

This tournament has shown the importance of Hawk-Eye – and of getting your challenges right. Don't throw them away, they matter. They are tough calls, when you are down there in the heat of battle. You've got to keep your cool, and nobody does that better than Roger Federer.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'