Scotland’s Andy Murray steamrolled Tomas Berdych in the late Wimbledon semi. Earlier Roger Federer who was leading 2 sets to 1 was stunned by Milos Raonic, who became the first Canadian to make a Grand Slam final.
Close but no cigar. That’s what Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer thought after just missing out on a chance to win the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament for an eighth time.
“He hit the lines with the serve and forehand,” Federer would say of his opponent Milos Raonic. “He did a great job. It’s something I want to forget about. It hurts. I was so, so close.”
Federer dropped the first set against upstart Raonic, who recorded the fastest serve (231.7 kilometers an hour) of the event. But the seven-time Wimbledon champ stepped up his game to take the second in a tie-breaker. And when he got a crucial break of the hard-hitting Canadian to win the third set 6-4, he had to feel he was on his way to Sunday’s final.
In the fourth set, Raonic had to save three break points to stay on serve. With the score at 5-6 and Federer leading 40-love, the Swiss was one point away from another tiebreaker. But the tennis legend lost the plot, double-faulting twice to hand the underdog the set against the run of play.
“There was a little opening and I took it,” said Raonic after the match. “I showed a lot of mental emotion, I think that’s what got me through.”
“I can’t believe I served a double-fault twice,” Federer said. “Unexplainable for me really. Very sad about that and angry at myself because never should I allow him to get out of that set that easily.”
From there on in, it was all Raonic, who ratcheted up his serve and left the flagging Fed with no chance. In the end, the Canadian would record 23 aces and 75 winners. The final score was 6-3, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
The loss means that Federer remains tied with Jimmy Connors for the most Wimbledon match wins ever (84). The Swiss vowed to return to the All-England Club next year.
Murray dispatches Berdych
Raonic will meet the winner of the other semifinal Scotland’s Andy Murray, who had no trouble at all with Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
After trading breaks with Berdych to start the match, the 2013 Wimbledon champion played clinical, if unspectacular tennis, securing the breaks he needed early on in each of the three sets.
Berdych struggled with his serve and his forehand and failed to capitalize on the few openings Murray gave him. Down two sets, the Czech created some break points with the third set level at 1-1, but Murray held and proceeded to break Berdych in the following game. The final score was 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
“I’m very happy,” said Murray “To make the Wimbledon final is a good achievement. The older you get you never know how many chances you will get to play in a Grand Slam final.”
Murray now has one of those rare Grand Slam final dates with Raonic on Centre Court on Sunday. He should be confident. The Scot holds a 7-4 advantage in their head-to-head match-up, with Murray having won the last five clashes.