THIS was the men’s singles final no-one wanted. But take nothing away from Roger Federer, because he has won the title in unbelievable fashion, without dropping a single set.
Is he the greatest of all time? You would have to say so. Rod Laver couldn’t play in the Grand Slams for five years so, by Roger’s own admission, he would have won many more than the 11 major titles he ended up with. Bjorn Borg quit the sport early so we will never know what he would have achieved either but that was personal choice. No, the really amazing thing about Roger is how he has kept going. And he doesn’t look like stoppping any time soon.
Just look at his year. He has six months off, then wins Australia. He wins Indian Wells and Miami, takes another month or so of for the clay court season and now Wimbledon. That is as good as it gets. He is obviously going to challenge strongly for the US Open now.
It is difficult to say if he is playing better now than before, but he has definitely improved his game. For instance, that his backhand has improved there is no doubt. He used to slice it of a lot more, but now he is hitting over it. That is one of the noticeable differences when he came back after six months out.
It was obviously a shame that yesterday’s mens singles inal was as straightforward as it was because of Marin’s injury. It was one of the worst Wimbledon finals I can remember, but it can happen. It is an individual sport, it is not like Marin has any team-mates to call upon on the substitutes’ bench. I think I read somewhere that Marin has never retired from a match so he deserves credit for the courage he showed, just like Andy did in his match against Sam Querrey.
But you can’t take anything away from Roger. He hedged his bets in his press conference but I would find it strange if he didn’t come back, because it is not like it is a one off. Why would he not want to walk out on Centre Court as defending champion? Why would he want to stop now?
Is he going to be here when he is 40? I am not so sure. Look at Venus, who at 37 years of age made the final of the Australian Open and the final of Wimbledon. That is also exceptional. But I guess when you get to that age, things can happen quickly. But right now I am sure we are looking forward to seeing him next year.
As we speak today, you would think he would be the favourite for the US Open. Rafa exited at Wimbledon early but he will be back, no question about that. I don’t know the extent of Andy’s injury – he is obviously seeking the advice this week and all of us will wait and hear what effect that is going to have on his summer schedule before thinking about the US Open. The same goes with Novak once we can see where he is with his injury. But at the moment you would have to say Roger is in a very good place. He plays great at the US Open, he loves that surface, so he will also be amongst the favourites again. And I am pretty sure he will take a break again.
Andy Murray tends to hog the headlines so it is great to see Jamie getting a lot of plaudits after his mixed doubles win. In Jamie and his partner Martina Hingis you have got two players who you wouldn’t call power players by any stretch of the imagination. But in terms of touch, feel, variety, court craft, they must be unbelievably difficult to play against. You never know what you are going to get next. They have looked exceptional all the way through.
It would be great if they played more at slams, because they are obviously a very good pair. If they can do it here, where the men’s is best of five sets, why not do it at the other slams. They won £50,000 which pays a few bills. And they look like they had a lot of fun doing it.
I always enjoy Wimbledon, it is amazing, the biggest tournament in the world for a reason, the tension it provides, the excitement, even tthe upsets. I have really enjoyed the run o Jo Konta this year and I think we can look forward to many more slams like that from her. Garbine Muguruza has big weapons, but whether she goes on to dominate for me depends on whether Serena [Williams] decides to come back as a mother, because she is that much better than everyone else. It was nice for Heather Watson to make the mixed final, two years in a row, that shouldn’t be overlooked. And Jamie winning was obviously a nice way to round it all off.