Fed­erer only one left of the Big 4 in semis

Cebu Libre - - FRONT PAGE -

LON­DON — Chants of "Roger! Roger! Roger!" filled the early evening air at the All Eng­land Club, so af­ter his post- match stretch, Roger Fed­erer paused on a bridge con­nected to Cen­tre Court and waved to his ador­ing pub­lic.

“When you see that they’re there for you, it's a bit of an un­usual feel­ing. I’m very touched, ac­tu­ally, to have so much sup­port,” Fed­erer said.

Less than a month from his 36th birth­day, Fed­erer is still giv­ing 'em what they want. When Wim­ble­don be­gan, Fed­erer and the rest of the Big 4 — No­vak Djokovic, Andy Mur­ray and Rafael Nadal — had ac­counted for each of the past 14 men’s sin­gles cham­pi­onships. Now, as the tour­na­ment heads to the semi­fi­nals on Fri­day, only Fed­erer re­mains. Call him the Big 1. So the first ques­tion put to 2016 run­ner-up Mi­los Raonic af­ter his 6- 4, 6-2, 7-6 (4) loss to the seven-time Wim­ble­don cham­pion in the quar­ter­fi­nals Wed­nes­day was: What does a guy have to do to beat Fed­erer?

“You know, you have to do a lot. It's a stiff task,” said Raonic, who de­feated Fed­erer in the semi­fi­nals last year be­fore los­ing to Mur­ray in the fi­nal.

Af­ter be­ing elim­i­nated by Raonic a year ago, Fed­erer took the rest of the sea­son off to al­low his sur­gi­cally re­paired left knee to heal prop­erly. When he re­turned in Jan­uary, he was fit and full of en­ergy, and won his 18th ma­jor cham­pi­onship at the Aus­tralian Open.

That was part of a 19-1, three-ti­tle start to 2017, be­fore he took an­other break, sit­ting out the clay­court cir­cuit and the French Open again.

Djokovic, a three-time cham­pion at the All Eng­land Club re­tired in the sec­ond set of his quar­ter­fi­nals match against To­mas Berdych be­cause of an in­jured right el­bow that be­came so painful Wed­nes­day.

Mur­ray, who won Wim­ble­don in 2013 and 2016, will con­sider an ex­tended ab­sence, too, af­ter his sore left hip clearly ham­pered him while be­ing beaten 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6- 1 in the quar­ter­fi­nals by Sam Quer­rey.

No. 4 Nadal, a two-time cham­pion lost in the fourth round.

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