A polished display of grass-court tennis from the Swiss Maestro in his 100th match at the All England Club as he defeated his conqueror from last year, Milos Raonic, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4) to set up a semi-final showdown against Tomas Berdych on Friday.
Watched by a pro Swiss centre court crowd, Roger was able to produce his best tennis of the fortnight so far to win 90% of points behind his first serve, fire 46 winners and make just nine unforced errors in 1 hour and 57 minutes.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and chose sides. Milos chose to serve and kicked things off with a love hold, firing down a 140 mph in the process.
Roger then held to 30, and in game five the Swiss was able to force Raonic into some awkward spots as he broke for 3-2. Roger then consolidated for 4-2, and the one break proved decisive as he took the set 6-4. peRFect start.
Into set 2 and Raonic needed a good start but his reluctance to go for his shots resulted in him making tame errors, a weak forehand giving Roger a break for 1-0.
The advantage was soon 2-0, and with Raonic continuing to struggle at the net Roger broke for 4-1. He went on to serve out the set to love, taking it 6-2.
A bathroom break left Roger sat on his chair for a good 5 minutes, and after Raonic had held for 1-0, the Swiss needed to save a break point after losing some rhythm on serve.
By midway through the third set, Raonic had started to up his game as he went after his forehand to take charge from the baseline. In game 8 Roger double faulted twice, and the Canadian held four break points in total, one created by an incredible running forehand get of a Federer drop volley. Fortunately, Fed held firm with some clutch play to level at 4-4.
That was the last drama of regular set play as the third descended into a tie-break. Roger has gotten started well in all his tie-breaks this week, but this time it was Raonic who went up 3-0 with two minibreaks. You'd think that would be set over with his serve, but Fed had other ideas, coming up with two genius return points and winning his next two service points to lead 4-3.
We then got the shot of the match as Roger curled in a forehand pass onto the line when Raonic was even covering that shot. An ace then brought up 6-4 and Raonic then went wide with a backhand as Roger moved into in his 12th Wimbledon semi-final.
|Match Statistics||M. Raonic||R. Federer|
|First Serve % In||70/96 (73%)||61/89 (69%)|
|Win % On 1st Serve||50/70 (71%)||55/61 (90%)|
|Win % On 2nd Serve||11/26 (42%)||15/28 (54%)|
|Net Points Won||27/50 (54%)||18/22 (82%)|
|Break Points Won||0/5 (0%)||3/6 (50%)|
|Receiving Points Won||19/89 (21%)||35/96 (36%)|
|Total Points Won||80||105|
|Distance Covered (Ft)||5440.1||4985|
|Distance Covered/pt. (Ft)||29.4||26.9|
Shitty Highlights Package
Thoughts on the Match
Super win here from Roger to avenge his loss from last year against the big-serving Raonic. I said in my preview post I was glad Raonic came through as based on form I didn't think he was in top form.
Based on the first two sets, that was the case; he played conservatively both on his serve and forehand. That allowed Roger to jump all over him and play the tennis fully on his terms. Raonic had no real answers and was made to look rather cumbersome out there, trying to dig out volleys from his toes with very limited success. Combine that with Roger serving imperiously, and he was soon up two sets to love with less than an hour gone.
In the third Raonic upped his game by going after some forehands and it looked like might just be able to extend the match when it had only looked to be going one way. However, in true champion style, Fed responded. Saving the four break points with clutch play and then winning the tie-break from two mini breaks down. First real big moments of adversity in this tournament and he came up with a 1 in a 100 passing shot that bent in and landed on the line 🙂 Genius and very pleasing to see how he responded.
So a peRFect Quarter Final really, movement looked spot on, serve is finding the spots, and he's winning a tonne of points from the baseline (over 50% for the tournament) which is a good sign. He still has the lingering effects of a cold but a day off tomorrow should mean he is primed and ready for the semi-final on Friday where he'll need to take it up another notch.
Predictions vs. Berdych
Next up is Berdych who was leading 7-6(2), 2-0 when Djokovic retired with an elbow injury. The Djoker has had on-off problems with his elbow for the last 12 months and judging by his serve speeds today he had no choice other than to call it a day early.
Berdych has had a good tournament so far, winning in five against Thiem but overall his draw has been pretty kind. Chardy, Harrison and Ferrer aren't up to it on grass, so I think based on opposition he was the favourite to make the Quarter Finals.
I've never really been a fan Berdych's game, but you can't fault his consistency over the years. He's played in so many slams consecutively and is always there or thereabouts. He carries the nearly man tag, but you can't underestimate a guy with such easy power on both wings, and he's more than good enough to win any match on a given day.
Roger has schooled him in most of their recent meetings, but the latest win in Miami was hard fought. Berdych having two match points, so I think he will be heading into the Semi Final with some extra motivation. He's beaten Roger here before as well, so Fed will need to maintain his excellent serving numbers and consistency from the baseline to come through. Any drop off in level from Fed and Berdych will take advantage but I make Rog the favourite to make the final on Sunday.
What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments.