London: Milos Raonic became the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon yesterday when he stunned punch drunk seven-time champion Roger Federer in a titanic five-set struggle.
Switzerland’s Roger Federer slips during his semi-final match against Canada’s Milos Raonic in London yesterday. Pics/Getty Images
Sixth seed Raonic triumphed 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. “I pushed him on a few service games, couldn’t get it done,” said Federer. “He hit the lines with the serve and forehand. He did a great job. It’s something I want to forget about.
It was 25-year-old Raonic’s first win on grass against a Top 10 opponent and shattered Federer’s hopes of going on to claim a record eighth All England Club crown and 18th major.
Milos Raonic is ecstatic after his win over Roger Federer yesterday
“There was a little opening and I took it,” said Raonic who looked down and out in the fourth set.
“It’s a big impact for Canada. Hopefully, it will be even bigger if I win on Sunday.
‘It’s a great feeling’
“I was struggling throughout the third and fourth sets, he was playing some real good tennis. It’s a great feeling to be continuing.”
After weathering an early storm, Federer had been in complete control of the semi-final, his 10th at the tournament, until the tie turned suddenly and dramatically in the fourth set.
The 34-year-old, bidding to become the oldest finalist in 42 years, squandered three break points in the set and slipped from 40-0 up on serve in the 12th game. Federer, whose last Grand Slam crown came at Wimbledon in 2012, had already required five sets to get past Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals, saving three match points in the process. And the effort took its toll on the 17-time major winner in the decider where he needed treatment on his right thigh and jarred his left knee and foot in a worrying fall.
“I hope I haven’t hurt myself,” said the Swiss. Raonic, nine years his junior, pounced for a 3-1 lead while Federer had to save two more break points in the sixth game. The Canadian held his nerve and claimed victory when Federer went wide with a weary forehand which condemned the Swiss star to his first loss in a Wimbledon semi-final.