Federer only one left of the Big 4 in semis
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.