London, July 8 (IANS) Milos Raonic became the first Canadian men’s singles tennis player to reach a Grand Slam final after edging Swiss maestro Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semi-final here on Friday.
The 25-year-old Raonic beat seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 at the All England Club.
The sixth-seeded Raonic moves on to Sunday’s final to face the winner of the other semi-final between Scot Andy Murray, who won Wimbledon in 2013, and No.10 Tomas Berdych.
Raonic’s victory earned him a measure of revenge against Federer, who came into the match with a 9-2 edge in head-to-head meetings, including a straight-sets win in the Wimbledon semi-finals two years ago.
The third-seeded Federer, who owns a record 17 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, was denied a chance to set the all-time record for Wimbledon men’s crowns. He shares the mark with Pete Sampras and 1880s player William Renshaw at seven apiece.
The Swiss star may lament a missed opportunity on a break point late in the fourth set that would have allowed him to serve for the match. Instead, Raonic held and later broke Federer in the final game of the set to force a fifth and deciding set.
Service breaks were relatively rare in the match as the tall, powerful Raonic hit 23 aces and Federer had 16 of his own.
Raonic made 40 unforced errors — the more graceful Federer limited his to 14 — but overcame them with several pinpoint winners when the match was on the line in the final set.