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Federer wins historic 8th Wimbledon crown

Roger Federer won a record eighth title at Wimbledon, when he claimed his 19th Grand Slam championship trophy. He defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

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Federer demolishes Zverev to win 9th Halle title

Roger Federer started perfectly and never looked back in the Gerry Weber Open final in Halle, sprinting to a 6-1, 6-3 victory against rising star Alexander Zverev.

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Federer defeats Nadal to win 3rd Miami crown

Roger Federer extended his run of dominance in 2017, clinching his third title of the season 6-3, 6-4 over Rafael Nadal at the Miami Open.

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Federer beats Wawrinka for 5th Indian Wells title

The incredible comeback continues. Roger Federer won a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open crown as he defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in an all-Swiss final at Indian Wells.

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Federer hopes to play '2 to 3 more years'

Roger Federer says he hopes to play for at least another two to three years and that his "mindset is for the long term" in assessing his tennis future.

Federer withdraws from Cincinnati with back injury

Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. The seven-time champion said on Monday that a back injury will force him to miss the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament this week.

“I am very sorry to pull out of the Western and Southern Open as I always enjoy playing here,” Federer said. “Cincinnati has some of the best fans in the world and I am sorry I will miss them. Unfortunately, I tweaked my back in Montreal and I need to rest this week.”

A lucky loser will replace him in the draw and have the benefit of a first round bye.

Federer fell in the Rogers Cup final to Alexander Zverev, the first title match the Swiss has lost this season (5-1 record). His withdrawal guarantees Rafael Nadal will return to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings when the new rankings are released on Monday 21 August. Nadal has spent 141 weeks at the top spot but hasn't been No. 1 since 6 July 2014.

The Swiss star, ranked No. 3, is sidelined along with No. 1 Andy Murray, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Novak Djokovic, No. 6 Marin Cilic, the defending champion, No. 9 Kei Nishikori and 21st-ranked Gael Monfils.

“It's bad news for Roger that he's not playing,” Nadal said. “I wish them all a speedy recovery. We need them in the game. I hope they get back soon.”

Date: 14 August 2017

Zverev upsets Federer to win Montreal Masters

Alexander Zverev shocked second seed Roger Federer in straight sets in the Montreal Masters final to win his fifth title of the season and 10th consecutive victory on Sunday.

The 20-year-old German used his booming serve to overpower Federer 6-3, 6-4 as the Swiss superstar never got a chance to get into the match and physically struggled in the second set.

"I tried to be aggressive as I can," said Zverev. "If Roger starts being aggressive with his forehand and backhand then it is not going to be an easy day for me."

Zverev avenged a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Federer in the Halle final in June - his only loss in a final this season. He is now tied with Federer for the most titles this season at five.

"It's a wonderful achievement for him," Federer said of Zverev. "I wish him the best for the coming months and hope he can finish the season very strong.

"I'm just really happy for him, to see that he's taking everything not just to the next level, but the two next levels."

Federer said playing a lot on the hardcourts this week caught up to him on Sunday.

"I felt all right all week. Had a bit of muscle pain, aches and pains here and there, just because it's back on the match courts, on the hard courts," Federer said. "After vacation and practice, it's always a bit of a shock for the body.

"We'll have to wait and see now how I feel in the next couple of days."

Federer will travel to Cincinnati Sunday night for the next tournament then see if he can play back to back events.

"I will take a decision in the next couple of days and see how I feel after five days of playing, if I'm ready to play in Cincy next week or not," he said.

"Looking ahead to the US Open, obviously I want to be in the best possible shape. Winning my third of the year, my 20th Grand Slam, would be completely insane. I just hope I'm going to be 100 percent ready when the moment arises."

The victory over the 19-times Grand Slam champion was the second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title of the season for Zverev, who also beat Novak Djokovic in Rome.

"This one against Roger is something so special for me because he was always a great idol growing up for me," Zverev said during his trophy presentation. "The greatest player of all time, beating him in a final, not just any final but in the final of a Masters 1000, is amazing."

