Federer too good for Raonic
Originally published on 12/07/17 00:00
The Swiss maestro showcased his full repertoire of shots in a high quality third set tiebreak as he raised his level and ousted the opponent who defeated him on Centre Court 12 months ago.
It was assumed that Federer would encounter his arch-nemesis, Novak Djokovic, in the last four on Friday however the Serbian is out after retiring with a right arm issue in his quarter-final match with Tomas Berdych.
The Serbian, who was struggling with the same injury in his fourth round match with Adrian Mannarino, did not serve with any great power and quit in the early stages of the second set.
Berdych was leading 7-6(2) 2-0 when the match came to an abrupt end. The 31-year-old will contest his seventh Grand Slam semi-final later this week and his hopes of becoming a major champion are still intact.
While Djokovic was struggling on No.1 Court, Federer was rampant on Centre Court. The seven-time champion was dominant in the first two sets and he made the big-serving Canadian look cumbersome.
Raonic was tentative in the first two sets and his approach-shots lacked pace and direction. Last year’s finalist was more purposeful in the third set, though, but he was unable to break the Federer serve for the first time in the match.
It was a must win tiebreak for Raonic and he started the shootout impressively. He established a 3-0 lead however Federer, as he has done so often throughout the season, found another gear and smacked an array of winners to leave his rival stunned.
“I can’t believe it, 100 matches is a lot but I’m very happy that my body has kept going throughout all these years," said a delighted Federer after another straight set win. "It was a perfect setting, beautiful weather and the crowd was into the match. I’m so happy to be in another semi-final here.
The Swiss also had some sympathy for his main rivals, who have all exited the tournament in the last few days. “I hope that Novak is okay with his injury. Rafa fought right until the end and Andy was not looking very good with the injury that he has been carrying. I hope that Andy and Novak recover in time for the American summer and I’m convinced Rafa will be back very strong.”