Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Federer Makes Memorable Comeback To Make Last 4 at SW19

Wahoo! One of Roger's most memorable matches at Wimbledon as the GOAT saved three match points to come back from 2 sets down and beat Marin Cilic 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3 in three hours and seventeen minutes.

The win sees Roger make his 11th Wimbledon semi final where he will face Milos Raonic who took out Sam Querrey in 4 sets over on Court 1. It's also the 10th time the Swiss has come back from two sets to love down in his career and this is surely up there with the best of them. It didn't look pretty for the most part but he somehow hung in there and finished strongly when the match looked like it was done and dusted after the first 2 sets.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Cilic Wimbledon Quarters 2016

Cilic won the toss and elected to serve. The Croat had recorded ridiculous numbers on serve throughout the tournament so far and he kicked things off with a love hold. Roger matched it serving 2 aces en route to levelling at 1-1.

In game 5 the Swiss fashioned 2 break points but couldn't convert as Cilic held for 3-2. With return points at a premium for both guys, routine holds were exchanged 3 times on the spin and the set went into the tie break.

The first point saw Roger nullify the Cilic serve but then shank an easy ball into the tramlines. The inexplicable miss cost him the breaker as Cilic ran away with it 7-4.

Into set 2 and Cilic used momentum to his advantage, taking care of Roger's short balls to crush his ground strokes and move up a break to lead 3-1. No break points were created for either player from there on as Roger failed to make an impact on the return losing the set 6-4.

By now Roger was in deep in trouble and at 3-3 he slipped to 0-40. Somehow he held and took advantage of a Cilic double fault on break point to lead 5-3. He served out the set to 30 to take it 6-3.

Set 4 saw Roger's level rise significantly but Cilic wouldn't go away. The 2014 US Open Champ held 2 break points in the third game which Roger saved. Cilic then had to save 2 break points of his own to lead 3-2. The next piece of action came at 4-5 with Roger serving to stay in the match, here he slipped to 30-40 but Cilic's return went long as he held for 5-5. It was the same story at 5-6 with Cilic again holding a match point but Roger went big on the serve to hold and force a tie break.

A good start was needed in the breaker but like the first set Roger went down a mini break. This time however he recouped the advantage and moved into a 6-4 lead with the second set point on his own serve. Cilic saved it (or more like Roger missed a routine forehand) and then held his third match point at 7-6. Roger fired down a 100MPH+ second serve to erase it and lead 8-7. Again Cilic saved set point but at 8-8 a double fault gave Fed another set point which he again failed to take. He did however pull off some incredible defence at 9-9 to give himself a fifth set point which he finally converted to take the breaker 11-9.

Momentum was now firmly on Federer's side and he had the benefit of serving first in the fifth, pulling off an important hold to 30 in the opener. In game six Roger fashioned a break point but netted an unconvincing backhand which let Cilic off the hook. However with Cilic serving at 3-4 the Swiss got the breakthrough, making a sweet pass to setup break point and converting to lead 5-3. He served it out to 15 firing down an ace on match point. BOOM!

Match Stats

MATCH STATISTICS R. FEDERER M. CILIC
ACES 27 23
DOUBLE FAULTS 0 7
FIRST SERVE % IN 106/169 (63%) 93/163 (57%)
WIN % ON 1ST SERVE 84/106 (79%) 76/93 (82%)
WIN % ON 2ND SERVE 37/63 (59%) 38/70 (54%)
NET POINTS WON 18/27 (67%) 26/39 (67%)
BREAK POINTS WON 2/9 (22%) 1/8 (13%)
RECEIVING POINTS WON 49/163 (30%) 48/169 (28%)
WINNERS 67 59
UNFORCED ERRORS 24 36
TOTAL POINTS WON 170 162
DISTANCE COVERED (M) 2625.8 2511.8
DISTANCE COVERED/PT. (M) 7.9 7.6
SABR 0 0

Interview

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Cilic Wimbledon QF

Well what can you say about that! It's one of those matches that is fun to be a part of whether you're courtside, watching on TV or refreshing the live scores at work. I wasn't feeling at all confident at 2 sets down but fortunately Roger wasn't in that frame of mind as he found a way back into it and pulled off one his best ever comebacks. Just epic really considering he's barely played all year but finds a way to win a 5 setter from 2 sets down.

As for the match itself Cilic started pretty much like their US Open encounter 2 years ago with his serve and ground strokes dictating play from the word go. Roger did a decent enough job of nullifying a lot of the first strikes but he could never transition into attack. Either hitting too short when he had a chance to steal the initiative or missing an easy ball from the baseline. Had he managed to take those early break points then the first set would have probably gone his way but that routine miss at the start of the breaker let Cilic get comfortable and the Swiss was having to play reactive tennis thereafter.

The second set was completely forgettable from Fed's perspective as he was stuck in a rut watching Cilic's serves go by and almost looked out of ideas with no real change up on the return. Even in the third the outlook looked bleak (only 4 points had gone beyond 9 shots as Cilic continued to force the issue) but he somehow turned it around. The 3 missed break point chances at 3-3 in the third clearly planted some doubt in Cilic's mind and let Roger take the set. And even though the Croat looked like he had halted Roger's momentum in the fourth, there was still enough uncertainty from him on the 3 match points (he got second serves on two of them but failed to put the ball in play) which allowed Fed to escape and finally win the lengthy tie break. The fifth set always felt like a Roger win after he held the opening service game and he made more returns (adjusted his position which paid off), served big (15 of his 27 aces came in the last 2 sets) and got his rewards to break and close it out in style.

Predictions vs. Raonic

Next up is Milos Raonic who defeated Sam Querrey in four sets. I haven't seen any of it but it's a decent win for Raonic who's looked impressive on the grass with his new coach John McEnroe sat courtside.

Like the matchup today Raonic is a big danger on this surface thanks to his serve and forehand. He's also making more an effort to get to net this tournament which seems to be paying off for him and also helped him make the final at Queen's Club where he lost to Murray in 3 sets.

The good news for Roger is whilst Raonic is dangerous, he's definitely less destructive than Cilic. The Canadian will serve more conservatively and doesn't have the easy power off both wings that Cilic possesses. His forehand is certainly a weapon but he is more about setting up points whereas Cilic can just fire winners at will. That should mean Federer can get more of a look in and be able to get more of an upperhand from the baseline. He'll need to be moving well to do it though and make enough returns to force Raonic into difficult positions.

Putting the outcome and manner of the victory aside Fed's ground game was average today so he will definitely have to take it up a notch on Friday and miss less routine balls. If he serves as well then I like his chances and I think his return will work better against the Raonic serve especially the short slice. It will be interesting to see how he holds up physically too after playing his first 5 setter since the US Open 2014 against Monfils. The match wasn't actually that long today so he should be ok but he doesn't have much tennis in his legs this season, hopefully those 7 matches in Stuttgart and Halle help. Assuming there's no let down physically / emotionally I will pick Fed to get it done in 4. But it will likely be another close one. See you Friday πŸ™‚

Federer vs. Cilic Wimbledon 2016 Rating

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

EPIC

Special comeback from Fed saving 3 match points en route to victory in 5 sets. Another match that will live long in the memory.

User Rating: 4.55 ( 15 votes)

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer – I’ll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I’m not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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217 thoughts on “Federer Makes Memorable Comeback To Make Last 4 at SW19”

    1. Good to have a first comment on one of roger’s most memorable wins.
      I was scared of this matchup and after Fed lost 2 sets ,I had literally given up hope.After that it was a great fightback from Fed.I could feel my heart pounding and this was the most nervous I could get while watching the last three sets.
      The first hold in fifth set was of utmost importance after the tie break and he did no mistake.
      I don’t know if roger will be tired or not but cilic has really warmed federer for Raonic matchup and I hope roger doesn’t give us another heart attack.
      I see Murray getting a double break in fifth set ,tsonga wouldnt be able to pull off a Federer now.
      Beli18ve in roger!