Date: 14 August 2017, Source: Reuters and AFP

Federer reaches finals of Rogers Cup

Roger Federer extended his winning streak to 16 matches and moved into the Rogers Cup final with a straight-sets victory over Robin Haase in Montreal on Saturday.

The Swiss right-hander struck “Are you kidding?” backhand passes and was untouchable on serve. He dropped only nine points on serve (45/54) and hit 28 winners, including nine aces, against Haase, who was playing in his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final.

But the 30-year-old Dutchman was eager for the fight, pushing Federer to a second-set tie-break before the all-time great advanced 6-3, 7-6 (5) to reach the Montreal title match.

“I'm happy, most happy that I'm actually really healthy going into the finals. I haven't wasted too much energy. I've been able to keep points short. I've been really clean at net. I think my concentration and just my playing has gone up a notch. I'm just playing better,” Federer said.

The 36 year old will go for his third Canadian Masters 1000 crown (2004, 2006 in Toronto), his 27th Masters 1000 title and his 94th tour-level title on Sunday. If Federer wins, he'll tie Ivan Lendl in second place for most tour-level titles won in the Open Era.

“I have reached levels that I never thought I would be able to reach, winning so many titles. Each title you can add is like a thrill. I am playing tennis to try to win titles. I always said that the ranking, if you're not No. 1 in the world, doesn't count really. It's secondary. Now I'm lucky because both are in sight,” Federer said. “Lendl is a legend of tennis. He reached incredible records. He was extremely consistent. He won many titles. It's fantastic and cool that I'm able to reach his level.”

Federer will meet either 20-year-old German Alexander Zverev or 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the final. He will be playing in his sixth final of the season on Sunday.

“To have a player at 18 or 20 years old in the finals of a Masters 1000 is not something we've seen very often, very rarely, except maybe when Andy, Novak and Rafa were coming up. They were such great teenagers that we maybe saw it more often. Not even I probably achieved finals of Masters 1000 at that age,” Federer said. “I think it's very exciting for tennis. It's the biggest stage that we have in the game on the ATP Tour. So to have young guys like this be there, it's a good opportunity for them.”

The Swiss right-hander owns a 2-1 advantage against Zverev in their ATP Head to Head series, including a 6-1, 6-3 victory in the Gerry Weber Open final in Halle in June. Federer has never faced Shapovalov, who's the youngest Masters 1000 semi-finalist (since 1990).

Earlier in the week, Federer talked about struggling to implement his aggressive game plan. In the third round, he dropped the opening set against Spaniard David Ferrer, a player he's now beaten 17 consecutive times.

But Federer was sharp from the start against Haase, breaking twice for a 3-1 lead. He served out the set to 15.

Haase, though, who's hitting top form after battling injuries for years, refused to back down. The right-hander tidied up his service games, striking eight aces and never facing a break point in the second set. But Federer found his way through the tie-break, advancing to the his third Masters 1000 final of the season when Haase lifted a forehand long.

Date: 12 August 2017, Source: ATP and Omnisport

Aggressive Federer cruises to semi-finals in Montreal

Roger Federer remains on course to lift his 27th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and put pressure on Rafael Nadal in the two-man battle for the World No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.

Bidding to capture his first trophy in Montreal - and his third overall in Canada - Federer produced a spellbinding blend of power and finesse to outclass No. 12 seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 in 68 minutes on Friday afternoon at the Rogers Cup. It was his seventh straight win over the Spaniard and Federer is now 34-2 on the season, which includes an ATP World Tour-high five titles.

“It pays off playing aggressively here in Montreal, plus I feel comfortable at net, so why not spend some time there instead of slugging it out from the baseline,” Federer, who won 21 of 25 points at the net, told after the match. “I think I did a good job again, even though it was tough to control the ball. I got some decent rhythm going.

“Yesterday, I struggled against David Ferrer early on, so today was better. I was more committed and a step further in, adjusting my position slightly realising the ball does fly a lot.”

