This year the games are taking a probono turn as many among the probable champions have already crashed out of the championship in London. Only yesterday we saw such a blitzkrieg by the 19 year old Aussie Nick Kyrgios who eliminated the world number 1 seeded player Rafael Nadal in what was called an unimpeachable encounter.
Roger Federer on the other hand avoided joining the casualty list of Wimbledon stalwarts by besting compatriot Stan Wawrinka in a gem of a game in the sets of 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4. Federer dropped a set for the first time in this year’s tournament, but eventually emerged unscathed on Wimbledon’s showpiece arena just hours after defending champion Andy Murray had walked off stunned by his quarter-final defeat against Grigor Dimitrov.
Murray’s loss was the latest in a long line of shocks on Centre Court over the last nine days, with world number one Rafael Nadal and former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova also among those bowing out.
Seeing their hero in trouble, the crowd upped the volume but Wawrinka held firm, his beautiful one-handed backhand causing damage, his forehand leaving a path of destruction in its wake. He held to lead 4-1 and then saved a break point with a volley, before sealing the set by cuffing a forehand down the line. It was the first set Federer had dropped, while Wawrinka was winning every point on his first serve.
Federer was counting on doubt creeping into Wawrinka’s mind. He attacked, battened down the hatches on his serve and was merciless in the tie-break, levelling the match with a well-placed volley.
On came the doctor to give Wawrinka some pills but Federer could see that his prey was wounded. He softened him up and then he pounced, sending a ruthless forehand down the line to break for a 4-3 lead in the third set. An authoritative smash at the net tightened his grip on proceedings.
Novac Djokovic, 27 another champion player and currently the defending champ, was two sets to one down to Croatia’s Marin Cilic, but recovered to win 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2. The Serbian will meet Grigor Dimitrov, who beat defending champion Andy Murray.
On the other side of the draw, eighth seed Milos Raonic stands between 17-time Grand Slam winner Federer and his ninth Wimbledon final after the Canadian overcame Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7-4).