      1. I must of been one of the few people who thought Roger maybe had a chance. I knew cilic couldn’t maintain that level for the whole match but it felt like us open 2014 all over again. So glad Roger clutched it out when he needed to. Some second serves on crucial points were mind boggling

      2. Yeah that hold at the start of fifth was pretty huge. So many times he has had a fifth set let down. Not here, found that bit extra to get himself over the line.

  1. More fool me. I quit watching the live scores after 2 sets because I couldn’t stand it.

    I don’t know if he can do it two more times, but…. I didn’t really think he could do it once.

    What a player.

    Guess I can watch highlights now!

    1. Another live score bottler πŸ˜† I dunno how you can’t not look at the scores?? Whenever I’m not watching ,which is rare, i’m constantly checking them.

  2. I stopped watching after sets to love score but joined back later in the 4th. What an epic match, unbelievable effort from Rog. This man is a piece of history himself! Truly magnificent. He s about to turn 35 next month but the passion and his love for this sport truly is unbelievable.

    Getting back to the match I think Cilic was somewhere near his US open form in the first two sets and Roger playing that tough in the last 3 sets was a treat to watch. It wasnt one of those 5 hr marathons , so cant really take it as a normal 5 setter. So physically bearing he has 48 hrs before the semis and the fact that he hasnt played a lot this year, Roger should be just fine. On the brighter side I feel this is one of those matches that Federee needed to open up before the semis.
    Wishing him all the best for the semis. He has an impeccable record at this stage of the tournament here, So i am very positive here.

  3. I am in Amsterdam. Came back to the hotel, turned on the tennis when Fed was down o40 3/3 in set 3. Despaired. Took a look 5 min later, and he had held. Then settled in for the duration. Fed came up with some beautiful, inspiring stuff. I was agog. His genius was in full flair. This man continues to enthrall, amaze, and bedazzle. Let’s hope he has the legs for 2 more wins. Agree w Jonathan. Raonic game is big but doesn’t have the lethalness that Cilic has. TG we can relax tomorrow.

      1. Fed/Cilic a quick 5 set encounter because both were serving their way out of trouble most of the time.

    1. Murray was pushing and moaning at his box like usual. Tsonga made some great shots but can never sustain it. If he’d won that first set breaker it might have turned out differently.

  4. Oh man what an epic match. Had the day of because of eid and was looking kind of forward to the match. I knew this would be the first test for Roger this tournament and for the first 2 and a half it wasn’t looking too good. Cilic was playing good tennis and really forced the issue to him. I think saving those 3 break points was the game changer. It may not have been at the time but it gave Roger more confidence as he saved 7 break points after that. I’m so glad he won as it really made my day. I think raonic can pull of the upset to be perfectly honest. He’s a better player than 2014 and roger still isn’t 100% but he’s getting closer. Allez Roger. The dream continues

    1. Based on Roger’s recent record in 5-setters, I am fully expecting him to lose this next match fairly tamely, regardless of his SF record here – but am hoping I’m wrong.

      1. Hope you’r wrong, too! And I think he has better chance this time. He didn’t look much tired, of course very happy and encouraged. Be cheerful – he is!

  5. Gotta say that Fed looked very good in the fifth set. I think he needed a match like this to raise his level further. Tough match but if Fed recovers well I think he’ll benefit from it in the long run. Whatever happens from here though it was another epic and to make a semi-final after the year he has had is amazing really.

  6. Yet another proof of his indomitable champion’s heart and fighting spirit–second comeback from two sets down after saving match points! He wasn’t going to leave the Center Court of Wimbledon without a fight. After the lousy start he made, playing so passively and relying on his ground game hoping he’d be able to outrally Cilic, I didn’t hold out much hope but somehow he managed to sneak out that third set and tough out the fourth by dint of sheer relentlessness and throwing everything he had in his toolbox at his opponent. In the fifth he just outplayed Cilic. Before today, Cilic was 51-0 in Grand Slam play after winning the first two sets; Federer managed to overturn that superb record.

    This match was hugely important because he needed confirmation that he could still beat the top players on the biggest stages, even after recovering from surgery. He needed to put his body and mind to the ultimate test, trial by fire, in the crucible of Center Court. Any doubts he had about his physical condition, about his movement and endurance, have been decisively answered by the result. He was stronger in the fifth set than in the first!

    Even if he doesn’t win the title, he’ll get an enormous boost of confidence from how he won this match, and it will be decisive for the rest of this year and next year, too.

    Some people are comparing this to when he beat Monfils at USO and was too tired to play his best in the semis. But that year he’d played so much tennis–after the final of Wimbledon, he’d made the final in Toronto and Cincinnati so he was really running on empty by the time he got to Flushing Meadows. This year he hasn’t played very much at all; if anything, he needs match play to gauge how he’ll hold up under pressure. He came into the tournament having played a fair number of grass-court matches so he’s not likely to have a letdown from sudden overexertion.

    Also, like Jonathan says Raonic isn’t a power player like Cilic, he won’t blast Federer off the court and Federer’ll have more time to work the ball when they get into rallies. Plus this is grass, where he moves most efficiently and smoothly. I don’t think it’s as tiring for him to play on grass as it is on clay or hard court. I’d say he has a decent chance of recovering well for the semis.

    C’mon Roger! As long as you’re in it, you can win it!

    1. I wouldn’t compare it to the Monfils match at all. Totally different circumstances as you said. Not only did Fed play way more tennis in the summer of 14′ upto that point but this match was more about him upping his level and digging deep to win over an opponent who was seeing the ball perfectly over Monfils who derailed completely.

      I definitely think Milos will have a few 1-2 punch moments but he has improved his all round court game a lot from the last time these 2 met here, tough match for Fed but right now let’s just soak up this win!

  7. Holy holy crap I’m still on such a high! What an incredible, nerve-shredding match. I can’t remember the last time I was this nervous watching a Federer match, and man how bleak things looked in that third set… the number of times I thought that Fed’s time was up…I still can’t believe he wormed his way out of it! I don’t wanna jinx it but I can smell the title, I really can guys. That was such an important and epic win! And probably the best match of the year so far!

    1. Benneteau match? I wasn’t nervous for this as a loss wouldn’t have felt so bad as all Cilics chances to win came when he was quite far ahead in the match.

      And yes, don’t jinx it. Title is miles away.

  8. Great match, great write up! Saved by his serve and his nerve! To send down 2nd serves like that on crucial points.. Unreal mental toughness! Great prep for facing Milos as he gradually worked his way in and his return % in 5th set way higher than 1st set.. Also Milos doesn’t Hv that slider out wide that Cilic has… Hoping he will be nervous too!!
    Andy surprised me today.. Much more cautious and pushy but he still wins.. So fit and fast too.. Will easily beat Berdych…

    Anyway back to Rog, Plse keep serving like that, it has kept you in the tournament! See you Fri!!

    1. Great write up, the place for serves is the grass and he is on song. I like the sharp little Peter Pan collar on the outfit think it means he will never grow old, and a new version of the classic Tennis Polo and collars at Wimbledon are lucky for Roger.

      Can’t wait for Friday, come what may, the world wide sentiment of goodwill is phenomenal. Vintage Fed ….Chum Jetze, this seems to be what spurred him on to prevail today as he was willing himself to get up and into it? the cheeky finger wagging after the end of match, double handed high fist pump showed how much he wanted it too.
      Glad he feels so alive going posting a gif on Twitter so fast is a very good sign that he feels so energised and it’s wondeRFul. His longevity and level of clutch play truly astounding.

    2. I have never seen Fed been so clutch on the second serve like he was in those last 3 sets. Still adding another chapter to his legacy. This match has the potential to spur him to the title or drain him. Let’s hope it’s the former.

      Can’t believe Tsonga took it to 5. CC getting their value for money today. I wouldn’t give Berdych no chance to get the win, he has made a Wimbledon final after all.

  9. He got it done but it wasn’t pretty. But he finally started playing better towards the end, which gives me hope going forward.