The second seed and 2004, 2006 champion (in Toronto) will now challenge Dutchman Robin Haase, who will appear in his first Masters 1000 semi-final on Saturday, for only the second time. The pair met in a Davis Cup World Group play-off in 2012 with Federer winning the rubber 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

Bautista Agut held firm through the first eight games, effective on serve and also in keeping his position on the baseline. However, the pressure began to tell and the Spaniard faltered on first serve in the ninth game of the first set. Federer surprised Bautista Agut with changes in pace, angle and net rushes, breaking to 15 when his opponent struck his first double fault.

Federer and Bautista Agut exchanged service breaks at the start of the second set. But it was Federer, quick to attack the net off his powerful forehands, who seized control and moved Bautista Agut out of his comfort zone at the baseline.

“I wanted to play a great tournament, and I think I did a good week,” said Bautista Agut. “Today, I felt that I didn’t get into the rhythm of the match and I didn’t feel the ball well. Roger plays very fast and he didn’t want to rally with me, so he went for his shots. To be in the quarter-finals here in Montreal is a very good result for me, also getting hard-court matches under my belt.”

The 36-year-old Federer has not ranked as the World No. 1 since 4 November 2012. With no ATP Rankings points to defend in the rest of the 2017 season, the Swiss superstar could potentially add to his 302 weeks at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis as early as 21 August.

“I obviously follow it, because Rafa had an opportunity to get to No. 1 this week,” Federer said. “I thought it would take a few months to get my teeth into it, but now Rafa is out I obviously know I can make big strides, especially if I was to go further than the semis here. But it’s all connected by great play, but I have to focus on the next match against Haase.”

Date: 11 August 2017, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer survives Ferrer test in Montreal

Tested early and often, Roger Federer overcame a formidable performance from David Ferrer to advance to the Rogers Cup quarter-finals on Thursday. Federer prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 57 minutes.

The Swiss kept his bid alive for a first title in Montreal, improving his 2017 hard-court record to 21-1 and bumping his overall win streak to 14 straight. Meeting for the first time in three years, Federer extended his impressive ATP Head to Head advantage over Ferrer to 17-0.

"I already beat other players 17 times," said Federer. "Sometimes I played them maybe 30 or 40 times. They ended up beating me at a certain stages, like Roddick, Gonzalez and Soderling. Sometimes I beat them 10 times in a row. At the end they always ended up beating me. That's why I have a lot of respect for this match today. I know it can't continue that way. 17 is a lot.

"The last match we played were three tight sets in Toronto, then three sets Cincinnati, and again today. So these statistics are a bit ridiculous, because I have a lot of respect for David. As a person, he's very nice. He's a great fighter on the court. So this type of head-to-head is a bit strange."

Ferrer was on the front foot throughout the opener and he would halt Federer's dominant sets-won streak at 32. The ruthless run began in the first round of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle and included his title at Wimbledon and straight-set win over Peter Polansky on Wednesday.

Striking his forehand with great depth and relying on an efficient first serve, Ferrer was unflappable in closing out the 43-minute opener. The Spaniard, who is in top form after claiming his 27th ATP World Tour title two weeks ago in Bastad, struck a deep, penetrating return to snatch the initial break for 3-1. Serving for the first set at 5-4, he would fire a return at Federer's feet, which the Swiss hit into the net. The second seed struck an uncharacteristic 19 unforced errors in the first set, but the tide would take an abrupt turn in the second. After exchanging early breaks, Federer rediscovered his groove, surging ahead with another break in the fifth game.

Coming forward more often and playing more aggressive, the Swiss would turn aside a set point at 5-3 and force a decider in the next game. He would pull away from then on, breaking twice in the third and closing out a spot in the quarter-finals with a volley winner on his first match point.

"For me it was more of a struggle," Federer said about the match. "As you know, you don't always feel the same and each opponent is a different problem. He started very well, especially on the return on my second serve. I was not able to serve my first serve where I wanted to, and he hurt me on the second serve.

"From the baseline, I didn't have enough rhythm. The court is fast here. Of course, because of the surface, that it's fast, you can't just decide to put the ball in because physically David is very strong. You can't do that. You have to go into the battle. You have to accept you're going to make mistakes. But you have to keep moving forward.

