Wimbledon 2015: 'Roger Federer on Friday was the best tennis I’ve ever seen', says Nick Bollettieri

Nick Bollettieri

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The Independent Online

The final will be watched by just about every tennis fan in the world and it could be a classic. Novak Djokovic has no weakness. But in 60 years I've never seen anyone play as brilliantly as Roger Federer did against Andy Murray on Friday.

We must compliment the coaching of Boris Becker with Djokovic and Stefan Edberg with Federer and neither will have to give much instruction to their man. But what would I say as the coach of each player?

To Novak:  In six matches Roger’s serve has been broken only once, and he has barely even faced a break point. The speed, though very good on the second serve, is not sensational but is a consistent 116-118 mph, and it’s the placement of it that is so good.

 

So Novak will have to be aware of the enormous pressure that brings. When you can’t break a guy, you’ve got to win your own serve all the time. So Novak baby, that serve has got to be at your very, very best.  

He has to cope somehow with that wonderful backhand. Roger’s is as good as I’ve ever seen. Stan Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet have a lovely one-handed backhand as well but don’t have that biting slice and variation of Roger’s. Watching him play is like listening to beautiful music.

But I’ve promoted the two-handed backhand and that’s where I’d tell Novak he can score with that great weapon of his own.

Roger is nearly six years older, so keep him running, and if it goes all the way to five sets, believe you’re going to be the fitter man.

To Roger: One thing he must expect is that Novak’s serve has an edge over Andy’s, especially on the second serve that he was able to exploit in the semi-final.  Be aware that your own serve is going to come back faster than against almost any other player, so adjust better than ever.

But you’ve been world No 1, won Wimbledon seven times, and you’re playing as well as ever, so just play.

Verdict on the final: These two are so closely matched, you  might as well flip a coin. Look at the head-to-head record: 39 meetings and it’s 20-19 in Roger’s favour. Incredible.

If it was brilliant tennis like the semi-final, I don’t think either player would really mind losing so much. The crowd will want Roger, knowing the clock is ticking for him and although I know Novak and his family, I feel the same way. Bring it on!

Nick Bollettieri appears in ‘The Independent’ courtesy of the renowned IMG Academy in Florida, which he founded 34 years ago.

Go to www.nickbollettieri.com to access the lessons, tips and expertise garnered in his 55-year coaching career.

Go to independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/wimbledon for videos filmed by Bollettieri exclusively for ‘The Independent’.

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