Roger Federer primed to re-write history books with Wimbledon 2017 victory

By @saihoops on
Roger Federer vs Dusan Lajovic live stream
Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 4, 2017 Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his first round match against Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov Reuters / Matthew Childs

Roger Federer is just two wins away from an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon crown. The 35-year-old will face Czech veteran Tomas Berdych in Friday's semi-final before a potential showdown against either Sam Querrey or Marin Cilic in Sunday's final. 

With Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the other three members of the Big 4, out of the tournament, Federer's path to a historic 19th Grand Slam title is apparently free of stumbling blocks. While Berdych, Querrey and Cilic are capable opponents, very few expect the Swiss Master to be challenged. Federer owns a career 18-6 head-to-head record against Berdych, a 3-0 record against Querrey and a 6-1 record against Cilic. Clearly, Federer is the overwhelming favourite to prevail on Sunday.  

With a victory over Milos Raonic in Wednesday's semi-final, Federer improved his 2017 record to 24 wins and two losses. After starting the year as the World No. 17, Federer went on a 19-1 start that included victories at the Australian Open, Miami Open and Indian Well Masters. He sat out the European clay-court season before returning to peak form in the pre-Wimbledon grass-court event in Halle. 

"I could never really play quite so freely last year just because (now) I'm more focused on how the knee's behaving, rather than how I need to hit my forehand or backhand or what's not going to be good for my opponent. This year, I'm just a normal tennis player again, where I can focus on tactics. I think that's the difference. I'm playing very well. I'm rested. I'm fresh. I'm confident, too. Then great things do happen," Federer said after becoming the oldest Wimbledon semi-finalist since 1974.

Wimbledon 2017: Roger Federer on the brink of Grand Slam No. 19

Federer is grateful to loyal fans at the All-England Tennis Club that have cheered him wholeheartedly for more than two decades. "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. I never would have imagined when I was younger that I would have experienced this," Federer said.

Since 2002, the Big 4 comprising of Federer (7), Nadal (2), Djokovic (3) Andy Murray (2) have won every Wimbledon crown. Federer acknowledged that it's a pleasant surprise to enter the semi-final stage as the Last Man Standing from the Big 4. "It's nice to see different guys, maybe, but I'm happy that my dream run continues and we'll now see what happens next."

At the age of 35 years and 11 months, Federer will surpass his own record of the oldest player (in the Open Era) to prevail at the All-England Tennis Club. In 2012, at then-age of 30 years and 11 months, Federer won his seventh Wimbledon championship and 17th overall Grand Slam title. Earlier this year, at the age of 35 years and 174 days, Federer won the Australian Open for Grand Slam title No. 18. 

Ken Rosewall of Australia remains the oldest player to win a Grand Slam in the Open Era. At the age of 37 years and two months, Rosewall won the 1972 Australian Open. For Federer to surpass Rosewall's record, the ageless wonder from Switzerland would have to win the 2019 Australian Open. Nobody is ruling it out. The 2017 Wimbledon rolls on Friday with the semi-final matches.