Dominant Federer moves closer to record
TENNIS

Dominant Federer moves closer to record

Milos Raonic was unable to handle a masterclass from Roger Federer as the Swiss surged his way into a ninth Wimbledon final.

Federer, a 17-time grand slam champion, produced yet another wonderful all-round display to ease to a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over the Canadian, whose first major semi-final ended in a comprehensive defeat.

The 32-year-old will now attempt to win to claim a record eighth Wimbledon crown when he takes on Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final.

Raonic had powered his way to the last four on the back of a devastating serve, however, a meeting with Federer was always going to represent a step up in class for the 23-year-old.

And the gap proved too much for the Canadian with Federer - arguably the greatest grass-court player of all time - always in command in a one-sided affair.

It did not help Raonic's cause that he handed Federer a break in the very first game of the match, sending a cross-court shot into the net.

He did show admirable determination to avoid a double-break in the fifth game, but was never able to make an impression on Federer's serve in what was a routine opening set for the fourth seed.

Federer, motivated by the prospect of extending his own record by reaching a 25th grand slam final, continued to dictate matters in the second set.

And, although Raonic was able to provide a more stubborn resistance, Federer duly broke him down to take complete control in typical fashion with a beautiful backhand down the line, before closing out the second with an unreturnable serve. 

Federer was imperious in his defence throughout the encounter, winning 81 per cent of points on his first serve and allowing Raonic just one break point in the match.


By contrast, Raonic was unable to live with the finesse and firepower of Federer, who racked up 32 winners on his way to victory.

Raonic bettered that total by totalling 36 winners, however, his frustrating afternoon was encapsulated when he sent a forehand long to hand Federer the key break in the third set.

That unforced error effectively spelled the end of Raonic's challenge, which was concluded as Federer sent down another unreturnable serve to seal victory

The 32-year-old will be the oldest grand slam finalist since Andre Agassi lost to Federer in the 2005 US Open final.

And Federer is understandably excited at the prospect of etching his name into the record books once more.

"It's always great (playing against Djokovic)," Federer said.

"We always play good matches against each other. Novak is a great champion and he's been around a long time. He's used to these occasions as well, he knows how to get it done. So I hope it's going to be a good match.

"It means a lot (to have the chance to win an eighth title), I must say. I'm unbelievably proud every time I can walk to the grounds and play this tournament. 

"I know I don't have 10 left. The first one in 2003 was a dream come true. To have another chance to go through these emotions is an unbelievable thrill."

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