Roger Federer on course to create more history at Wimbledon

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    Roger Federer is now the outright favourite to claim his eighth Wimbledon crown, after seeing two of his biggest rivals crash out of the tournament on Thursday morning (AEST).

    Top seed Andy Murray’s title defence finished after he went down to big-serving American Sam Querrey in five sets, a hip injury conspiring against him after he had taken a two-sets-to-one lead.

    The Scot started strongly, breaking for a 3-0 lead in the opening set and then breaking for a 4-3 lead in the second, before dropping the next three games to lose the set and leave it at one-set all.

    Murray then took the third set in a tiebreak, and looked to be on his way to the semi-finals for the eighth time in the past nine years after he held his service game to start the fourth set.

    This was when the effects of his troublesome hip injury started to kick in. Querrey then took 12 of the final 13 games to become the first American man since Andy Roddick in 2009 to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

    As he did in 2014, Murray surrendered his Wimbledon crown in the quarter-final stage.

    Querrey will next face Marin Cilic, who also progressed to his first Wimbledon semi-final after a five-set win over Luxembourger Gilles Muller.

    Despite his defeat, Murray will stay as world number one when the rankings are updated on Monday, following Novak Djokovic’s retirement against Tomas Berdych.

    The Serb, who needed to win the title to again overtake Murray in the rankings, lost the opening set in a tiebreak and then fell behind 0-2 in the second before succumbing to a right elbow injury.

    It is feared that the injury could be serious enough to sideline the once-unbeatable Serb for the rest of the season.

    Berdych, the runner-up in 2010, now faces Federer, after the Swiss exacted some revenge on Milos Raonic by dismissing last year’s finalist in straight sets in just under two hours.

    Last year, Federer suffered his first ever defeat in a Wimbledon semi-final, and saw him call time on his 2016 season due to a knee injury he’d suffered earlier in the year. This time around, a much healthier Swiss maestro has advanced to the final four at the All England Club, doing so for a record 12th time (and 42nd at all Majors).

    At stake is a berth in his 11th Wimbledon final (and 29th Major final overall), where he will attempt for the third time to break the record of seven titles won by Pete Sampras at sport’s famous postcode – SW19.

    Though Federer will start favourite against Berdych, it will not come easy.

    The last time the pair met at Wimbledon, the Czech caused a boilover on Centre Court, winning in four sets. He went on to beat Djokovic in the semi-finals before going down in straight sets to Rafael Nadal in the final.

    However, Federer claimed their most recent meeting in a Major, at the Australian Open earlier this year, winning in straight sets en route to claiming his fifth title Down Under.

    Of Federer’s three remaining opponents, only Cilic has tasted Grand Slam glory before, winning the US Open in 2014 after defeating Federer in the semi-finals.

    It’s fair to say that the title is Roger Federer’s to lose. Can he land his 19th Grand Slam singles title overall, or will someone else cause a boilover?

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