    Serving – 4.5/5 (FS% should have been a bit higher, but clutch great second serves and no DFs is great)
    Returning – 3/5 (picked it up towards the end but for the first half was really struggling)
    Baseline play: 3.5/5 (really struggled and only pulled it together in the end – can’t handle big hitters well anymore)
    Net Play – 4/5 (nothing special to note here)
    Winner to Unforced Error Ratio – 4/5
    BP conversion: 4/5
    Mental strength: 5/5

    1. Yeah pretty much agree with all those numbers. Baseline game was pretty poor but he did pick it up a bit towards the end. That bh winner on set point was decent too.

  10. If anyone was still asking why Roger Federer is still playing tennis, this will surely have shut them the hell up. GOAT. Epic, epic match that proves this man loves this sport more than anything and it loves him back!

    The fact that Fed managed to pull this win despite Cilic maintaining his level up until he got broken in the fifth set is unbelievable. What was more impressive is that he managed to remain physically and emotionally strong through it all despite lack of matches this season.

    3-3 in the third was definitely the turning point in the match. Feels like Fed saved an extra three match points. The return game was non existent for most of the match so to find a way to win and play his best when it mattered is so rewarding to come at Wimbledon of all places. Don’t think any fan can be disappointed after getting that kind of match and victory from Roger regardless of the result in the semis. Hope he has it in the tank to back up this win and make another final. Komm Jetzt!

  11. First, off, thank you Jonathan for yet another great write-up.

    Well, well! Roger Federer. That’s all you got to say! This guy is something else. The great RF escaped from death yet again. I swear after being 2 sets down, I had almost given up. Then that 4th set tiebreak was unwatchable and I’ll have to rewatch it – it was too much to bear at times. Roger was really living on the edge there.

    A very impressive win. At first, I was relieved and ecstatic that he won. Then I recalled the Monfils match and I started to worry. But then again I am looking at Roger’s post match conference and he looks all smiles, all relaxed and somehow pleased that his level has picked up and that his fitness is where he wants it. Very surprised and happy about it.

    I feel that he escaped death again and I really feel that he can’t let himself to get down again. Against Raonic and potentially against Murray, I really hope that he wins the coin toss and starts serving first. It matters. I knew that the only way for Roger to win today was to win a very difficult 4th set tiebreak only to be able to serve 1st in the 5th. And it panned out exactly that way even though Roger had to save 3 match points. Just insane! I was there to witness the Monfils match at the US Open in 2014 so now I am cautiously optimistic.

    I feel that Roger really needs to start much better against Raonic and win that first set. It just makes it a much easier road to victory.

    On the other side of the draw, I was happy to see Murray struggle and be pushed to 5 sets himself. I ultimately wanted him to win and here’s why:

    First off, if Murray had lost, all the pressure would have fallen on Roger. This way, Murray is still the favorite. Roger can then concentrate on Raonic without clouding his mind on a potential final.

    Second, I think that power servers are extremely dangerous here on the grass. Now, Tsonga is out but we still have Raonic and Berdych left.

    Murraty is 8:6 vs Berdych and they haven’t met on grass so we’ll see.

    On the other hand, Roger just lost his last meeting with Raonic so he needs to take him seriously. I feel that if Roger reaches the final without expanding much mental or physical energy, it will bold well.

    Murray was also pushed up 5 so he has also spent extra time on the court. Should Federer and Murray meet in the Final, I like Roger’s chances considering that he has won their last 5 matches. He just won last year in a masterclass performance.

    I feel that Roger can get a look at Murray’s serves and then it’s up to his ground game and his own serve. Against big servers, you feel like sometimes the racquet is taken out of your hands. In any case, let’s see what happens.

    At EURO 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal reached the Final and Ronaldo scored and equaled Michel Platini’s all time goal record of 9 goals at the European Champuobships of all time so that was nice. Ronaldo is also the only player who has scored in 4 different European Championships – a span of 12 years. I am a big fan of Ronaldo and if Roger reaches the Wimbledon Final, this Sunday could be something very special indeed. 😊😎

    So far my sports summer has been an absolute blast. Cristiano Ronaldo won his 3rd UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. Then, Lebron James won the NBA Finals for the 3rd time after being down 3:1 in the series.

    And now we might get something even more special. Will be so excited and I truly hope that it happens. But Friday first and let’s hope for a great Semis from the great Roger Federer. 😊

    1. You have some terrible favorites, Vily, except Federer of course. So, all is forgiven. πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah, yeah. Nevertheless I still want us to win next Sunday.
        Both finals.
        If that’s not too much to ask for. I’ve watched too many lost finals.
        Both sports.

    2. Portugal are a terrible side but somehow in the final. Guess it shows how bad teams at European level are. I wanted Wales to do a Greece.

      Ronaldo’s header was decent though, he can get a lot of hang time.

  12. Great comeback by the best player ever. While everyone can see clearly that he is the most talented to have played this game, he is also one of the best fighters in this game who hates losing. This victory is so special as he is coming back from injuries and surgery at his ripe old age and still fights and pulls off the impossible comeback win against a guy blasting away on an unforgiving surface. To keep his cool under such testing times when he is down is just mind boggling. He must have balls the size of Texas. I couldn’t even bring myself to check the score after he falls 2 sets behind. Watched the recording after I know that he has won it. Hope he goes on to win 2 more matches. Raonic will be a tough match as he has improved his volleys and has more experience especially at beating Roger. Hope Fed takes him as seriously as he did today and sends the servebot home on Friday.

    1. Servebot lol. I like that. Unfortunately that’s no longer true as Milos has improved the rest of his game dramatically compared to a couple of years ago. But Roger is still Roger, so come on Roger get back to the final!

      1. Very true. Raonic is not the player of 2 years ago, and will be no pushover. He’s a much more complete player than he was. He’s worked really hard on his game the last year or so, and it shows. And it will no longer be his first Wimbledon SF.

    2. I still think he can be categorised as a serve bot. Just looking at his career stats – he has only won 1 ATP 500 event.

      25, a pro 8 years. I would guess it’s now or never for Raonic. If he were to win a slam, it would probably be this one.

  13. This man is a genius and a classic street fighter. Also credit to cilic he played a great match and for a while there it looked like it was going to be a straight sets blowout. I don’t think fatigue will be as much of a factor as points vs raonic are going to be pretty quick but roger has to hold serve and make raonic play in his serve. Playing raonic is much better than djokovic though πŸ˜…

  14. I just finished watched a replay of the match and did a little happy dance again! I really can’t believe Roger pulled it off, but shame on me for counting him out. I watched the first two sets this morning and then I had class. I thought he would lose, so I didn’t even check the score. I thought I cant believe Roger is going to lose in straights sets at Wimbledon, which he hasn’t done since I think 2002.

    Much to my surprise he was in 5th set when I finished, so I was able to catch the end live!

    Oh Roger, I have no words for the match. The beginning was ugly, but he held on and even if that 4th set tie breaker was particularly heart attack inducing, I was very impressed with the 5th set and how happy Roger looked in the presser.

    Great write up and I won’t comment on Milos because I don’t want to get too excited, but I do think he is a little less dangerous than Cilic.

    I just hope Roger recovers well from this match and is 100% ready and focused for Roanic and his monster serve. πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

    1. Ooo how can you not check the scores? I even struggle to not take a peak on non Federer matches. (Usually when I’m hoping a specific player loses)

      1. Well I was in the middle of a summer class, which are intense. I didn’t want to anger the professor, but tomorrow I might have to sneak my phone under the desk.

  15. Could Milos be the most subdued and emotionless tennis player in the world?

    He seems like a fine young man, but he does not seem to have any sense of humor and he speaks with a somewhat off-putting (to me) certainty about how good he is or will or should be.

    I am thinking one of these days his brain plate will fall off and reveal batteries.

    1. Yeah, for some reason I’ve always found his demeanour unsettling. It’s almost arrogant without any anything to back it up.

    2. He does make a very poor attempt at concealing his bionic arm though. πŸ™‚ It so happens, his coach is a robot experiment gone awry.

      1. Raonic gives me the creeps when he is walking. He moves in slow motion, like a cibernetic sleepwalker Godzilla with a Clark Kent head screwed between its shoulders and his feet moving like a crankshaft.

