Friday, July 3, 2009

Federer Ends Haas's Senior Moment

Roger Federer had never lost in six Wimbledon Semifinals. Tommy Haas had never played in one.

Haas got to play. Federer, of course, got to win.

In what was a tight match in the first two sets, Roger Federer played the big points with his typical grace under pressure and ended up with a straight set victory in the first Wimbledon semifinal of the day, 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-3.

Though each of the first two sets weren't decided until the latter phases, Federer's domination on serve kept him in control throughout the match. The Swiss maestro did not face a break point in the 2 hour and 2 minute affair. Additionally, for the second straight match, Federer only lost 11 points on his serve (out of 83).

But it wasn't only Federer who was blasting away on serve. Neither player faced a break point in the first set.

In the first set tiebreaker, Federer was impervious to the pressure once again. He used a close call by the omnipotent Hawk-Eye that went in his favor at 2-2 to get over the top and take the set.

In the second set it was much of the same. Both players were serving hot on the grass, and even though Federer had more winners, and a set point in the 10th game, he didn't make his decisive move until the 12th game of the set.

A Haas error sealed the deal on Federer's third set point, his back hand sailing long, and Federer assuming a commanding 2-0 lead.

A far cry from being down two sets, as he was in Roland Garros against Haas, Federer was able to relax and switch himself into cruise control.

Another superior spell of serving all but buried the 31-year-old German. Federer lost only two points in his six service games in the third set, and fired 6 aces for good measure.

The beleaguered Haas wasn't able to make the third set quite as competitive as the first two. 11 unforced errors, compared to only 1 by the demure Federer, set the table for a Federer feast. An easy break in the 8th game of the set stuck a fork in the already cooked Haas.

The rest was academic.

If you bundled all your superlatives into one heaping pile and spit them out in one sentence, it wouldn't be enough praise for the remarkable tennis that Federer has given Wimbledon over the past seven years.

Seven straight Wimbledon finals. Five Wimbledon titles. Only one loss to the phenom known as Nadal since 2002. The list goes on and on, and finally it points to the one task that Federer has yet to accomplish: The 15th Grand-Slam title.

Only one match stands between Federer and yet another irrefutable piece of the argument for his unequivocal greatness.

It'll be a grand breakfast at Wimbledon, no matter who he plays.


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