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Raonic ends Federer's run to meet Murray in final
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 07 - 2016

Milos Raonic made Roger Federer feel his age Friday as the Canadian sharp-shooter bombarded Centre Court with a succession of 140 mph missiles to flatten the seven-time champion and reach his first Grand Slam final in five gripping sets.

Raonic appeared to be down and out as he trailed Federer by two-sets to one and 15-40 in the fifth game of the fourth set but somehow he managed to cling on for a 6-3, 6-7(3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win and became the first Canadian man to reach a major final.

"It's an incredible comeback for me. I was struggling throughout the third and fourth sets, he was playing some really good tennis and just on a little opening I managed to turn it around and finish it off in a great match," said the sixth seed, who will meet Andy Murray Sunday's final.
"It's a great feeling."
Britain's Murray tormented Tomas Berdych to claim a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory.
The second seed was totally dominant in the early-evening sunshine on Centre Court, ruthlessly dispatching the burly Czech who never threatened to stop the Murray bandwagon.

The Scot's only brief wobble came early on when he dropped serve in the third game, having broken in the game before.

Some poor errors from Berdych gifted Murray another break, though, and the 29-year-old pocketed the first set.

A flat atmosphere, a contrast to the nerve-jangling one earlier when Raonic beat Federer in five sets, livened up when Murray flirted with danger at 2-3 in the second set, brilliantly saving two break points.

From then on it was a one-sided procession as Murray broke 10th seed Berdych twice in a row to move two sets clear and again early in the third as he closed in on his 11th grand slam final, one more than Fred Perry.

Raonic appeared to be heading for a second semifinal defeat in three years against the 34-year-old Federer but kept his wits about him to stay alive.
After saving two break points in the fifth game he managed to save a third in the ninth game as his thunderbolt serve got him out of trouble again.

The contest appeared to be heading for a fourth set tiebreak as Federer moved to 40-0 in the 12th game but two days after the Swiss boldly stated that "my second serve has always been there for me... it never lets me down" — guess what? It let him down.

Two successive double faults brought Raonic to deuce and while Federer saved two set points — with an unreturnable serve and a volley winner — his luck ran out on the third.

A blazing backhand passing shot winner had Raonic pumping his fists toward his support box as a shell-shocked Federer, who had come back from two sets and three match points down to beat Marin Cilic in the previous round, was left to wonder just how he had let that set get away from him.

"Federer had it all going his way but you couldn't script that this would go on and on," exclaimed Raonic's grasscourt mentor John McEnroe.

The third seed, who was about to contest his 10th set in three days, called on the trainer to massage his aching limbs back to life but it was the mental scars that could not be rubbed away.

Four games into the final set, with the score at deuce, Federer lunged after a flying forehand winner from Raonic and found himself sprawled face down on his beloved turf.

He lay still for what seemed an eternity before getting back to his feet and then slumped into his chair rather than heading for the baseline.

The crowd started to chuckle, wondering if Federer was staging a sit-in protest, but in fact he had called on the trainer again to manipulate his left leg.

The Swiss, chasing a record-extending 11th appearance in the final, managed to save that break point but Raonic refused to let him off the hook and four points later the Canadian had the break for 3-1 as he ended a dazzling net exchange with a rasping crosscourt passing shot.

From then on there only seemed to be one winner and, after firing down 23 aces, with his fastest serve being clocked at 144 mph, Raonic bagged a place in the final when Federer floated a tired forehand long to end the three hours 25 minutes contest.

"This one clearly hurts, because I could have had it. I was so, so, close," summed up Federer after coming off second best for the first time in 11 Wimbledon semifinal appearances.
Williams sisters in final
Serena and Venus Williams reached their sixth Wimbledon doubles final Friday with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 victory over eighth seeds Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova.

The Williams sisters have won the All England Club doubles crown five times and will face fifth seeds Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova in the final as they bid for a 14th major doubles title.

Hungary's Babos and Kazakhstan's Shvedova defeated Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Serena, 34, and Venus, 36, last won the Wimbledon doubles tournament in 2012.

The American stars have won all 13 of their Grand Slam doubles finals dating back to their first success together at the French Open in 1999.
They have also won the gold medal in the Olympic doubles three times, in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
Paes, Hingis knocked out
Defending mixed doubles champions Leander Paes and Martina Hingis were knocked out of Wimbledon Thursday by Britain's Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen of Finland who were playing their first match together.

Indian veteran Paes and Swiss star Hingis had completed the mixed doubles Grand Slam at the French Open last month after they had captured the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2015.

But they were undone by Watson and Kontinen who were playing together for the first time in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
It was a miserable day for Hingis as she and Indian partner Sania Mirza lost their women's doubles title, losing 6-2, 6-4 to Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova on the semifinals.

The fifth seeds will face 10th seeds Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears, who beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke 6-4, 6-2.


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