  16. Is just me or Federer is coming to the net a lot less these days than he was doing with Edberg last couple of years? This is worryingly IMO, maybe Ljubicic effect?

    1. He came in a lot vs Steve Johnson.

      Cilic he volleyed a lot less – in general he played quite passively (caused somewhat by Cilic’s firepower). But it might also have been intentional – Cilic hits big and quite flat. Makes volleying tough.

  17. Don’t know how he did it, but I’m very very glad I decided to stay up watching even when he was two sets down, 0-40 at 3-3 in the third. He just got better and better as the match wore on and I’m excited to see how much more he can raise his game against Raonic. His movement looked a little sluggish early on, but concerns of any injury issues seemed to cancel out when he came up with multiple insane running backhand passing shots in the last three sets (2-2 15-0 in the 4th and 4-3 deuce in the 5th).

    I just hope he is not too physically and mentally drained against Raonic!

    1. Yeah those backhands were encroyable! I hope his legs hold up too, it’s key to the match. If he’s not moving well early then it could be a bad day at the office.

  18. I have no idea how you held your nerves to piece together a write up J.

    If i had to do it, it would probably be:
    OH NO OH NO OH NO CANT STAND THIS WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING YOU IDIOT ANOTHER BREAK POINT IN THE NET? OH NO OH NO OH NO… OH MY GOD YES!!

    See you guys in the ICU: Cardiac wing.

    1. I wasn’t nervous really, was a bit annoyed on that first point of the breaker as had he lost in 3 I would have put that down as a key moment. But tbh I thought Cilic was winning it when he was on a roll. I gave Fed a 5% chance in live chat at 2 sets down but he somehow pulled it out the bag.

  19. I am so tired I cant write a word
    Even my eyesight is totally blurred
    Federer is Federer is all I can say
    To write this it took me all day

    At 0-40 in the third, I thought its all over.

    It is like facing a killer who has the gun to your head and is going to shoot you at point-blank range. But with amazing skill, you manage to dodge the three bullets. Now it somehow gets in to the killers head that you are destined to live firstly and secondly he starts doubting his own capability to execute the kill.

    Though try as he may, those doubts linger, whereas you have escaped sure shot extinction, that you now believe you are destined to live and the conviction that your destiny is in your hands.

    Obviously conviction won over self-doubt.

    1. Yeah me too was crazy tired on Wednesday. Having to write a post don’t help either. Draining match.

      Did Fed dodge the bullets or was Cilic firing blanks? πŸ˜†

  20. Another thing I am looking at. Roger was trailing for the longest time in the ACE count vs. Cilic and in the end he outaced him. Very impressive. Also, btw John McEnroe was calling the match on ESPN in the US so he wasn’t sitting at court side on Court 1 for the Raonic match. Will be curious what he’ll do for the semis. Not sure if his broadcasting contract overrules his coaching obligation or not.

    Will see!

  21. That was crazy match.. And the worst, it was my birthday yesterday. And I’m so depressed when it was 2-0 and almost cry coz what more can it hurt if he lose on my birthday!!

    I’m felt so guilty right now. after I saw the 1st set I turn off my tv coz my BP started rising.. and started to watch naruto ,but in my head I started to pray so hard. Then I turn on my tv again and it was 3 sets to love and that was the moment that I feel sooo stressed.. turn off again the tv and started to pray sooo hard….
    Then when I saw the 2-2 sets I know he will win the 5th set.
    I think God received so many prayers last night….

    overall I sleep with a smile in my face. And it was indeed a wonderful 6th of July…. πŸ™‚

    1. I know I sent one up on one of those match points πŸ™‚ – more a “not straight sets, please!”, though, I think.

  22. What a performance, agree with you all that it will live long in the memory.

    The scoring system in tennis is incredible.

    Just to say regarding facing Raonic, we would have all taken that 10 days ago before the tournament! Now it seems worse than getting Querry but it is still a lot, lot better than facing Djokovic! It will be tough but having faced match points maybe Roger’s mind will be free, he may feel lucky to still be here, nothing to lose, everything to gain. He was 1 point from being back home now yet he could still win Wimbledon!

    BEL18VE

    1. Hopefully he still has plenty energy in the legs and the Cilic win wasn’t too emotional. He didn’t let out that much emotion though, deffo let out more after Monfils win.

  23. Thanks for the write-up Jonathan. Interesting that Federer said he changed his return position a bit in third set, because the commentators were saying something along those lines in the first two sets. Only goes to prove once again just how fine those margins are between winning and losing. I had recorded it but didn’t know the scores, and I (bravely) watched every set, and only one tea break. πŸ˜† Good exercise for the heart, which is what Feds showed throughout. This is a great article from Louisa Thomas: the-unexpected-challenge-roger-federers-wimbledon-quarterfinal-victory

    These lines some it up:
    ‘But this time, somehow, he won in a way that seemed, even for Federer, heroic, memorable, and vital. The feeling was undeniable. It was the kind of match that redeems faithβ€” not in the tennis gods but in the capacity of a man who believes in himself. Somehow.’

    Against Raonic: CHUM JETZE FEDERER!

    1. He is crazy stubborn about the return. I think Annacone once said he doesn’t like changing as he likes a solid base to return from. But you gotta give a different look when a guy is serving bombs.

      And cool quote, sums it up well.

  24. Huge props to Fed for hanging there! Let’s hope that we don’t see a letdown a la USO 2014. Hopefully Roger can play another good match again as Raonic is extremely capable of knocking him out. Roger needs to convert on breakpoints and hold his serve and hopefully the forehand will be firing and the backhand will hold up.

  25. An incredible match indeed happy to have witnessed it no matter what happens in the SF/F

    You guys should read ruans lowdown on the match at his blog. I can’t even stop laughing.
    To what lenghts will these Nole fans go to discredit federer. Jonathan remove the link you have to his blog from here please its a disgrace

    1. Nole fans right now-
      It is all a conspiracy by the tournament.I just hate federer ,how can he get such a easy draw when my guy got Agut, Lopez and Cilic in us 2015 open 4th round qf and sf respectively. How can Fed get such an easy draw when nole had to play thiem in semis of FO 2016.
      Those two line calls made my guy lose but you know what, I will not blame novak for having stupid challenges early on in the set but abuse all the tournament organizers and play the conspiracy part.I would not talk about the line call which made my nole a champion in aus open 2013 when stan wawrinka would have broken in the 5th set at 4-4 and would have served for the match.I know the old guy would have played on court 1 in 4th round if nole would have won but I would keep on ranting because that is what I know .
      Fed had a magic wand and he made dolgopolov dimitrov and Nishikori lose but I still won’t complain about the rain that saved my nole from straight sets beating.
      It is all a damn conspiracy,everyone is with roger ,the tournament is fixed ,cilic is the biggest Choker and my Djokovic lost because of all these things not because he played like an ordinary player.
      πŸ˜‚
      I love reading Ruans blog btw,it gives a different perspective and it amazes me to see so much hate for Federer.
      Tbh we fed fans are equally cruel ,not on this blog but on Facebook and other sites.We also would have complained about everything but still atleast novak fans have come on the ground which is so good to seeπŸ˜ƒ.

      1. Ruan is a global citizen who wants to unite the world by taking selfies at the gym and ranting against “the establishment” on twitter. Really, Novak is pretty much in the top 5 all time and he deserves better fans than this guy. Also, in spite of frequent requests to remove the link to his blog, Jonathan has never done so.

      2. Haha Pranshul.. well said. I also visit Ruan blog for a change. He is showing much interest in wimbledon even after Djoxit to prove that he is a true tennis fan. I always notice his unstoppable interest in Roger. It’s an announced Djokofan blog but Nole and Fed share almost equal attention. That’s really interesting… as you said… viewing Fed from a different perspective.

        I read somewhere that he probably wanted to be somehow involved in the Federer camp but was refused. This fact and the fact that Jonathan is maintaining this blog in such a nice and disciplined way, made him to do something else I guess. May be both the reasons or may be any one… But I don’t dislike him.