"I tried with my intensity and focus to change the match, and this is what I was able to do. I was able also to change the angles, and that helped me win the match."

A two-time champion at the Canadian Masters 1000 event (2004 and '06 in Toronto), Federer advanced to the quarter-finals in Montreal for the first time since 2009. He will next face Roberto Bautista Agut, after the 12th seed edged Gael Monfils 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) earlier on Thursday. Federer owns a 6-0 edge in their ATP Head to Head, most recently prevailing at the Masters event in Miami earlier this year.

"We battled, both tried to find a way to win. He had a good start, I had a better finish. That was important. For me, take it how it is and hope that this match gives me some better rhythm and confidence against Bautista Agut, who plays actually very similar to David today."

Date: 11 August 2017, Source: ATP

Federer cruises in first match since Wimbledon win

Roger Federer needed less than an hour to defeat Canadian Peter Polansky 6-2, 6-1 at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Wednesday in his first appearance since winning a record eighth Wimbledon title in July.

A day after celebrating his 36th birthday, Federer played the aggressive game that has propelled him to five titles, including two grand slams, this year, attacking the net and rocketing second serves.

Polansky, a wildcard for the ATP Masters 1000 event, never looked comfortable. The 29-year-old double faulted twice in his first service game and had difficulty handling Federer's pinpoint serves.

"I started the first set well. In the second set, I was able to put pressure on him and he helped me with some double faults, of course. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the match. The conditions were tough here in Montreal. There was a lot of wind today and it was fast. Sometimes it's difficult to find the rhythm.

"But I was happy that I was very focused on my service games. I was aggressive. This is how I want to play for the whole week. Anyway, it's a good start," Federer said.

Federer, who has lost only two of 34 matches this year, will next play Spain's David Ferrer who prevailed in a three-setter against American Jack Sock 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-1.

''I think in this tournament I'm trying to play with confidence that I gained through the grass-court season. I have to adjust my game a little bit just because the bounce of the ball is so much higher here than at Wimbledon, and there's wind, which in Wimbledon we didn't have much of," Federer said.

''It's just really to see how it goes this week, and then learn from this week, how I need to then play in Cincinnati and the U.S. Open.''

Polansky, ranked No. 116 in the world after some strong results in challenger events, upset No. 75 Vasek Pospisil of Canada in the first round on Monday.

It was his second meeting with Federer. At the 2014 Rogers Cup, he lost 6-2, 6-0.

''Even though I lost, this is one of the most memorable experiences of my life along with the match I played against him in Toronto,'' Polansky said. ''His transition from the baseline to the net, it's a joke.

''You blink and he's at the net. You hit balls pretty hard at him and he's handling them like it's no problem. Guys I'm used to playing, if I hit really hard, they'll kind of block it but he's constantly moving forward like a freight train.''

Date: 10 August 2017, Source: Reuters and AP

Federer wins historic 8th Wimbledon crown

Roger Federer won a record eighth title at The Championships, Wimbledon on Sunday, when he claimed his 19th Grand Slam championship trophy - now four clear of second-placed Rafael Nadal (15) in the all-time major titles list.

The third-seeded Swiss superstar achieved Wimbledon immortality and moved clear of seven-time titlists William Renshaw and Pete Sampras when he defeated seventh seed Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in the final, watched by a capacity Centre Court crowd of 15,000 spectators.

“It means the world to me to hold this trophy, particularly when I haven’t dropped a set,” said Federer on BBC TV after the match. “It’s magical, I can’t believe it yet. It’s too much, really. It’s disbelief that I can achieve such heights. I wasn’t sure if I’d be in a final again after last year, especially some tough losses in 2014 and 2015. But I kept on believing and dreaming I could get back. If you believe you can go a long way in your life. Here I am with an eighth title, it’s fantastic.”

With Federer’s fifth crown of the year, the Swiss rises to No. 3 - his highest rankings position since August 2016. He also joins Rafael Nadal as the second singles qualifier for the 2017 ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 12-19 November.

In claiming the title in straight sets, Federer became just the second player to reign at Wimbledon without dropping a set in the Open Era, with Bjorn Borg (1976). He also joins Borg and Rafael Nadal as the only men to race through a major tournament on multiple occasions. He previously did so a decade ago at the 2007 Australian Open.

