Britain's Direspect For Federer: This Is Murray's Year

Steven ConradContributor IJuly 2, 2009

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26:  Roger Federer of Switzerland prepares prior to the men's singles third round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany on Day Five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Men's final

Roger Federer has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, and this year completed a career Grand Slam(winning Grand Slams across all four tournaments, a record held by five others). Put simply he is the greatest tennis player in history and at Wimbledon 2009 he will make that title official when he surpasses Pete Sampras's record of 14 Grand Slam titles and wins his sixth Wimbledon title.

But 'our Andy' has a 6-2 winning record against Roger, has unbelievable guile,craft and imagination, and with the nation's hopes firmly behind him must triumph and become the first Brit to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 and lift that elusive gold gilt cup. 

Which version is reality and which is fantasy? Over the past week I have been drowned by a tidal wave of patriotic stupidity and absurdity, an uncompromising entity spreading fantasy, and only now have I taken breath and awoken.

I remember the wave and how it inexorably called 'This is Murray's year' over and over again. This fantasy is fading as the Men's Singles Final approaches on Sunday. But what I will remember is 'Britain's disrespect for Federer'

On Sunday, in all likelihood the final will be contested between Andy Murray and Roger Federer. In the British public's mind this will be the dream final. A player playing in his second Grand Slam final verses a player playing in his 21 consecutive Grand Slam final.

The hype from the BBC will build it into a duel between the sorcerer and his improved apprentice, for at last year's US Open final Murray got a spellbinding lesson off the sorcerer losing in three sets. Centre Court will also have there have their two favourite personalities: Murray, British, edgy, sometimes lugubriously witty, and of course sporting Fred Perry clothing, and Federer with his suave suit, his mesmerising tennis game, and the history he has created on Centre Court.

Who will win?

Roger Federer will win in three sets just as he did at Flushing Meadows. I am so am far removed from the propaganda and hype circulating in Britain regarding 'our Andy', and therefore can give an unbiased and exact opinion on who will win.

Roger Federer, for starters, has a far greater grass court game than Murray. He is able to unleash wicked slice backhands far more lethal than Murray's and can also be aggressive and dictate with either his beautiful backhand topspin or his devastating forehand. Murray's game only stacks up to Federer's on hard courts where playing the counter-puncher works to his advantage, as the play is slower.

The former's greatest weakness is his tendency to be too passive and depend on his opponents to make the mistake - that does not happen with Federer. Moreover, Federer has a more supreme serve than Murray, whose second serve can be dismantled. In general, Federer's game on grass trumps Murray's, because he has all the shots in the book unlike Murray who lacks the talent to play the aggressive shots.

Another reason why Federer will win is his experience. His experience is Grand Slam finals is unparalleled. For those who watched the US Open, many thought beforehand that Murray had the game to beat Federer but when push came to shove Federer rose to the occasion and Murray got the butterflies.

Who looked the better player on that occasion? Ultimately, to separate a player like Murray from Federer the pressure must be applied, just as it was to Manchester United in the Champions League Final against Barcelona. In a pressure situation at the highest level it often separates the better player, showcases his/her supreme talents and exposes the loser's vulnerabilities. Murray is light-years behind Federer when it comes to experience, and that counts for an awful lot when it comes to a Grand Slam final.


The disrespect Federer has been shown by in particular the BBC is startling to someone not participating in the unceremonious hype. The man's greatness should never be usurped by Murray's happy voyage through Wimbledon.

Constantly on the BBC, this reporter Gary asks celebrities ' Who is going to win' or 'Can Murray do it', the questioned invariably respond with a smile, and 'Yes, why not? He has a winning record against Federer!' That winning record counts for nothing, and has been created by Federer's lax tennis when he was off-form.

It really angers me that the BBC can neglect Federer and dismiss his chances. Federer's best surface is grass where his natural talent flourishes, he is the greatest player of all time and 'not past it' as the BBC suggests quite subtly through the likes of Andrew Castle.

In particular, the disrespect has come through a certain John McEnroe, who bribed by the BBC has hyped up Murray's chances - he said ' I can't separate them' when referring to Murray and Federer, and 'The Whole of Great Britain and the rest of the world is believing....' once more referencing Murray. All too often the truth is shrouded in smoke. The BBC increase profits because of this hype, and of Andymonium.

When the Men's final takes place on Sunday, the truth will be revealed: Roger Federer is the greatest player in tennis history and Andy Murray's Andymonium only gets you so far.But for me, this truth will indelibly be tainted with Britain's disrespect for Federer

EDIT: Murray wasn't good enough to earn the right to play the mighty RF. He lost 6-4 4-6 7-6 7-6 to Andy Roddick. Over-hyped and too passive!