      3. You also gotta love just how politically correct Jonathan is when it comes to “competitor” blogs. Federer-esque in his diplomacy. Haha.

      4. Come on J. We totally won’t blame you if you decide to let slip a few thoughts about that douchebag’s crappy excuse for a blog. :p

    2. He’s already trying to diminish Roger’s achievement should he lift the trophy. To me, it would taste so sweet, you wouldn’t believe. Especially after this special victory.

      I just hope that Roger doesn’t put himself in this position again. You can escape death but you shouldn’t make this a practice. Please, Roger – jump on Raonic. Don’t let him get ahead…

  26. Amazing win by the GOAT! It’s why through all the ups and downs I’ve never regretted being a fan, because just when you think he’s got nothing left to give, he brings out something epic!

    It really reminded me of one of my favourite Fed matches: French Open 2009 Round of 16 vs Tommy Haas.

    Two sets down, break point down and then the momentum swinging back to Roger as he comes back to win the match.

    Funnily enough, FO 2009 is also similar to this year’s Wimbledon in that everyone had low expectations for Roger coming in and then the defending champion gets knocked out shockingly early and then it becomes Roger’s best chance in years. The only difference is age πŸ™‚

    Let’s hope Fed recovers quickly ready for Raonic. His serving can’t desert him tomorrow.

    Allez Roger!

    1. I would like to believe that Raonic won’t be as much of a threat on the return but then again he’s improved. I hope that Roger is sharp tomorrow and takes advantage of the opportunities whenever they are presented to him. I really want him to go out there and snatch that first set. Then, it will be much easier.

    2. Fed said he thought about the Haas match too when he was playing.

      But low expectations at the French Open 2009? No way, he had just beaten Nadal in Madrid, hugely significant win that one ahead of RG.

  27. What a write-up for what an epic match, many thanks Jonathan and all your guys’ comments. Mine was similar to IAM_BANRI09’s. I had time to watch just the first set and had to attend a meeting at 2pm yesterday. When I came back to office (the match was already over), my hands were shaking when I brought back the screen and my heart was at my throat – please. Then I shouted and punched air πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ .

    Now on Milos match, Milos has improved indeed and thus dangerous but Roger should still be able to take care of him. Agree with others’ point that Roger should work harder on the first set. Once first set is in bag, that might free him to play freely. Milos tosses ball much higher than Cilic in serving. That should give Roger extra time to read. In addition, Roger beat him here two years ago. A very tough match, no doubt but doable.
    Allez!

    1. Cheers.

      Interesting comment re ball toss. They had some graphic actually on BBC that showed how Cilic had simplified his serve, his numbers have improved big time under Goran.

  28. Copying over what I originally put in the previous thread – it’s good to see that others agree with me:

    “I believe this match will turn out to be very important for Roger – whether short-term or long-term, I don’t know, but it may be exactly what he needed in many respects.”

  29. I wouldn’t care any more if I can see Fed live at Wimby or not. Watching an incredible come back like this in real time on screen, with total emotional investment, is just an absolute privilege of being his fan.

    Great write-up, Jonathan. Way to go!

    1. Ah well as long Fed seems to enjoy being on court I will for sure care to watch him! I think he is so delighted and happy to make matches again on his “home-court”, – this is a great benefit – yea, great to win, but even greater to still play around! Heart and Happiness producing creativity – on court and anywhere else… πŸ˜€

  30. What a match, nearly died of heart attack. Its almost similar match against Benneateu in 2012, Roger’s 2nd serve saved him a lot. Also he changed his tactics during 3rd and 4th by going more towards Cilic’s FH. I feel for Cilic as he played one of his best matches since USO 2014. Hope Roger is not too tired and will be ready against Raonic

    1. I like how he said he didn’t remember coming back from 2 sets to love down on centre court. I was thinking you’ve down it twice you mug how can you forget those matches!

  31. Something I’ve noticed on here is very often few of us respect Murray all that much. I kinda get that he’s djokovic’s bitch, but if he wins tomorrow (and I’d bet he will), he will have reached three major finals in a year. That’s ridiculous consistency in big tournaments, and I’d be a lot more afraid of murray than I would of anyone else for fed. Short term memory is fine, but Murray does know exactly how to trouble Roger.

    1. Yeah everyone thinks Murray is a foregone conclusion if they meet in the final. Under normal circumstances I’d make Fed a favourite, but this Wimbledon has been a strange one so far. Murray’s tournament to lose basically IMO.

  32. Enough celebration!! Time to go back to hand wringing..

    So… Can Roger recover? He nearly couldn’t handle Cilic when so many here thought he would win in straights. Now he has a bruising 5 setter to recover from…at essentially THIRTY -FIVE YEARS OLD.

    He lost to Milos pretty easily in Brisbane a few months ago, 6-4, 6-4. Won’t it be hard to beat the 25 years young half Vulcan half cyborg that is Milos?

    Milos is playing a lot more dynamically with J Mac – net play in deep development. Can Fed counter the serve AND and the net play?

    1. [When so many here thought he would win in straights]

      Not me. I was hoping for a fourth setter even before the match began.

      Milos net play: If he does that, he won’t win the right percentage of points in my opinion, making it a losing proposition. Federer is no bunny when it comes to passing.

      1. Worked for Stakhovsky.

        It will really boil down to if Fed’s legs are with him after that 5 setter, if they are then barring a real let down he should win.

      2. True, but Milos is a different beast. I have difficulties imagining Federer losing this one mainly because of Raonic’s net play. But who knows. We’ll see.

      1. Stakhovsky was a natural serve and volleyer unlike the serve bot who wants to volley. I agree anyone with a huge serve can win in Wimbledon on his day, but I see Roger getting through in 3 or 4 sets.

  33. Remember friends…Fed is Fed. Yes, he put up a great fight played some good shots towards the end of the match. But how can you forget that miss at 6-4(set point) in fourth set tiebreak? That nearly cost him the match. I know you may say that this may happen to any player, but had he lost the match many of us would have slapped him for that miss.

    It is undeniable that fed had to wait for Cilic’s level to drop. If it didn’t, there was no way out. Right, he was always there to take advantage of any half-chance, but if any one of those 3 points at 3-3 0-40 fourth set went otherwise, there was no chance of coming back. Yes,he was clutch, especially on serve, but he was also very very lucky.
    Onto Raonic and I think Raonic is a better player than Cilic. Cilic likes straight set bulldozers. Whenever opponent shows some fight in big matches, he tends to choke. Raonic is not like that. Plus he has a more complete game than Cilic. It’s going to be really tough. If he comes to net frequently, Fed’s passing abilities will be tested. Specially on BH.
    Fed’s topspin backhands are dropping short; mouth-watering balls for hard hitters. Why does not he use more slices??? I just dont understand. That should be the stock shot. BH drive should be kept only for open court hits, passes etc. Tall guys dont like slices….
    Anyway… fingers crossed. Hope he can find away. But this match is very uncertain.
    Go Roger!

    1. Yeah – Raonic seems to have a much more consistent and to some extent complete game than Cilic.

      And you’re right – Fed had no right to win that match.

    2. If Fed’s legs are up to it, he will win. Gotta be floating around and stay aggressive. Had the success vs. Cilic when he upped the aggression. Same story tomorrow…

      1. I am a little split. I feel that Roger’s game is overall a much better and more suited game than Raonic, especially on grass. At the same time, I realize that big serves get emboldened when they win a set and vice versa begin to doubt their serve more when they lose that all important first set.

        So just as in any important match, I feel that the first set will be absolutely key.

        The Isner match at the US Open 2015 comes to mind. Couple of extremely tight tie-breakers. Will see. I remember that in 2014 when Roger played Milos, it wasn’t that physical of a match.

        We’ll see. I am cautiously optimistic. Roger’s game is finally coming to full optimization but at the same time I am curious as to the amount of physical an mental energy left in the tank after that emotional come back from behind victory. Roger looks all smiles but we don’t know what’s underneath that. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

      2. I don’t think energy is going to be an issue. If anything, Raonic has 9 sets in the last two matches. The question is, if Roger wins tomorrow, and I believe he will, how much fuel will he burn? A four set win could put him in less than prime position for the final. A five set win would finish him. No way, no way he can recover from that.

