Following Andy Murray’s match on the centre court schedule on Wednesday will be the clash between Roger Federer and Milos Raonic in a repeat of last year’s semi final. That match would be the last Federer played in 2016 as he took time off to recover from injury and prepare for a 2017 that probably the most ardent of Federer fans weren’t anticipated.
Federer has been cruising through his draw so far with the most recent win coming over Grigor Dimitrov. Some had hoped this might be a classic but it turned out to be a bit of a damp squib with Federer outclassing the Bulgarian in all aspects of the game to win in straight sets. The tournament favourite is in a confident mood but does realise that the toughest battles are still to come. ” I feel like I’m rested enough. I’ve had, you know, not the most toughest matches. I can look at this quarterfinal in a totally relaxed fashion. Physically I’m not fighting anything like last year with my knee. I’m ready to go this afternoon if I have to, which is great, but I don’t have to. I think that’s a great bonus.” he said afterwards.
While Federer sailed through his 4th round match, Raonic had a much tougher fight on his hands against Germany’s Alexander Zverev. Many thought Zverev could pull off a shock against last year’s losing finalist and he was close to doing so. From 5-5 in the fourth set, Raonic stepped it up a gear and dropped just 1 more game for the rest of the match. Despite not being amazing here, Raonic is developing the consistency to become a contender. “I feel like as a shot-for-shot player I’m better. I just feel like I’m still sort of trying to find that rhythm that I had last year, playing a lot of matches consistently.” he said.
Federer will be eager to avenge last year’s defeat and knows what he needs to do to ensure the best chance of victory. “I’ve got to bring the intensity, the focus that I’ve shown throughout this tournament, the mentality on the serve, first and second serve. Very few wrong decision making. Understanding what to do at what stage. On the return, keep going for it, keep staying aggressive.” he said.
Federer is still 9-3 against Raonic and as such is considered the overwhelming favourite to win here. He should do so and move one step closer to another slam after a lengthy drought.
Prediction – Roger Federer in 4 sets