No. 2-seed Andy Murray will take on No. 6-seed Milos Raonic in the 2016 Wimbledon final on Sunday. Murray leads their head-to-head 6 - 3, including the last five meetings. This is a classic matchup of huge serves against great returns. Raonic has been almost untouchable on serve with half of his serves not being returned coming into the final. Murray has been great on return getting nearly 80% back in play and breaking serve more that a third of the time. That's the battle that will ultimately decide the match, but there are a few other things to keep an eye on.
Raonic has improved his forehand (62 forehand winners), and he doesn't just try to blast away for winners like he used to. He's using his forehand (and his backhand slice) to get into net and put pressure on his opponents. He's approached net 272 times in six matches and has won 67% of those points. Look for him to try this against Murray as Raonic knows that he will come in second if he just stays in the backcourt and tries to out rally Murray.
Murray has had a very strong serving fortnight, losing serve just eight times. He won't be pressured by Raonic's return game directly but he will feel the pressure of having to hold serve if Raonic can continue his great serving. A bit like Pete Sampras, Raonic knows that he doesn't have to break serve to apply pressure. Sampras figured if he played one strong return game a set he had a great chance of winning. Raonic knows that if he can hold serve, all the pressure shifts to Murray to match him. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out.
Raonic’s Wimbledon highlights:
• Huge serve: 137 aces, 50% of his serves have not been returned, 144 mph top speed, 83% 1st serves won, 59% 2nd serves won, lost serve 5 times in 121 games
• Not strong return of serve: has broken serve just 14% of the time (5% below his 2016 average)
• Has been effective and willing to come to net (183 of 272 - 67% won)
• Forehand is his big weapon off the ground: 62 forehand winners
Murray’s Wimbledon highlights:
• Very strong serving so far: 78% 1st serves won, 57% 2nd serves won, broken 8 times in 6 rounds
• Great return game: 77% hit back in play, 34% won returning 1st serves, 64% won returning 2nd serves, won 36% of return games
• Forehand is his bigger weapon from the baseline: 60 forehand winners, 35 backhand winners
• Has been on court two hours less than Raonic