        I’m thinking a bit far out, and strange things can happen, but I’m talking only about win scenarios.

        Raonic takes first set, not sure how he loses the next three. Intriguing match, to say the least.

  34. Too late to join party, but what a match….

    Milos match, I just hope that Roger isn’t float and feeling good on courts…Just few hours to go…Hopefully Roger refreshed well for this match and up for the Job…I do understand its perspective but Milos sounds bit cocky as he know what needs to be done to win the whole title…Lesson from maestro wont be bad, though i am happy as long as Roger wins last point of match..

  35. he is definitely the best player of all time! What an amazing match!
    one of key moments was the t-shirt change he did, I mean you could fell the momentum changed…
    Federer was smelling blood…

  36. Him smiling and looking good after the match may be adrenaline. Hours down the drain, I hope he won’t feel tired going into this Raonic. If he goes in tired , Raonic will hit out 3.quick sets. But if he is super concentrated and buoyed up like he said and he is really giving it his all as he claimed in the earlier sets, I say Federer wins in straights.
    I don’t want to stop celebrating now, I want us to get to the final line.
    Jonathan, can you pls tweet he highlights of the Federer/Raonic match in January please?
    Let’s hold on with all we have. Faith, prayers, hope, chants πŸ™‚

  37. Four set points go begging at the end of the second set. That could be the match right there. Roger plays them tentatively off a backhand slice, inviting Raonic to pulverise the next ball – which he does. Without a drive when he needs it, Roger cannot win this.

    1. Those serves were kicking up sooo high though… Very tough to drive through those… I thought the returns were okay, but he didn’t back it up during the “rally”

      1. What an appalling game at 5-6 in the 4th set. Two consecutive double faults from 40-love. Even the last ball Fed struck with his approach to Raonic was to the wrong part of the court – straight back to Raonic. Brain- freeze, choke – call it what you will – what a blunder. Now he faces a rejuvenated opponent in a fifth set. If Federer wins, it will be despite himself.

      2. Asked to address specifically the continued hunt for an eighth Wimbledon title, Roger Federer says: “It’s not the only reason why I play tennis otherwise I will go in the freeze box now and come out again next year. I hope to be back on Centre Court, to be very clear with you. This hurts because I could have had it.”

        He adds: “Unexplainable from me to serve double fault twice (at 5-6, 40-15 in fourth set). Very angry with myself. I helped him so much to get back into that game.”

        Explains everything…One side glad he made SF, but so disappointing he lost his way after having it on his match…

  38. Wow, a 5th set? I refuse to be negative. Keep believing guys, believe me, now is the hardest!
    I’m not sure how much strength Federer has left in him, but he can keep fighting for this.
    IT IS GOING TO BE TOUGH.
    Let’s wait it out, praying

  39. This was disgusting. Two double faults in a row at 40-15. Two. Who does that? I’m not sure I’ve ever done that in my garbage matches. And that approach at ad out…what was that? Yes, Raonic guessed right, but why even do that, 3/4 of the court is wide open, Raonic can never chase that down.

    1. Raonic now playing out of his skin. Federer double faults again. Christ, he hits his approach straight to Raonic – again! This is a choke! Vintage fifth set Federer. I’m not watching any more of this rubbish.

  40. He can’t even keep a rally with Raonic. He played like garbage and didn’t deserve to win anything. Double faults at the worst times. Gruesome shanks. Easy muffs into the net at an open court winner. Pathetic display, even for an old guy.

  41. So gutted for Roger. Feels so winded and tired. Put all his energy and emotion into the 4th set perhaps wrongly. Choked BIG time to lose the set at 6:4 after having 40:0 lead.

    Then fell and injured his lef knee and now is completely throwing the towel. No energy.

    So sad!!!!

      1. You’re right. Even last year, he was smoking midcourt inside out forehands, and easily finishing backhands into the open court. How many of those did he muff today? I lost count. He sucked big time today.

  42. The consolation is that Murray would’ve feasted on this level Fed in the final, where a loss would be much more upsetting. Federer played awful at big moments. He still could’ve lost the fourth set TB, but you have to get there! He just donated an entire game! It was inexcusable at that level and with that lead. Two double faults in a row? Hitting the ball back to Raonic? No power, nothing.

    And then that break in the fifth…missing easy midcourt balls. Absolute trash.

  43. What pisses me off so much is that Roger was serving second in pretty much the whole match. Put SO much effort in that 4th set and then all he needed was to at least force the tiebreak. If he lost it, then AT least he would be serving first in the 5th. So stupid and careless to give up that dumb 40:0 lead and then again to be serving 2nd in the 5th after he was winded. Really really stupid and that’s what cost him the match and the tournament.

    And by the way he looks tired. Exhausted. So sad but in the end perhaps he needs to blame himself..

    1. So sad, so sad, so sad the way it ended. I remember the last time I think 2014 when he beat the same opponent the opponent had an attitude because he thought he should have won. So sad it went this way for Roger. Gutted, gutted.

      1. 2014 Wimbledon final was maybe his last realistic shot. Pushed Novak to 5. It’s been worse and worse ever since.

  44. Gifted him the match at 5-4 in the fourth.. Gutted… Federer had the upper hand during almost the entire match (bar the 5th), and then gives it to him on a platter… Fuck

  45. He should’ve fucking finished this in 4 from 40-0 up multiple chances to force a TB. Even if he had won the fifth somehow he would’ve been feasted on in the final.

  46. Again, it’s not a final. Murray would’ve destroyed him there. Fed couldn’t hit a neutral ball to save his life. He played like dogshit and deserved to lose. The tiebreak in the fourth was the key. He would’ve had lots of confidence having played the first one so well, but even if he lost, he’d have had some steam.

    He just played such a terrible game to lose serve in the fifth. Of course, he could’ve lost super easily in the fifth too, just later, but that fourth…that should haunt him. He should be embarrassed.

    1. His serve was not there when he most needed it and as for the double faults at crucial times – what can you say? His ground strokes were similarly unreliable, and lacked penetration. But in the end, the failure was mostly mental – a collapse under pressure. This is not the player I want to remember.

  47. This match is sad because it really showed me two things:

    Roger is really showing his age. Struggled to begin the match and struggled to finish the match. The energy was sapped.

    He really took a BIG BIG risk in that 4th set. Really pushed on all Raonic’s service games in the end and it was really do or die situation. He was close to living by the sword but he died by the sword.

    In a way, I don’t blame him. At the age of 34-35, Roger knew that realistically his only chance WAS to win it in 4 sets so that he could have enough late for the final. But I feel that after all this frustration to not break in the 4th, at least he should have forced the tiebreak and try there.

    Really careless and sad.

    But even bigger than that was his sapped energy, his fall and his injury and then the lost serve – which was really unfortunate. But to me, he lost it in the 4th set when he dumped serve…

    Father Time has no mercy and I knew it. Roger Federer is a great champion but perhaps we should scrap this obsession with number 18. He’s not 25 anymore.

    1. I do not think he is obsessed with 18. He has expressed a desire to win another Wimbledon title. He was doing well until that repeat double fault and then he was rattled as his opponent became emboldened. So sorry he list like that.

      I recall many never expected him to make quarters. He was in the semis.

  48. Yeah I agree too. We need to be more realistic and move on. 18 is just one dream Fed fans will always have. I will announce my retirement from tennis in d next blog πŸ™‚ , at least before Federer does.
    Thanks for having me around, let me go prepare my speech πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  49. The match was lost in the first set when he tamely dropped serve via his third double-fault of the tournament. You just can’t give up a cheap break to a big-serving player like Raonic and hope to come through.

    2-1 lead in sets means absolutely nothing against these guys; if they just hold serve long enough they’ll get that one chance to get back into it, either through scoreboard pressure or through nerves on the part of the opponent. And Raonic has considerably more than just a big serve.

    What happened against Raonic could and should have happened against Isner, Karlovic, etc. many times before. Difference was he was younger and more importantly, wasn’t recovering from surgery.

    Still, he fought like hell against Cilic. So the competitive fire still burns. But a really unpleasant way to lose this one.

    Olympics next. Hope he can do well there.

  50. Genius, brilliance, heart, and hard work have made Fed a champion of the first order, but “father time is undefeated.”

    Fed is 35 guys. He’s essentially a dinosaur.

    I know it looked like he had it on his racquet in the 4th, and I thought he did. But I think all the ingredients that go into that 5-6 collapse in the fourth point to time. Stamina, Nerves, hand eye coordination, nerves, freshness in the legs, nerves. It all connects.

    It’s AMAZING he’s been this good for this long.

    I think that was his last reasonable chance at a major. But he’s the GOAT – and in the final analysis that only became clearer this tournament.

    1. Whether this was his last chance at a major remains to be seen. We don’t know how much is left in the tank.

      If he hadn’t played the marathon against Cilic he’d have won in straight sets. Mentally he was drained; he just wasn’t there during this match. Good play at times but never on the crucial points; and that totally unnecessary donation of the key break of serve in the first set essentially decided the result.

      It’s shitty luck that just when Djokovic gets bounced early, Federer happens to be recovering from surgery and feeling his way back into GS matches.

      Like I said, the victory over Cilic was crucial for his mentality, win or lose. It showed he still has the fight and the hunger and that he can put it all together. Hopefully he can raise his game just a bit as he continues to recover from the surgery, and then grasp #18.

  51. After the third set i already dreaming of the final and start to believe that the 18th is just a game away… But….πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”

  52. The loss hurts but what I saw hurt more. Roger really struggling with his energy, he fell and got injured. Then lost serve. All of this after he perhaps arrogantly dumped serve after 40:15 at 5:6 with 2 subsequent double faults.

    I knew that after the Cilic escape, he cannot be expected to escape again. He needed an EASY match. He didn’t get it. Could have won in 4 but lost in 5. That’s life.

    I am pretty sure that Roger won’t get to 18 but then I am also sure that no one else will get to 17 either, if that’s any consolation.

  53. Roger will move on from this. As will we. I am sure that he’s disappointed but we have to be realistic. At this age, perhaps, the body allows one 5 setter, but 2 in a row – way to much for any player but for a 35 year old man vs. a 25 year old – just not fair.

    I’ll get over it – it wasn’t the final. Perhaps, Roger should have been out already – prolonged the inevitable by couple more days. That’s all.

  54. I can imagine how he is hurting. The fall, him dropping serve, losing energy and looking across at the subtle arrogance of his opponent must be hard. I hope Raonic LOSES the next match. Another arrogant player.

  55. Heartbroken for Roger, but what on EARTH was he doing in that last game in the 4th set? Just threw away the chance of a TB, at least.

  56. lol @ Anewor, I am sure most of us started dreaming when we got the 3rd set. I think the year just ended early for all Federer fans.
    I’m definitely not looking ahead to the Olympics because he has so much going on: singles, doubles and mixed doubles, I hope he doesn’t drop any bcs he may never get that opportunity again and I so love the partnership with Hingis.
    I am also not looking ahead to US Open because he would have played so much tennis that competing to make the finals in the draw already looks impossible. That leaves me with nothing this year, so I might just get off the tennis bandwagon.
    2017? Sounds like a huge joke to build hopes there for a 36yr old….well unless he decides to do drugs πŸ˜‰

  57. Vily, you are right. I also think no player will make 17.
    Competition has come to stay…, that’s what happens when you get too many hungry young guns…

      1. Thanks Sid. I hope we still end up in Novak’s draw in the US Open just incase the draw ends up like Wimbledon πŸ˜‰

    1. Roger will stay third I the ranking, but Nadal closes in. The rest stays about the same.
      However: if Raonic wins Wimbledon, he closes in rapidly.
      Next points for Roger to drop: 1000 for Cincinnati. If he doesn’t earn enough points there some guys will pass him and he will drop out of the top 4.
      And THAT, my friends is in my opinion a SERIOUS problem for the draws that come from then on… πŸ™

  58. Today is Friday, go get a few quiet beers Fedfans, drown your pain, then hit the sack. But please don’t drink and drive. Chatting a dime a dozen as I may soon go burn my computer πŸ˜‰

  59. I am surprised at how harsh some of the comments are about Fed’s play. He did not play his very best but one of the problems older players face is consistently playing at their best. I pretty much accepted last season that Roger was not going to win another Slam, but 17 is not too shabby! I am just grateful that he is still playing and says he wants to continue.

    The other side is that Raonic played some good tennis – he was a tough opponent today. I am a fan of both players, so am rooting for Milos to take the title.

    1. Yeah, he’s doing great for someone who had surgery five months ago and who spent nearly three months out to recover. That’s an eternity on the men’s tour. It’s not like the WTA where Kim Clijsters can come back after taking years off to have kids and win more Grand Slams than she had in her first career.

      Murray was much younger when he took time off for surgery and he took over a year to come back to his best form. By those standards, Federer’s doing fantastic. He’s already in a major semifinal a little over a month after coming back.

      I think people underestimate how significant the surgery was. For an athlete, these small changes in their body add up to the margins between victory and defeat. Even after you’ve recovered from the surgery and regained fitness, there remains the uncertainty as to whether that intangible “it” that allows you to flow like water, to produce your best stuff at the right moments, to shape the chaos into a mighty symphony, hasn’t been irreparably damaged. Without that “it,” you could have all the shots in the world, all the fitness in the world, and it wouldn’t make a difference because you wouldn’t be able to put it together.

      There must surely have been doubts in his mind as to whether he still had “it.” The Cilic match answered those doubts decisively. I think Federer is on the right path mentally and will continue to improve over the rest of this season.

      Think about this: his lower-than-average level of play was still enough to stretch a 25-year-old, prime, hungry Raonic to five sets. If he’d been playing just a bit better he would’ve won this one. Hell, if he’d been playing as well as he was a year ago he’d have dismissed both Cilic and Raonic in straights.

      If you believe the stories, even Jesus Christ only managed to come back from the dead once. Hoping for Federer to pull off the same trick twice in two days is setting one’s expectations a wee bit high, IMO.

      1. Speaking of reincarnations and resurrections are you sure you are not David Foster Wallace Steve? And when you describe players who have it all but the symphony quite doesn’t play, does poor old Berdy come to mind, seemingly comfortable to be at top 10 and be beaten by the trio of champs around him forever and his one joy, firing up for a couple of Fed wins years ago. That is far more tragic than Fed’s situation today after 5 months off with an injury that could have retired him at 34. Gasquet also looked pretty bad hobbling off with his crook back needing Jo to carry his bags. We still have much to be thankful,for.

        Great comments on here I guess we have to go through the 5 stages of grief, so a bit of anger is to be expected but Fed fights on and we get to share, wallow, laugh, cry and accept on this brilliant blog : so once again thanks to Jonathan.

        Post Brexit GB or England gets happy possibly or Milos pulls it off …..Lendl and JMac in the battle of the mentor super coaches, even if MoyΓ  and Delgardo & the teams did all the work.

        Thanks everyone it’s been the weirdest Wimbledon ever but the highs were stratospheric and Fed was the catalyst making the early matches special and the penultimate quarter a match for the ages and his legacy.

        A semifinal exit is more than acceptable for a champ who continues to be the best thing that ever happened to Tennis who will finish on his own terms, at a time of his choosing when he feels ready.

      2. Good posts guys. We can’t forget the surgery wasn’t that long ago. Semis a great result really.
        So hard not to be greedy though….

  60. I think Fed has had his day with majors and I think its ok to lower expectations.

    I don’t think the summer holds realistic hope. This was his chance – SW19. USO is harder on the body and Djokovic will likely be in the way even if he goes deep. If Nole is out – well obviously that doesn’t guarantee anything.

