Wimbledon 2012: What Roger Federer Must Do to Capture 7th Title
Roger Federer may be 30 years old and trailing Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the world rankings, but he also has a men's record 16 Grand Slam singles titles to his name, including six at Wimbledon.
Heading into Wimbledon 2012 on Monday, Federer, the No. 3 player in the world, holds a 39-6 record with four singles titles on the year.
Despite Nadal's dominance lately (capturing his seventh French Open title in the past eight years), Federer loves the grass courts of Wimbledon. Here is what Federer must do to defeat an impressive field.
Take Advantage of Serve
In 2012, Federer ranks fourth on the ATP Tour in first serve points won (78 percent), according to ATPWorldTour.com. On the other hand, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic rank first and fifth, respectively in first serve return points won (39 percent and 36 percent, respectively). Federer must win this battle if he expects to beat players like Nadal and Djokovic.
On second serve, he also faces an uphill battle. He ranks first in second serve points won (61 percent), but Djokovic and Nadal rank first and third, respectively in second serve return points won (57 percent and 55 percent, respectively).
When you take away Federer's service game, he's not nearly as effective these days, so it's important for Fed-Ex to be excellent when he has the advantage.
Win Break Points
This sounds rather obvious, but Federer must win the break points at Wimbledon this year, particularly on his serve. He ranks sixth in break points saved on the Tour (70 percent).
Of course, Nadal ranks third in break points converted (49 percent), which may favor Nadal in the end. Federer must assert his dominance on the break points, or it's going to be a quicker match than he anticipated...in a bad way.
Play a Better Return Game
Will Federer win his 7th Wimbledon title?
If Federer's service game is simply contained, his odds of winning go way down. He ranked 11th on Tour in 2011 in return games won (28 percent) but ranks 25th this year (26 percent).
On the other end, Nadal and Djokovic rank first and second, respectively in return games won (39 percent and 35 percent, respectively).
While Federer has certainly had his troubles against Djokovic this year (0-2), Nadal is actually a worse matchup for him, despite his 1-1 record against the Spaniard in 2012. That's because Nadal wins 88 percent of his service games (fourth on the Tour) and will naturally test Federer's return game more.
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