“Winning eight here is very special,” Federer said afterwards. “Wimbledon was and will always be my favourite tournament. My heroes walked the Grounds and the courts here. Because of them, I became a better player, too.

“I was just so happy that I was able to win here again because it's been a long road - tough at times, but that's how it's supposed to be. So to be Wimbledon champion for an entire year now is something I can't wait to savour and just enjoy. It was super special. To make history here at Wimbledon really means a lot to me and truly amazing.”

It has been a vintage first half of the season for Federer, who improved to 9-0 against Top 10 opposition with a tour-leading fifth tour-level crown. Employing the same aggressive and authoritative gameplan that saw him prevail at Melbourne Park, seal the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami and notch a staggering ninth Gerry Weber Open title, Federer  dropped just four service games in capturing the Wimbledon crown.

It was a slow start for Federer on a crisp Sunday afternoon, striking an early double fault on game point and conceding a break chance to Cilic. But the Croatian squandered the opportunity and the Swiss seized the initiative, breaking immediately in the next game after racing to a 0/40 lead. Federer would break again for the opener behind a ruthless returning display, surging to a one-set lead.

An edgy Cilic would continue to succumb to Federer's pressure from the baseline. A backhand wide gave the 35 year old a quick break in the second game of the second set. An emotional Cilic was assessed by tournament doctors on the subsequent changeover and Federer would stay the course, breaking once again for a commanding 5-1 lead.

Cilic did well to make the third set competitive, but the seventh seed could not halt Federer's indomitable momentum. The Basel native would take the decisive break in the seventh game and did not look back, streaking to the title after one hour and 41 minutes. He would secure his eighth Wimbledon crown with his 13th ace of the match. It was a 93rd tour-level title and record 17th on grass for Federer.

Federer extended his dominant ATP Head to Head lead over Cilic to 7-1, defeating the Croatian for the second straight year at Wimbledon. The Swiss saved three match points in that quarter-final encounter at SW19.

“I never gave up throughout my career. I gave my best today and that’s all I could do," said Cilic. "I have had an amazing journey here and have played the best tennis of my life. I’d like to thank my team, they gave me so much strength. To all my fans in Croatia and here, it was really tough today. I gave it my all and I hope to come back here and go one better next time.”

Cilic was appearing in his second major final (2014 US Open). Champion at the 2012 Aegon Championships at The Queen's Club, he was also bidding for a second grass-court crown and 17th in total at the tour-level. The 28 year old was vying to become just the second Croatian player to win the Wimbledon title, joining Goran Ivanisevic (2001).

Date: 16 July 2017, Source: ATP and Wimbledon

Federer into 11th Wimbledon final, faces Cilic for title

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer will play in his 11th final at The Championships after overcoming some big hitting from Czech Tomas Berdych 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4 on Friday. Federer still has not dropped a set at SW19 this fortnight and will be the favourite when he plays for his record eighth Wimbledon title and 19th Grand Slam crown on Sunday.

Federer will meet seventh seed Marin Cilic, who beat No. 24 seed Sam Querrey of the U.S. 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in Friday's first semi-final. Cilic, the 2014 US Open titlist, reaches his second Grand Slam final.

Federer leads their ATP Head to Head series 6-1, including a 2016 Wimbledon quarter-final win. But the Croatian held three match points during that match and has beaten Federer in the latter stages of a Grand Slam. The 6'6" right-hander upset Federer in the 2014 US Open semi-finals.

“I'm in for a tough one. We had a great one here last year. At the US Open, he played unreal there against me,” Federer said.

“I have to play offensive. If you give Marin time on the ball, he can finish points nicely. The court is still playing quite fast.

“It helps on my serve, but it also helps him. I'm sure it's going to be a close match.”

The Swiss star was tested by Berdych, who beat Federer and Novak Djokovic en route to the 2010 Wimbledon final. But Federer served himself out of holes and came through in clutch moments to beat Berdych for the eighth straight time and improve to 19-6 in their ATP Head to Head series.

“I thought it was close. I was able to come up with the goods when it mattered. I played good in the breakers. I never played with any sense of panic, which is so important when it gets to crunch time,” said Federer, who saved five of six break points.

Breaks were traded in a patchy first set from both before back-to-back shanked errors off the ground from Berdych ended the opening set tie-break after 53 minutes.

With neither player able to break in the second set, again it would be decided in a tie-break. And it was here Federer shone. Three straight crosscourt forehand winners saw him carve out a 4-1 lead. Barring a fourth double fault of the match, he punched his card with a two-set lead, 7-4, on a backhand error from the Czech.

Federer saved a pair of break points with back-to-back aces to hold for 3-3 in the third set and it would be his last serious test.

He broke the following game when Berdych pushed wide and went on to close it out on his second match point; a backhand dumped into the net consigning Berdych to a second straight Wimbledon semi-final defeat.

“I mean, he's playing barely with any mistakes. He was controlling the game pretty well. Even those two sets in the tiebreak, I was still the one facing more break points,” said Berdych.

“I don't see anything that would indicate really Roger is getting older or anything like that,” Berdych said about Federer's longitivity.

“I think he's just proving his greatness in our sport. So I think that's all I can say about that. That's very simple. This guy doesn't really seem like he's slowing down at all. He's doing things right way. You have to be a unique one for that.”

Victory makes Federer the oldest Wimbledon finalist since a 39-year-old Ken Rosewall finished runner-up to Jimmy Connors in 1974.

It’s one match to go as Federer looks to continue leaving his mark on history in a big way.

Cilic admitted he faces a tough challenge in the final if he has to beat 18-times grand slam champion Federer, who has yet to drop a set at this year's tournament.

“Over here in Wimbledon, I believe this is his home court, the place where he feels the best and knows that he can play his best game,” he said.

“It's a big mountain to climb. Roger is playing maybe the best tennis of his career at the moment, having a great season.”

Date: 14 July 2017, Source: Wimbledon, ATP, and Reuters

Majestic Federer outclasses Raonic to reach Wimbledon semis

Anything you can do, I can do better. That was the way of Roger Federer on Wednesday when he produced an exquisite display of grass-court tennis to keep alive his quest for an eighth trophy at The Championships, Wimbledon.

In his 100th match (89-11) at the All England Club, Federer gave last year’s finalist Milos Raonic, the No. 6 seed, few opportunities to break in a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4) quarter-final victory on Centre Court.

Watched by fellow tennis royalty Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, the third-seeded Swiss superstar exhibited his full armoury in striking 46 winners and committing just nine unforced errors. He will next play No. 11 seed and 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals on Friday. Federer leads their ATP Head to Head series 18-6.

“I'm playing very well. I'm rested. I'm fresh. I'm confident, too. Then great things do happen. Confidence is a huge thing. I can't believe it's 100 matches, it's a lot but I'm very happy my body has kept me going all these years,” Federer said.

With his closest rivals, World No. 1 Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, losing at Wimbledon on Wednesday, the stars are aligning for Federer in his attempt to capture a record eighth crown.

“Of course, I'm surprised to see them going out, also Rafa. But the other guys are playing well. On a grass court, the margins are small,” Federer said. “I wish them the best, that they come back strong again.”

Should Federer lift his eighth Wimbledon trophy on Sunday, he will join Rafael Nadal as the second qualifier for the ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 12-19 November.

Federer, who has resisted the temptation to hit body serves at The Championships this year, aiming for placement over sheer power, kept Raonic on the stretch throughout their one hour and 58-minute encounter. Quick to the net in order to take time away from Raonic, Federer first broke in the fifth game with a running crosscourt forehand winner and later clinched the set with an ace.

Raonic was given little respite as Federer lost just two of 30 service points in the second set, which included 13 winners. Breaks of serve in the first and fifth games, kept Federer on the front foot as he won seven of the next nine games from a 5-4 first-set lead. Through two sets, Federer had committed just three unforced errors.

