Neutralizing three match balls, after coming back two sets, fighting like his soul in it, the Swiss Roger Federer saved his skin at Wimbledon where he placed for the eleventh time in the semifinals by defeating the Croatian Marin Cilic, 6-7 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9) and 6-3 in three hours and 17 minutes.
Reaching the 40th semi-final of the Grand Slam was an “epic battle” for the Basel man, which came close to resembling a defeat he conceded against the same rival in the penultimate round of the US Open in 2014, when Cilic In Federer’s own words, he “swept him off the track.”
Federer outdid himself by dazzling the central crowd, including former England captain David Beckham and actor Bradley Cooper, as well as Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Roger’s friend.
“It was a great battle, it is phenomenal to win games like these by going back two sets to zero. It’s weird and when it happens you enjoy it, “said Federer, who became the oldest semi-finalist after 39-year-old Australian Ken Rosewall in 1974,” but I fought, tried and believed. And in the end I got it, “he added.
“This victory is one of the biggest because it took place on the center court of Wimbledon and it gives me the opportunity to win the tournament, it is one of the great ones,” said the Basel man, an unknown until this Wednesday, after a first week with hardly any major rivals.
“The game served to test the body, to be ready again, fighting, because it was a physical battle and winning it is an incredible feeling,” he said. “Sometimes when you’re two sets to zero, the mountain to climb is huge, it’s monstrous. I’d rather be here than reserving a place on the plane. The first week was great. Today was epic.
Cilic had the game in his hand, but always to the rest. He couldn’t count on his serve to prop up what would have been his second win against the Basel genius in seven games. The first two of them occurred, with 5-4 and then with 6-5, and the third with 7-6 in the tiebreaker. All in the fourth set, to the despair of Goran Ivanisevic, their coach.
Wimbledon was the last of Roger’s 17 Grand Slams four years ago. This Wednesday he also equaled the record of the American Jimmy Connors, of 84 victories in this tournament.
Now 34, she has 307 Grand Slams wins, by 50 losses, moving away from Martina Navratilova with one win less, and Serena with four less.
With seven titles here, the Swiss will meet in the semifinals against Canadian Milos Raonic, who beat American Sam Querrey, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7 and 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes.
Raonic hit 13 aces, two less than Querrey, but managed 58 winners to 36 by his rival, the executioner of Serbian Novak Djokovic in the round of 16. In the list of the best servers of the tournament, Milos occupies the first place, along with John Isner, already out of competition, with 114 “aces”.
Defeated in the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2014 and at the Australian Open this year, Milos assured that now was the time to strike his hand. “Now I will give everything I have to reach the final,” added the bomber.
Raonic’s serve was unapproachable. He didn’t concede a single break ball, and his second serve, vital at Wimbledon, was also insurmountable, shooting 92 percent.
Querrey, 41st in the world, in his first appearance in a Grand Slam quarter, after 38 appearances in the greats, could not contain the fury of the service of the disciple of the Spanish Carlos Moyá and the American John McEnroe.
The latter’s addition to his team on the grass tour has paid off, as Raonic has reached the last Queen’s final, which he lost to Britain’s Andy Murray, and now the semi-finals at All England.
In another of the semifinals will be Tomas Berdych. The Czech finalist six years ago against the Spanish Rafael Nadal, beat the French Lucas Pouille by 7-6 (4), 6-3 and 6-2 in one hour and 54 minutes
Pouille had never won a match on grass until this edition of Wimbledon, however at All England he has been able to take advantage of his game to knock out such players as the Argentine Juan Martín del Potro, and later the Australian Bernard Tomic.
Berdych handed him ten direct aces and 35 winners and won the match placidly to become the third Czech, after Jan Kodes and Ivan Lendl, to reach the penultimate round in London.
On paper it may have seemed easy. But I had to work hard, ”Berdych said. “I had to find my rhythm and when I won the tiebreaker I felt better, and then it was more direct.”
“Being in the semifinals is a great feeling. I have always hoped that one day I can have the opportunity to use the experience of that Wimbledon final, and now I am going for it again, “said the Czech, who will face the winner of the duel between the British Andy Murray and the French. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. EFE.