Thursday, 7 July 2016

Federer Fights Back

All four men's quarter finals resulted in wins to the higher seeds and favoured players, but in two cases it took more effort than expected.

Marin Cilic did everything one could expect of the ninth seed to eliminate Roger Federer, short of actually achieving the feat.  Serving brilliantly, the Croatian forced the third seed to a first set tie break and then accelerated away to a 5-0 lead, ultimately winning 7 points to 4 and taking a one set advantage 7-6..

Federer was deeper in trouble as Cilic broke straight away in set two, holding his own serve throughout to lead 7-6 6-4.
At 3-3 and 0-40 in the third set the 7 time Wimbledon champ appeared gone, but he rattled off five straight points to save his serve, and with the momentum broke the Cilic serve for 5-3. 
The match had turned dramatically as Federer won the set 6-3 but Cilic was serving first in the fourth set and Federer was playing catch up.  Serving at 4-5 Federer saved two match points, and in the tie break he saved another, eventually winning that tie break 11-9.

Federer completed the epic comeback to win a semi final spot 6-7 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-3.  He will play Milos Raonic whose battle with Sam Querrey was far less stressful, the big serve helping him win the opening two sets before a mini fight back from the American netted Sam the third set.  Unfortunately that was the final success for America in the Men's Singles this year, Raonic raising the Canadian flag proudly in his solid four set victory.

Andy Murray controlled Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for two sets, and seemed assured of a straightforward path to the semi finals.  However the French number one is capable of sensational tennis and he refused to throw in the towel, grabbing the third set 6-3 and digging himself out of a 2-4 hole in the fourth to win it 6-4.
Tsonga hit 29 winners in these two sets, twice as many as Murray.

The mission for Andy is clear though, and nothing, not even exhilarating stuff from Jo-Wilfried, is stopping him to this point.  The final set was a procession, 6-1 to the second seed, and he will play 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych in the semi final.
Berdych blew away Lucas Pouille 6-3 6-2 after a hard fought first set tie breaker.  Pouille has had a breakout year and his Wimbledon underscores the rapid rise which must put him in contention for most improved on tour.

So it is still set up for a possible repeat of the 2012 final.  However, the result of four years ago is one Murray is keen to reverse should he and Federer meet again on the final Sunday.  And the Scot has definitely played the best tennis of the tournament at this stage.

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