LONDON, July 8, 2016
Andy Murray and Milos Raonic will be the finalists of the All England Championships at Wimbledon 2016. Raonic will be the first Canadian in a Grand Slam final, beating world number three Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Friday.
The sixth seed fired 23 aces, winning 83% of his first service points and showed no signs of nerves at all, converting his first match point when after three hours and 25 minutes, when Federer went for a crosscourt forehand winner but the ball bounced in the tramlines.
There will be no record eighth Wimbledon title for Federer, as he went down to his first defeat in 11 Wimbledon semi-finals.
Asked to address specifically the continued hunt for an eighth title, Roger Federer said: “It’s not the only reason why I play tennis, otherwise I will go in the freeze box now and come out again next year. I hope to be back on Centre Court, to be very clear with you. This hurts because I could have had it.”
The Swiss added: “Unexplainable from me to serve double fault twice (at 5-6, 40-15 in fourth set). Very angry with myself. I helped him so much to get back into that game.”
Raonic is the first non-European finalist at Wimbledeon since Andy Roddick seven years ago. “It’s an incredible comeback from me really. I was struggling through the third and fourth set. He was playing some great tennis but I found a little opening and managed to finish it off. I’ve got to put all my energy now into winning [the final]. John McEnroe told me to go out there and leave it all out there. I showed a lot of emotion out there; mentally I had one of the best matches of my career and that’s what made the biggest difference.”
Andy Murray toppled Tomas Berdych, winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. The world number two only produced nine unforced errors, hitting 20 winners to seal victory in one hour and 58 minutes.
“It was a good match today. The middle part of the second set was really key,” Murray told. “The older you get you never know how many more chances you are going to get to get to a Grand Slam final so you want to make the most of your opportunity. The older you get you’re more experienced so it helps you deal with the nerves a bit better. You learn from experiences of the past of playing against some of the best players of all time.
“I’ll need to play a big match on Sunday if I’m going to win. I was down a set and a break [to Raonic at Queen’s] and managed to turn it around, and he had a very entertaining tough match against Roger Federer.”
By winning their matches today, Murray and Raonic will re-enact their final at the Queen’s Club three weeks ago. It will be the first time the finalists from that tournament in West Kensington will re-oppose in the Wimbledon final since 1988, when Stefan Edberg defeated Bros Becker in the main event having lost to the German in the prep tournament.