Roger Federer steps into Wimbledon land of the giants

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LONDON: Federer steps into Wimbledon title but faces a perilous trip through the land of the giants . He stands  just two wins away from a record eighth Wimbledon title but he is to become the tournament’s oldest champion

The 35-year-old Swiss has defied time and logic to reach a 12th semi-final at the England Club where he will face Tomas Berdych, the 2010 runner-up, on Friday. Federer will face either Sam Querrey or Marin Cilic in Sunday’s final, if he gets past the Czech for the 19th time in 25 meetings.

The contrast between the 18-time Grand Slam title winner and the other three contenders could not be more bleak. Federer, bidding to reach an 11th final at Wimbledon, is therefore aware of the physical threats posed by his rivals.

Federer said “All three guys are taller and stronger than I am.”

I’ve got to figure out a different way, carve my way through somehow with my slice and my spins, my consistency.

“Being the favourite or not the favourite doesn’t matter. These other guys are all big hitters. I feel like they will have their say in the outcome of the matches.

“They’ve got big serves, big forehands, they are big hitters.”

He has been broken just three times and Federer has made the semi-finals without dropping a set.

He even managed to match Milos Raonic  who boasts the second fastest serve of the tournament  with 11 aces in his quarter-final victory.

Ken Rosewall who finished runner-up in 1974 at the age of 39 ,after Ken, Roger Federer is the second oldest semi-finialist. Federar is also the overwhelming favourite after ‘Big Four’ rivals Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic suffered injury-hit exits on Wednesday and Rafael Nadal lost in the last 16.

After losing to Raonic in the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, Federer shut down his season to rest a knee injury which had already required surgery earlier in 2016

Federar came back in January this year, won the Australian Open for his 18th Slam.

Former champion Boris Becker hailed Federer’s new approach.

Becker told the BBC “Federer is playing the best tennis ever at the age of 35 because he has got everything right in the rest of his life too,”

“Roger is an exceptional tennis player, he’s the greatest of them all. It’s a great challenge to have the opportunity to play him,” said the 31-year-old”.

The 24th-seeded American, who knocked out 2015 champion Djokovic one year ago, proved that was no stroke of luck by downing defending champion Murray in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The first American 29-year-old man to react a Grand Slam semi-final since Andy Roddick  reached the Wimbledon final in 2009 .

Two of those clashes have been at Wimbledon in 2009 and 2012.

Five years ago it was the second longest match in Wimbledon history at five hours and 31 minutes, something Cilic doesn’t want to experience again on Friday.

Cilic said “Hopefully it’s not the longest one ever,” a match decided 17-15 in the final set.

However, with Querrey and Cilic having fired 231 aces between them at the tournament.

Source: AFP

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