ROGER FEDERER stands just two wins
away from a record eighth Wimbledon
title but faces a perilous trip through
the land of the giants if he is to become
the tournament’s oldest champion.
The 35-year-old Swiss has defied time
and logic to reach a 12th semi-final at
the All England Club where he will face
Tomas Berdych, the 2010 runner-up, on
Friday.
If he gets past the Czech for the 19th
time in 25 meetings, Federer will face
either Sam Querrey or Marin Cilic in
Sunday’s final.
The contrast between the 18-time
Grand Slam title winner and the other
three contenders could not be more
stark.
Federer stands 6ft 1in (1.85m) and
weighs in at 187lbs (85kg); Berdych is
6ft 5ins (1.95m) and 200 lbs (91kg).
Querrey and Cilic tower over him at
6ft 6ins (1.97m) and 210lbs (95kg) and
196lbs (89kg) respectively.
Federer, bidding to reach an 11th final
at Wimbledon, is therefore aware of the
physical threats posed by his rivals.
“All three guys are taller and stronger
than I am,” said Federer.
“I’ve got to figure out a different way,
carve my way through somehow with
my slice and my spins, my consistency.
“Being the favourite or not the
favourite doesn’t matter. These other
guys are all big hitters. I feel like they
will have their say in the outcome of the
matches.
“They’ve got big serves, big forehands,
they are big hitters.”
Federer has made the semi-finals
without dropping a set and has been
broken just three times.
He even managed to match Milos
Raonic — who boasts the second fastest
serve of the tournament at a blistering
142mph (228.5km/h) — with 11 aces in his quarterfinal
victory.
Federer is the second oldest semi-finalist after Ken
Rosewall who finished runner-up in 1974 at the age
of 39.
He is also the overwhelming favourite after ‘Big
Four’ rivals Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic
suffered injury-hit exits on Wednesday and Rafael
Nadal lost in the last 16.
Federer is reaping the rewards of pruning his
schedule with Wimbledon just his seventh event of
2017.
He skipped the 2016 and 2017 French Opens which
were won by Djokovic and Nadal.

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