What. A. Tournament.
First, Novak Djokovic was STUNNED in the third round by Sam Querrey. Next, Milos Raonic pulls off an amazing comeback against the of greatest all-time (maybe), Roger Federer. And finally, Andy Murray put his stamp on the Canadian and the tournament. Raonic’s dream run came to an end in three swift sets against Murray, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6. Prior to this match, their head-to-head stats would have indicated a much tighter match in the finals – what happened?
With hard court season on the horizon, let’s use some statistics to understand just how Murray defeated Raonic.
To put it plainly, Milos Raonic was an unstoppable force on his serve during his run to the finals. He won over 81% of points on his first serve and 61% on his second serve, both remarkable statistics. If these stats held through the final with Murray, the imposing Canadian probably would have won.
Murray turned the tables on Raonic. Milos only won 67% of points on his first serve and 71% on his second… how exactly is that possible? Players are supposed to be more successful returning second serves, but not Andy. He returned a 147 mph BOMB (fastest serve of the tournament) like it was nothing. Check it:
Andy won 87% of points on his first serve and 56% on his second – he was the service king on Sunday.
Raonic is used to being bailed out of dire situations with a big serve. When you’re facing the genius of Andy Murray, it’s not as reliable as you might think. Milos only hit 8 aces… compared to his average of 23 PER MATCH at Wimbledon 2016. There were no free points for the big man – Murray found a way to break him for the first set.
Milos’ volleying at Wimbledon has been a revelation – I’m sure having all-time great John McEnroe in your corner can’t hurt. If you have any doubts, his date with giant-killer Sam Querrey in the QFs will change your mind.
This area was of the match was much more even than other aspects. Raonic was very successful at the net, approaching 74 times and winning 62% of those points. Some may argue he should have done that more. On the other side, Andy was even more successful, winning 77% of points at net. Milos couldn’t string together enough consecutive points to fight off Andy Murray, god of returning.
The most important stat in any match. Milos was +10, Andy was +27. The Canadian wasn’t playing poorly; Andy was just otherworldly.
McEnroe preached attacking tennis to Raonic with the intent of shortening each point. Raonic is taller, bigger, and can be slower than Murray, so extended rallies can spell bad news for him. One would think he ran a lot less in the match than a defense-fueled Murray, right?
Wrong. Milos actually covered one full metre more per point than Andy, 11.9 to 10.9.
Raonic was using his aggression to dictate points all tournament, but it was Andy using his defense to dictate in this match. His dogged retrieval skills were too much for the powerful Canadian to overcome.