Federer rallies from two sets down, Murray reaches Wimbledon semifinals
A recap of the men's quarterfinals matches on Wednesday at Wimbledon 2016, including results, tweets, hot shots, photos and more.
• After saving three match points in the fourth set, Roger Federer rallied from two sets to love down to defeat Marin Cilic 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3 to advance to the semifinals at Wimbledon for the 11th time in his career.
"I fought, I tried, I believed. At the end I got it done," Federer said after the match. "So it was great on so many levels."
In the first set, sixth-seeded Cilic came out firing, losing just one point on his first serve to take the opener in a tiebreak, marking only the 11th time Federer lost the first set in a Wimbledon match since 2003.
Federer had come from two sets to love down only nine times before in his career, and Cilic had a 51-0 after winning the first two sets at Grand Slams, so the odds were against Federer after Cilic jumped out to a two sets to love lead. But the seven-time champion hadn’t lost a match at Wimbledon in straight sets since 2002 (first round vs. Mario Ancic) and he found a new level in the third set.
"I felt, you know, that I was playing really, really good, really good tennis from the beginning. I was serving well, mixing up my game well. With the game plan that I went into the match, I think I was executing it pretty good. I was giving myself lot of chances in the first two sets," Cilic said after the match.
A key turning point in the match was at 3-3 in the third set, where Cilic was up 40-0 and failed to break Federer. From there, the No. 3 seed never looked back, winning the next three sets to reach the semifinals.
"I was a little bit unlucky in the third one. I had one game Love‑40, the next game he broke me. That switched a little bit the momentum," Cilic said. "It's a huge occasion, and I played great tennis. That was very close to the victory. Obviously with that, it's not easy to deal with it after that."
Both players served well—Federer had 27 aces on the match while Cilic had 23—but Cilic’s seven double faults (to Federer’s zero) were important down the stretch.
"I was just very happy that I actually felt as strong as I did, you know, mentally and physically when I was down two sets to love. Whatever, those three breakpoints, after I fought them off, I did believe. Next thing you know, I was serving for the match in the fifth," Federer said. "Everything kind of went very quickly. Sometimes you feel when you're down two sets to love, the mountain to climb is huge, it's monstrous. Somehow everything went very quickly and I had great focus. I was very happy."
At 34, Federer is the oldest man to reach the Wimbledon semifinals since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974.
• In the semifinals on Friday, Federer will face No. 6-seed Milos Raonic, who is back in the Wimbledon semifinals for the second time in his career after beating American Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 on No. 1 Court on Wednesday. The Canadian ended Querrey’s run at Wimbledon, which saw him come back from two sets to love down for the first time in his career, advance to the quarterfinals at a major for just the second time in his career, and, most notably, take out No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round.
“I thought Milos played great today. I don't think I played poorly at all,” Querrey said after the match “I knew he had a big serve, obviously, but I was really impressed with his net game. He really didn't miss a volley today. He kept coming forward, kept the pressure on me, and I felt it. Kudos to him for playing a very good, clean match.”
Raonic added John McEnroe to his coaching team before the tournament and is looking to win his first major title at Wimbledon this year. Raonic says McEnroe helped him to work on his attacking and net approaches.
"That was a part of the motivation to bring him along to help, was to improve that aspect of how much I can implement it in my game and how to use it and what the right moments are," Raonic said after the match. "I was efficient with it today. Other than those three games, I think I had a very good percentage when I was coming in. So I'm proud of that."
In 2014, he reached the Wimbledon semifinals, losing to Federer in straight sets. After Wednesday's match, Raonic said he feels more prepared to defeat Federer than he did two years ago.
"Definitely mentally, physically. I think from every aspect, I've improved," he said. "I know what I need to do on court better. I know how to sort of turn things around to get them on my terms. I know what I'm looking for. I know how to go about it, to try to get to that position as much as I can. And then when things aren't going well, I know what things to look for to change. From all those kind of things, I'm definitely a lot more aware."
• In the second match on Court No. 1, Tomas Berdych advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals for the second time, beating Lucas Pouille 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2.
“The first set, at the beginning, I was a bit finding the right rhythm because obviously, I mean, the opponent before was completely different game style, everything was quite different,” Berdych said after the match. He was playing for the third straight day after his match against Jiri Vesely was suspended on Monday and completed on Tuesday. “Since then on, everything was fine. I was able to dictate the game, play what I wanted. Afterwards, it was pretty straightforward.”
Berdych was a finalist at Wimbledon in 2010 and will face 2013 champion Andy Murray in the semifinals after the No. 2-seed defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(10), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1 after three hours and 54 minutes on Wednesday.
After winning a tight opening tiebreak 12-10, Murray responded by winning the second set handedly, but Tsonga found his game in the third and fourth sets. Murray even had three break points at 4-3 in the fourth set, but Tsonga was able to fend him off to force a decider. In the final set, Murray held on to advance to the semifinals at Wimbledon for the seventh time.
"I think there's many things that go into winning matches like that," Murray said after the match. "Physically, you're strong, that helps for sure. But mentally, you know, today was a tough match. It would have been easy to have gotten very down on myself in that fifth set after the way the fourth set ended. I was happy with that."
Hot shots of the Day
Tweets of the Day
That recap of the match by Fed immediately walking off the court was incredible. Remembers every point.— Shelby Rogers (@Shelby_Rogers_) July 6, 2016
The Day in Photos
Daily Data Viz
Inside Roger Federer and Marin Cilic's head-to-head matchup and each player's stats going into their quarterfinals matchup.
This post will be updated.