World No.2 Andy Murray won his second Wimbledon title on Sunday after defeating sixth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7- 6 (7-2). In a match, that lasted two hours and 47minutes, the Scot was the better player on the court against Raonic, who defeated Federer in the semis.
Andy Murray went into the final of the 2016 Wimbledon in an unfamiliar position - a favourite for the Grand Slam title for the first time in his career. After taking on Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer in his last 10 Grand Slam finals, the Scot took on debut Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic in search of his third Grand Slam title.
On the other side of the court was Canadian Milos Raonic. An upset victory over seven-time champion Roger Federer put all the limelight on the sixth seed after he entered his first-ever Grand Slam final.History was also not with Raonic as he had lost to Andy Murray six times in their nine meetings and had failed to defeat the Scot in the last six.
Raonic’s serve vs Murray’s returns
The 2016 Wimbledon final was also built up as a battle between the serve and the return. Raonic, one of the best servers in tennis nowadays, against Andy Murray, who is regarded as one of the top returners. But, the first point in the match set a sign of things to come. The World No.2 powerfully returned a booming serve from the Canadian and put him on the back foot before finishing it with a precise forehand. Although Raonic held serve, it was clear that the returns had an upper hand over the serves tonight.
The big-serving Canadian has been brilliant in holding serve in the tournament, having won 116 of his 121 service games.
The Canadian followed the same game plan he used against Federer and used the big serve and serve and volley approach against Murray, but it was not successful always. The Scot’s powerful forehand returns gave him two break points in the fifth game, and although Raonic saved one, his volley back to the net in the second saw his serve broken only for the sixth time in the tournament. Come on! yelled Murray, and a few minutes later, he took the opening game 6-4 with a simple volley away from the Canadian.
The Canadian, who hit 154 aces in the six matches at Wimbledon this year, only managed one in the first set against Murray. From averaging seven a set, he dropped to just one a set, and it was clear that Murray was a different cup of tea.
The Scot came close to breaking Raonic four times in the second set, but Raonic’s booming serves, including a 147mph thunderbolt – the fastest serve of the tournament – kept him in the match.
With both players winning 6 games each, the set went into a tie-breaker, and Murray showed his prowess with some scintillating returns. With the tie-breaker at 3-1 in Murray’s favour, Raonic played a monster serve to the left of the Scot that looked like moving away from him. But, Murray somehow pulled it back and played an aerial ball to give Raonic an opportunity to finish it. However, the Canadian’s return fell straight into Murray’s forehand, and he smashed it straight past the sixth seed to take a 4-1 lead. He continued his impressive game and added two more points to get five set points. It was all Murray at the All England Club, and the crowd echoed that as he took the third set point to win the second set.
The third set was the final chance for the Canadian to turn the match around, and he knew that he was just a break away from silencing the crowd at the All England Club. In the fifth game of the set, Raonic finally got an opportunity to break the Scot and had two break points in hand with him leading 40-15. But, Murray was not ready to give Raonic a chance.
The second seed saved the first after Raonic netted a fine serve, and the Canadian failed in the second as well, once again playing one into the net. The chance was gone, and Murray held the serve by claiming the next two points. Raonic looked down as he walked back to his seat. The match was effectively over for the Canadian and Murray finished it with another tie-breaker victory to win his second Wimbledon title.