“I saw things very well. That helped me returning his serve as well. From the baseline, I felt like I had the upper hand, which wasn't necessarily the case last year, which helped me to stay more calm,” Federer said, comparing Wednesday's quarter-final match to their semi-final contest last year, which Raonic won in five sets.

Federer did not have things his own way in the third set, coming close to a 0-2 deficit, but for quick work in moving Raonic out of court at 30/40. The Canadian then pressed in the eighth game, but was unable to convert four break point opportunities. Without any tangible success, the pressure could have mounted on Raonic.

In an inevitable tie-break, Raonic came close to a 4/0 lead, but two aggressive groundstrokes, a reflex forehand volley, a backhand drop volley and forehand winner helped Federer to five straight points for a 5/3 advantage.

“You know you have to do a lot,” said Raonic. “It's a stiff task. It's a lot harder to do it than just to know it. He's moving well. I think the thing that I was most impressed with, at least the years I've been on Tour, is that he is extremely sharp mentally - always in the right moments. Just always on top of things. He kept a very high gear the whole entire time, without giving many real glimpses. I think that was the most sort of defeating thing.”

Federer smiled patiently at the suggestion that with three unexpected names in the last four, some now regard him as a near-certainty to lift the trophy on Sunday.

“Being the favourite or not the the favourite doesn't matter,” he said. “These guys (Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic and Sam Querrey) are all big hitters. They will have their word to say on the outcome of the matches. They've got big serves, big forehands, big hitters really. All three guys are taller and stronger than I am. I have to figure out a different way, carve my way through somehow with my slice and my spins, my consistency maybe.

“I don’t see myself playing better than a few years ago. Am I surprised by how I’m playing? Maybe a bit. The idea of missing the clay court season was to feel my best - yes, supercharged - in the second week of Wimbledon. I feel like it’s coming along nicely.”

Date: 12 July 2017, Source: ATP, Wimbledon and Reuters

Federer cruises into 15th Wimbledon quarter-final

Seven-time champion Roger Federer beats No.13 seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 to move into his 15th Wimbledon quarter-final in just 97 minutes. Federer now stands alone atop the Open Era list for most Wimbledon quarter-final appearances.

The 35 year old advances to his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final, another best in the Open Era.

Federer is now 6-0 against Dimitrov in their ATP Head to Head series. The Swiss right-hander has won all but two of the 16 sets they've played since their first meeting at 2013 Swiss Indoors Basel.

Dimitrov hadn't dropped a set during his first three Wimbledon matches and the 2014 Wimbledon semi-finalist had looked primed to challenge Federer. But the third seed was nearly untouchable in the familiar Centre Court environment.

The two exchanged service holds until 4-4 in the first set, when Federer stepped up to break for a 5-4 lead. He'd serve the set out to love. Federer quickly pounced in the second set, seeing two break points at 2-2 after Dimitrov double faulted. The Bulgarian would finish with seven double faults for the match, compared to seven aces.

And Federer would need only one break point in that fifth game, converting it when Dimitrov slapped a forehand wide. The 26-year-old Dimitrov struggled to challenge Federer at all in his service games. At 6-4, 4-2, Federer's average service game was lasting only one minute and 21 seconds. For the match, the Swiss right-hander landed 70 per cent of his first serves and won 75 per cent of his service points.

“I can look at this quarter-final 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,” Federer said. “Then again, the best players are left in the draw. It's going to be a tough one. I'm aware of that. That's why I can't think too far ahead. I think it's going to be a tough finish to this tournament.”

The third-seeded Federer has yet to drop a set this fortnight, but he will face a stern test in the quarter-finals. Federer will meet 2016 finalist Milos Raonic, who held his nerve - saving 14 of 17 break points - to overcome German Alexander Zverev 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in three hours and 23 minutes.

Tenth seed Zverev led by a set and 3-1 before sixth seed Raonic started his fightback, eventually finishing with 23 aces among 61 winners. There were only 17 rallies of nine shots or more.

Raonic beat Federer in last year's semi-final in five sets to reach his maiden Grand Slam title match, but Federer leads their Head to Head series 9-3.

Date: 10 July 2017, Source: ATP and Wimbledon