    Fed’s playing far beyond age appropriate tennis. It’s awesome how “in the conversation” he has been for son long. He crushed his peers into the ground and he’s held off or played on par with the generation below him: Nole, Rafa, Andy, but this is now a bridge too far. Milos and Cilic, then Thiem and maybe Kyrgios are on the heels of Andy and Novak. They’re not better – even now most days he’s better than Raonic. … But he’s just a lot older.

    You can say he’s recovering from surgery and the back still, but that just goes to my point – he’s a few days shy of 35: hence surgery and back problems.

    Fed has one major in the last 6 years. It was four years ago. The body breaks down and numbers don’t lie.

    I enjoy his tennis and his genius a ton, and I am quite sad when he goes down like this, (today hurt!). But I’m not surprised anymore at these losses – and I think that is sanity.

  61. Hey Hartt, let us rant. We need to diffuse the tension, pain, panic attacks, blood pressure, nausea and everything that has built up since Day 1 of the Wimbledon Championships.
    People deal with this stuff differently πŸ˜‰

    1. Gutted ,this loss is really painful because he had the match in his pocket!
      How did federer lose to that serve bot.How can roger lose three sets to Raonic where those three sets didn’t even have a TB.
      Well, all people on this blog love roger very much but the manner in which he lost is hard to digest for many of us ,but he will comeback and we too will be always there to support him!

  62. I prefer to put it this way:

    -We all got a great lot more than we ever hoped for.
    -We all got a little less than what at a certain point looked feasible.

    The first one is a set of hard facts: we hoped for 10, we got 90.
    The latter is sheer speculation.

    I prefer to stick to the facts and stop torturing myself with fantasies and life in alternative universes.
    Life here is fulfilling enough. Let’s just enjoy that.
    And the answer is: 42.

  63. It’s devastating to consider the fact that without his groundstrokes (or penetration, especially on the FH side), and without any aggression at all (not fit enough, maybe?) he had the chance to beat a 10 years younger opponent.

    My head is cool now, so – if he can get himself up to the USO 2015 level of aggression, with the right mindset (last match has shown that he has guts) and the right draw, he could be good at the USO again. I hope the knee is ok, or that right thigh.

    1. Right draw? Mario, please, this was his easiest path to winning a slam, post 2012. And he messed up, which can be forgiven considering his age. So. realistically, no chance at USO2015, unless by a miracle the field clears up even more.

      1. Sid, he definitely has no chance at USO 2015, unless he’s invented a time machine, but I think he could have a shot in New York this year πŸ™‚

      2. Sorry, probably should have noted that by the right draw I mean someone who can’t blow him off the court.

      3. Steve, hahahah! I meant 2016. But I wish there was a way he could go back to USO2015. He would definitely win at least one more of those breakpoints, and carry the title. πŸ™‚

  64. Yep. Who knows. Roger might even call it this year. The body is starting to break down. His fitness is just not there anymore consistently – and you can’t blame him and the competition is fierce. 4 years without a major pretty much sums it up,

    I look back to that 2014 – Roger just brushed aside young Raonic back then and this year he got pushed and pushed until he finally gave up. (Or his body did)

    It’s crazy. Roger had a great little run then I’m 2014-2015 but that coincided with the ultimate prime of Djokovic.

    One needs just to look at how Nadal is faltering to get a little perspective. It’s so sad because when you have a champion like Roger who’s had so much success, so many tight victories and miraculous escapes, you feel that there is more. But even Roger knows that it’s getting away from him.

    But as I said, Ru-an with his reduculous hope that Djokovic will get to 17-18 majors is utterly ridiculous. Perhaps Raonic will start a trend now. Who knows?

    Anyway.

    1. Actually, I am with you, and I believe Roger will call it a day this year, at some point, maybe at the end of the season. I strongly feel this is it.

      I was convinced that if he had won Wimbledon this year, he would’ve announced his retirement.

    2. I think Vily has a crush on Ruan. Can’t leave a comment without mentioning him πŸ˜‰

      Fed brushed aside Raonic in 2014, and he nearly beat him in 2016. Raonic has improved 10 fold and Federer has barely played. So it’s not a weird loss.

  65. Guys, it is what it is. Sure Roger should’ve held his serve at 4-5 in the fourth set, but Raonic was pretty clutch on the breakpoints throughout the match. Roger’s backhand return and backhand in general have been a problem for years. Maybe the only way to resolve the issue is to totally restructure his backhand but even then, we don’t know whether things will improve for sure.

    I know I will feel sad for a few days, but this has become pretty common over the last few years. I hope #18 will happen one day, but it seems unlikely at this moment. But first thing first, Fed needs to be injury free. He just said in the presser that he won’t know how serious is the slip until tomorrow. So, hopefully he will be fine. As fans, we can only take it from there.

      1. Oh I am not suggesting Roger making the changes now, it’s too late for that! Also, when I talk about “restructuring,” I am not talking about 2 hander, rather, I am thinking more along the lines of changing the backhand grip. Of course, even doing this is way too late now. I think Roger must have thought about making some big changes to his backhand but probably felt it would not have made much of a difference.

      2. I am not an actual expert but I believe there are Eastern, Continental, Semi-Western and so forth. I think the way how Henin and Kuerten hit is different from Federer. It seems to me these two have better top spin backhands than Roger, but not the slice.

  66. Ookay, now I feel better πŸ™‚ Just needed to keep typing for a while, whew!
    Fed will be fine. Knee will heal. He should take a quick vacation and start practising for the Olympics.
    Murray had better win this on Sunday!
    US Open is largely unknown, let’s see how that would pan out.
    I think Novak has unknowingly dropped his air of invincibility this year . Same way Rafa dropped his a couple years back, same way Roger dropped his too @ USOpen.
    The draw is unknown…

  67. I just saw a clip of Roger leaving the grounds with his mom. He looked so classy shaking hands with everyone. What a champion.

  68. Aww Sue, please post clip. Mummy to the rescue…I love it!
    Need to call my mom now to help my throbbing heart.

  69. I just want to use this medium to thank Sam Querrey for making it impossible for Novak to win 5 slams in a row and thereby create a new record. You will forever remain in my heart Sam.
    Because of you, the Wimbledon grass wasn’t plucked rudely and eaten! God Bless You!!

      1. Hope Milos doesn’t go for the signature dab thing should he successfully put the cosh on Andy but was good to no longer be subjected to the Novak post match innovation, that should have stayed at RG.

        Yes thanks Sam Querrey he seems like a very decent guy…makes Milos seem almost flamboyant…!

  70. Agony. Last realistic shot at a slam. But considering I predicted he’d be out in round 3 it was a good tourney.

  71. I think that the only way for us to to finally put this to bed is when finally Roger, Rafa and the Djoker retire. When it is all said and done, and if Roger still hangs on to his records, I’ll feel at ease. At this point, Roger has basically wasted the last couple of years – struggling to add an elusive GS time that most likely will never come.

    I just want to see how Djokovic, Nadal and Murrat struggle once they hit the big 30 but only time will tell. I suppose one more year and we’ll know for sure.

  72. And to add to the mystery, not only did Roger loses after failing to finish Raonic in 4, but now that bad fall could be a serious knee injury. Just crazy. Really hope for Roger but if his injuries continue, who knows. Sad, but it is what it is. We’ll still love him no matter what. I hope that he’ll be ok. Clearly better that he lost because he would have been destroyed in the final with that injury..

  73. He looks and sounds like he did after the semi against Djoker at the USO when Djoker basically closed his eyes and went for it.

    Angry – and with a sense that the better player lost on the day.

    I agree with him.

    He really had no business winning Wednesday.

    Today he lost a match he should have won.

  74. Djeezzz … Am I disappointed. πŸ™
    This was a once in a, well, lifetime opportunity: Djokovic out, easy draw, short matches…
    It wasn’t meant to be. It’ll cost me a couple of days to get over this.
    Visiting this blog and reading all your comments sure helps in this..

  75. He won a lost match the other day… today he lost a won match… That’s it. I said earlier that Fed is Fed… Unexpected inexplicable. This was not a choke, this was a joke. Absolutely no pressure at 40-15,still back to back DFs!!

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