Federer reaches ninth Wimbledon final

Roger Federer set a Wimbledon final clash with Novak Djokovic after dismissing Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in Friday’s semi-finals at the All England Club.

The 32-year-old Swiss is through to his ninth final at The Championships and is bidding to win an unprecedented eighth title. Victory would mark his 18th Grand Slam championship win and first since beating Andy Murray on Centre Court two years ago.

“I’m extremely happy to be in another final,” Federer told BBC television as he walked off court after beating first-time semi-finalist Raonic in one hour and 41 minutes. “It would mean a lot to win Wimbledon again. I feel unbelievably proud every time I walk the grounds here. I know I don’t have 10 years left. I’ll try to enjoy it. The first one in 2003 was a dream come true; it’s surreal that I’ve been so successful here.”

Federer is through to the final for the loss of just one set, overcoming Stan Wawrinka in four sets in the quarter-finals. The Basel native has dropped serve just once in reaching the final and only faced one break point against Raonic.

“It took big concentration today,” said Federer. “I had to really focus every point. I had to be very careful on my service games. I knew there would only be a few chances on return. I was unbelievably effective.

“I’ve played some great tennis under pressure during the tournament. I didn’t play so well last year and I expect a lot of myself here. In the second week I’ve really played better as the tournament went on. It wasn’t easy today but I got it done and I look forward to a great match with Novak.”

The ‘Big Four’ of Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Rafael Nadal have accounted for 35 of the past 37 majors, and that trend is set to continue when Federer and Djokovic square off for the 35th time on Sunday.

Federer will play his 25th Grand Slam final and is the oldest finalist at the All England Club since a 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974. He leads Djokovic 18-16 in their Head to Head, winning their most recent contest on clay in the semi-finals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April. Their last Grand Slam meeting came two years ago in the Wimbledon semi-finals, with Federer edging it in four sets.

“We always play good matches against each other,” said Federer. “We’ve played each other a lot the past six months, and it’s gone back and forth a bit. Novak is a great champion; he’s used to these occasions. He’s won here before and knows how to get it done. I hope it's going to be a good match.”


Raonic hit his 148th ace of the tournament on the very first point. But Federer was able to work his way into the opening game and was gifted the break with a double fault. Federer nullified Raonic’s power by working him out wide on his backhand wing to open up the court. Though Raonic hit 13 winners, including five aces, in the 34-minute opener, a nervous start cost him. Federer proved ruthless at times, hitting at Raonic when both players were close to the net. The Swiss struck 14 winners and lost just three of his second service points in a solid start to his ninth semi-final at The Championships.


Federer continued to attack the net in the second set, a tactic which his coach, two-time former titlist Stefan Edberg, would have approved of from the players’ box. In the ninth game, a mental lapse from Raonic cost him. The 23 year old did not hit a single first serve into court and a missed smash to drop to 0/40 at 4-4. Federer had done no more than get the ball back and wait for the mistake. He clinched the break with a fine backhand winner down the line on his second break point opportunity. Raonic came into the semi-final having won 88 per cent of his first service points, but through two sets against Federer that figured had dropped to 80 per cent. Noticeably, too, he had won 66 per cent of his second service points. Federer, who had lost serve just once in his five previous matches, had taken his chance and wrapped up the set in 34 minutes.


Though Raonic played with greater potency in the third set, Federer was able to pierce his defences once again. At 4-4, Raonic got broken while serving from the Royal Box end for the third time in the match. Two costly errors gifted Federer three break point chances at 0/40, when Raonic struck a forehand long. As he walked to his chair on Centre Court, Raonic had won 50 per cent of his second service points in the match. Minutes later, in a hold to 30 that secured his 40th match win of 2014, 32-year-old Federer became the oldest Wimbledon finalist since Ken Rosewall (aged 39) in 1974. Raonic, who hit 36 winners including 17 aces, will rise to a career-high No. 6 in the ATP Rankings on Monday.

Date: 4th July 2014, Source: ATP


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