Milos Raonic and Roger Federer have faced-off at Wimbledon three times in past four years. After a heartbreaker in last year’s semi-final, Federer got his revenge over Raonic in this year’s quarter-finals.
The Swiss battled for a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4) win to make his 11th Wimbledon semi-final.
The pair have an even 3-3 record in their previous six meetings dating back to the Paris Masters in 2014 where Raonic first beat Federer. Raonic won their last two meetings: the Brisbane final and Wimbledon semi-final last year. Their thrilling 2016 semi-final meeting ended with Raonic winning 6-3, 6-7(3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
The last time Roger Federer and Milos Raonic met at #Wimbledon, they combined for a classic.
Today, they'll do it all over again… pic.twitter.com/NUtS0ACe9A
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 12, 2017
Raonic came into this year’s quarter-final having dropped three sets, Federer none.
Federer’s backhand clicked early and it earned him the first break point of the match from 30-0 down in Raonic’s second service game. Raonic drew a forced error from Federer to bring the game to deuce and stay on serve.
A loose forehand volley by Raonic at 2-2, 30-30, offered Federer a second break opportunity. Raonic attempted to save it with a forehand volley but didn’t do enough with the ball as Federer chased it down and passed Raonic at the net to get the first break of the match.
One break was enough for Federer who served out the first set 6-4 in 34 minutes. He only dropped four points on serve and hit 14 winners to only two unforced errors. Raonic hit 11 winners in the first set and only four unforced errors.
Federer was in the zone right out of the gate this year. He broke the Raonic serve again to begin the second set and soon after earned a double break lead for 4-1. Federer served out the second set 6-2 after 26 minutes. Raonic only won two receiving points in the set.
Raonic’s first serve percentage was at a high 73% through the first two sets, a higher rate than his first four matches. A masterclass performance by Federer was just too much for the big serving Canadian to handle, who was only winning 67% of his first service points through two sets.
Federer is 253-2 when winning the first two sets in Majors.
A tough hold by Raonic gave him an early lead in the third set. In the following game, Raonic earned a 0-30 lead on Federer’s serve and was offered his first break point at 30-40. A missed return brought the game to deuce and two service winners by Federer made it 1-1. Raonic won more receiving points in the one game than the entire second set.
At 4-3, Federer double faulted to give Raonic a half-look at a break. A missed volley by Federer gave Raonic his second break opportunity of the set, but like the first one, an error off the Canadian’s racquet sent the game to deuce.
Raonic earned his third break chance after chasing down a volley, but he missed the next return to go back to deuce. In the next point, Raonic ripped a forehand cross-court return winner and earned his fourth opportunity. Federer pushed Raonic around the whole court before finally hitting a drop shot and go back to deuce. Staying with the pattern of exchanging points, Federer netted a forehand to give Raonic his fifth break point but, again, saved it with a serve and volley. Federer went on to hold for 4-4.
A tiebreak would decide the third set.
A forehand error by Federer gave Raonic the early mini break to lead 2-0. Raonic charged to the net in the following point and ripped a forehand down the line to get a double break for 3-0. Federer quickly came charging back and grabbed the next two points on Raonic’s serve. From 0-3 down Federer was suddenly in front 4-3.
On serve, Raonic came to the net again and Federer passed him with a forehand down the line. Up a mini break at 5-4, Federer had two serves to close the match. The first he won with an ace, and the second he got when Raonic hit a backhand wide of the tramlines.
Raonic averaged 22 aces per match in his first four matches at Wimbledon. Today, he only hit 11.
Federer is seeking his 19th Major title and 8th at Wimbledon. He will play Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals, the winner of that to meet Marin Cilic or Sam Querrey in the final.