These two last met at the semifinal stage here past year, when Raonic defeated the Swiss in a five-set thriller, but the contrast on Centre Court on Wednesday was startling as Federer cruised through to the last four, 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7-4). By the end of the match, which saw Federer call for the trainer multiple times to attend to both his right leg and his surgically repaired left knee, journalists were furiously tapping their keyboards, announcing the end of an era. But Raonic couldn't summon the same performance this time against the third-seeded Federer.
Berdych was gifted his match against number 2 seed Novak Djokovic, after he injured his shoulder in his fourth round match against Adrian Mannarino on Tuesday. With a mountain to climb in front of him, Milos finally started to play better in the third set, holding convincingly and looking more unsafe on the return. For him to be hurt at some stage is only normal.
"I hope that Novak is ok with his injury".
This kind of run didn't seem possible a year ago when Federer was limited to just seven tournaments and failed to qualify for the ATP Finals.
"I guess as much as you can say about sport, which is probably one of the least predictable things, but he has it within his grasp, let's say".
"Sometimes maybe the body and the mind do need a rest".
Federer, of course, has had a few years experience being thirty-something. And if time away from the game is determined to be the smartest course of action for either player to take, will they indeed choose to take it or will they continue to fight through the pain? The body didn't really allow me to play, in my opinion.
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Dimitrov, the 15th seed made the semi-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year and lasted nearly five hours against Rafael Nadal, so for Federer to serve at a high percentage, win a majority of net points and blast Dimitrov off the court is impressive to say the least. The grass-court season was hard because of the back issues I had, and the knee issues. I'm so happy to be through.
"I feel like I'm rested enough".
The proof is in his results. Federer began the year by beating Nadal to win the Australian Open.
"Last year I had a hard, hard time practicing through the clay-court season".
After that break, Federer lost just one more point on serve and sealed the first set with an ace down the middle. It's only to say he might consider one sometime in the future.
No. 1 Andy Murray also lost on Wednesday, falling to American Sam Querrey in five sets. "I'm confident too. Then great things do happen".