Now take a leaf from Ivan Lendl's book, Andy Murray, and try, try, try again

 

It will take time for the disappointment to subside, but when Andy Murray looks back on his first Wimbledon final he will surely take pride in his performance. Roger Federer won 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to claim his seventh All England Club title, but Murray made the 30-year-old Swiss produce one of the finest performances of his career.

In the end it might have been the British weather that did for the Scot. Without wind or changing temperatures to affect his game, Federer has always been a wonderful indoor player and after the Centre Court roof was closed following a rain break early in the third set he took charge.

The Swiss has always been an aggressive player, but in the perfect conditions under the roof he went on all-out attack and Murray could not find a response. The world No 4, nevertheless, gave his best performance in a Grand Slam final.

The only time Murray looked in danger of being overawed by the occasion was when the two men came on court. Federer emerged first, waving to the crowd, and walked into the stadium with all the swagger of a man playing in his eighth Wimbledon final. Murray acknowledged the rapturous applause but looked self-conscious as he did so.

Nevertheless, when play began it was Federer who looked like the nervous debutant. The Federer forehand has long been recognised as the greatest shot in the modern game, but the Swiss made four errors on his favoured flank to give Murray an immediate break of serve. The last of them – a comparatively routine drive volley that Federer slapped beyond the baseline – prompted what must have been the greatest roar Centre Court crowd has ever heard at the end of an opening game.

Although Murray held for 2-0, Federer was quickly into his stride, winning three games in a row after breaking serve with some typically aggressive ball-striking. From that point onwards the set was tight. Five of the first eight games went to deuce and with 48 minutes on the clock the score was still only 4-4.

Having saved two break points in the eighth game, Murray came out shooting from the hip in the ninth. At 15-15 the Scot chased down a drop shot and cracked a forehand straight at Federer, who was at the net and only just managed to duck out of the way as the ball landed inside the baseline. It was a shot that might not have been in line with tennis etiquette, but Murray's coach, Ivan Lendl, would surely have approved, having made such a tactic one of his trademarks.

Murray forced two forehand errors on the next two points and then held to take the set after 57 minutes, completing the job with three successive unreturned serves. At the 10th attempt Murray had finally won a set in a Grand Slam final.

By the second set both men were playing superbly. There were some wonderful rallies, Federer attacking at every opportunity and Murray too showing some splendid aggression. Federer was forced to save two break points at 2-2 and two more at 3-3, but when Murray served at 5-6 and 30-0 the Swiss upped his game in the way that only he can. Having got back to 30-30, he created set point with one beautiful stop volley and promptly converted it with a second.

Centre Court had been a cauldron of noise, but Murray's loss of the set dampened crowd's enthusiasm as effectively as the rain clouds that were rapidly approaching. With Federer serving at 1-1 and 40-0 in the third set the heavens opened and the players went off court. Once again the roof was closed – what an asset it has been over the last fortnight – and within 39 minutes the match had restarted, to the sound of torrential rain hammering down on the retractable cover.

The turning point of the match came in a remarkable 19-minute game of 10 deuces when Murray served at 2-3. Having led 40-0, Murray went on save five break points but on the sixth he was outrallied and put a backhand in the net. There is no more assured front-runner than Federer, who served out for the set.

Murray's last chance to stop the Federer express came when he had a break point in the second game of the fourth set, but his attempted running forehand pass flew just wide. Three games later Federer broke for the last time with a splendid, wrong-footing, backhand cross-court pass.

When Federer served for the title at 5-4 Murray saved one match point with a bold backhand which forced the Swiss into a mistake, but on the second his attempted forehand cross-court pass flew just wide.

It had been a bold, bold effort by Murray. Now he has to follow his coach's example and show that if at first – or second, or third, or fourth – you don't succeed, you just have to try, try and try again.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence