/ Tennis

Roger Federer sets up Novak Djokovic showdown

Updated: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 20:05 | Comments

Roger Federer celebrates after beating Milos Raonic
Roger Federer celebrates after beating Milos Raonic

Roger Federer proved he can still "outrun time" and reclaim his grass-court empire by beating Milos Raonic to reach his ninth Wimbledon final.

The 32-year-old dismissed Raonic 6-4 6-4 6-4 in Friday's semi-final, dispelling the Canadian challenger's prediction his All England Club era could come to a close.

Federer will now face top seed Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final, where he can claim a record eighth title.

Raonic had that claimed no one can "outrun time" and delay the inevitable passing of eras after his quarter-final victory over Nick Kyrgios - but even after 17 grand slam victories, Federer still has other ideas.

The Montenegro-born world number nine hailed Federer as the man who can "do anything he wants with the ball", and so it proved as the king of Centre Court stalked his principality with all the old style and poise.

Raonic's monster serve may take some containing, but as Federer strode into the final, he upheld his remarkable statistic of dropping just one solitary service game.

Compatriot Stan Wawrinka also remains the only man to pilfer a set from Federer in this tournament.

Few have troubled Raonic's blitzkrieg serve this fortnight, but Federer snaffled immediate plunder.

The wily Swiss swiftly converted a rapid break point, before holding safely to claim the match's first blood.

Raonic was forced to fend off two more break points in his next service game as Federer continued to impose his class.

Raonic's whip-crack forehand forced Federer to defend a break point next - but two quick aces sealed the game to preserve his advantage.

Federer then served out the set with little issue, to claim early control.

The second set stayed with serve to four games apiece, until Federer struck again.

A double fault then a loose attempted smash from Raonic offered Federer all the invitation required, and he duly fired a winner down the line to seize the initiative once more.

Raonic pulled Federer back to 30-30 next, only for the all the old match-winning experience to surface once more.

Sensing the threat, Federer swept into the net, buried a volley winner and brushed up the second set.

The third set followed the exact pattern of the second, with both men holding serve for four games apiece.

Again Raonic cracked as the pressure built, but this time Federer produced a sublime passing shot before Raonic fired into the net to hand his opponent the crucial break.

Federer then served out the match in true champion fashion, to book that showdown with the 2011 title winner Djokovic.

A triumphant Federer admitted a record eighth Wimbledon crown would top his career achievements to date.

"That would mean a lot I must say, I'm unbelievably proud to keep walking the grounds and still be playing here," he said.

"The first was so special in 2003, it was a dream come true. That I've been so successful for so many years has been an unbelievable thrill, and that I get another chance for success here, it's just great."

Relishing his final showdown with Djokovic, he said: "It's always great; we always play good matches against each other.

"Novak is a great champion, he's been around for a long time now and is used to these occasions.
"He knows how to get it done, so I hope it's going to be a good match."

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