Ljubicic has helped Raonic find his grass court footing
I think this semifinal is harder to predict than the last one. I believe Dimitrov is playing better than Raonic and maybe better than anyone other than Djokovic. Federer is undefeated in Wimbledon semifinal matches. All of that bodes well for Roger, but Roger is nearly 33. Raonic can be close to unbreakable. We saw Federer have to goto 16-14 in the 5th set in 2009 to defeat a nearly unbreakable Andy Roddick. Before I post clips of a Bruce Willis movie, I want to make the point that Roger will have to be excellent when serving.
I wrote an entire column about this. To summarize, Milos was runner-up at Masters Canada and lost a 5 set thriller in the round of 16 at the 2013 US Open. He had a solid fall campaign. In 2014, he’s been a fixture in the final 8 at Masters 1000 events, he reached his first career slam quarter in Paris and now finds himself in his first Grand Slam semifinal. Milos keeps rising in the rankings because he keeps winning the matches that he is supposed to win. Ivan Ljubicic has done a great job helping him climb the tennis ladder.
Roger is into his 9th Wimbledon semifinal since 2003. Roger is 9-3 in Wimbledon quarterfinal matches. He is 8-0 with one pending match in Wimbledon semifinal matches. He is 7-1 in Wimbledon championship matches. Throw in 6 titles and 2 runner-up finishes at Halle and an olympic silver on grass in London and Roger is clearly a grass court Maestro. This is Roger’s greatest edge. If he feels healthy in terms of his back and his explosiveness when running, he has more experience on grass and in big matches than anyone on tour. Roger had Sunday and Monday off, played 7 sets over two days, and now has Thursday off. He should be physically ready to go 5 sets if need be.
I think this match is going 5 sets. Federer will likely have a lull or two in which his forehand lets him down a bit. Milos is going to hold serve the vast majority of the time. Federer can probably afford 2 lulls, but not 3. I think Roger pulls it together just enough to win.
Federer d. Raonic 6-4, 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 8-6.