Roger Federer vs. Milos Raonic
My first prediction is that this will be closer than their 2014 semifinal match was. That match was a simple run of Federer breaking Raonic’s serve once per set. Raonic seemed nervous, and Roger took advantage by nearly waltzing into the Wimbledon final. Roanic made a much better accounting of himself at this year’s Australian Open in which he went 5 sets in his second major semifinal. Roger enters the 2016 Wimbledon championships seeking his first title of 2016. This is true in part because Milos Raonic defeated Roger Federer in the championship round of Brisbane 250 level event in January.
What to Expect
Milos Raonic brought Carlos Moya onto his team after parting ways with Ivan Ljubicic in late 2015. Carlos Moya was not known for attacking the net despite having solid hands at the net, but Moya’s impact was obvious as January saw Raonic attack the net with greater frequency. This led to a Brisbane title and injury hampered Australian Open semifinal loss to Andy Murray. John McEnroe has recently joined Milos’ team and seems to be encouraging bigger second serves and embracing the moment.
Roger Federer hired Ivan Ljubicic after his coaching relationship with Stefan Edberg came to an end (Edberg lives in London and has been in Roger’s box at Wimbledon along with Ljubicic). Roger’s tennis has been largely similar to what one would expect from him in 2016 despite injuries to his back and knee cutting into his schedule. Roger Federer has yet to use SABR, and it is doubtful he will try it against Milos’ huge serve.
Both players would like to dictate with effective serving (power and placement being emphasized in different ways by each), strong forehands, and judicious approaches to the net. Milos Raonic does not defend as well as Roger Federer does, but good luck making Milos defend when he is serving. Milos Raonic may try do do some of what Cilic did versus Federer in terms of attacking Roger’s serves, but I don’t see Roanic’s return game as being in the same style as Marin Cilic’s return game. Raonic will hope to pressure Federer into bad service games based upon easy holds from Milos taking a toll on Roger’s psyche. If that fails, Milos will look to cash in during tiebreaks and late set situations. Roger will hope to keep the ball low and make Milos defend when possible. If Roger can dominate his service points and keep Milos’ service points as neutral as possible, he will likely win. Federer’s legs may be a bit rubbery after a 5 set win, but Milos’ style of play is unlikely to tax Roger’s stamina very much.
Roger Federer d. Milos Raonic 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6
Confidence in my pick: moderately low
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) July 7, 2016