Andy Murray, Roger Federer Make ‘Big 2 and Friends’ in Wimbledon Semifinals
by Jeremy Davis | July 6th, 2016, 5:15 pm

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is out. Rafael Nadal is sidelined. But two of the former fabled “Big Four,” and two perennial Top 10ers looking to step it up, moved into the Wimbledon semifinals on Wednesday.
Actually Milos Raonic is looking to step it up while Tomas Berdych is more like, “Eh.”

No. 2-ranked Andy Murray fought through an emotional five-set win, beating No. 12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(10), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1.

“Tsonga’s one of the best grasscourt players in the world,” Murray told BBC Sport after eventually stopping a comeback by the Frenchman from 0-2 sets down. “He came up with some unbelievable passing shots on the run in big moments, started returning better. He mixed it up well, so credit to him for fighting his way back into the match…That first set was a tough one for him to lose, and I ran away with the second but he fought right until the end and it was a great match.”

In the semis the homecountry favorite will face the No. 10 seed Berdych, who on Wednesday beat No. 32 seed Lucas Pouille of France 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2.

“Lucas had a great run,” said Berdych, whose best Slam showing was a Wimbledon final in 2010, losing to Nadal. “I was trying to find my rhythm in the first set.”

Berdych has dropped his last four encounters against Murray, and says he will try his best — then maybe ponder why he doesn’t have Ivan Lendl in his players’ box.

“At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you can stand and say, Okay, I’ve tried everything that I possibly can,” Berdych said. “If you made it one day, great. If not, what can you do?”

I dunno, get a new coach? Maybe have some belief?

No. 3-seeded Roger Federer absolutely stole a win from No. 9 seed Marin Cilic, fighting off three match points in a five-set 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3 victory.

“When you’re down two sets to love, 3-all, love-40, it’s a moment when it’s not in your control anymore,” Federer said afterwards. “There were many more match points in my mind than just three today. But I fought, I tried, I believed. At the end I got it done.”

Federer, who missed the French Open with a back injury, said his body held up, as he hopes it continues to do in the semifinals.

“To win a match like this, to test the body, to be out there again fighting, being in a physical battle and winning it is an unbelievable feeling,” the Swiss said. “My legs were there, my back was there, serving was key. Mentally this is going to give me a hell of a boost. I am ecstatic that I was able to come through…somehow.”

Federer in the semifinals will meet No. 6 seed Milos Raonic, who with coach John McEnroe in his corner beat the Djokovic-killing No. 28-seeded American Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

“It was very clear, the things he believed I needed to do,” Raonic said regarding McEnroe and his increased net-rushing ways. “We really focused on not passing up any opportunities to come forward, to always keep the pressure on my opponents, keep them guessing, making them feel uncomfortable…He definitely keeps emphasizing demeanor on court, which I probably would not have put as one of the priorities.”

Murray leads Berdych 8-6 in their career meetings, but the two have never squared off on grass. Federer leads Raonic 9-2, which includes a straight-set win in the 2014 Wimbledon semis, and a three-set win at Halle in 2012.

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11 Comments for Andy Murray, Roger Federer Make ‘Big 2 and Friends’ in Wimbledon Semifinals

jane Says:

“I dunno, get a new coach? Maybe have some belief?”

who is berdych’s coach anyhow?

“the Djokovic-killing…Sam”

ha ha, last i saw, nole is alive and well and on the beach with his little boy. ;)

RZ Says:

Had to laugh at Raonic saying this: “He [McEnroe] definitely keeps emphasizing demeanor on court.”

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The Fed-Cilic tilt today was an all time classic. Only saw a bit of Milos-Querrey, but Milos looks REALLY tough. His net play is exceptional.

Margot, I think you were complaining about Milos being boring – I agree his personality is pretty bland, but I don’t find his play in 2016 boring at all. He may be the most aggressive player in the top 30 in coming to the net. Love it. (stats people?)

Didn’t see the other matches, but sounds like Tsonga/Murray was another great one. This is a terrific semifinal line-up. A Big Four and a Legit Spoiler on each side.

jane Says:

the semis definitely show that 27 is the new 23 in tennis.
we have 34, 29, 30 with 25 as the baby.
similarly, at the FO we had 31, 29, 29 and 22 in the semis.
so here we had a legit “young gun” in thiem.
and at the AO we had 34, 29, 29, 25, so milos has reached 2 slam semis this year.

tennis vagabond, i agree on milos. he’s definitely improved again as a player.
his semi vs murray at the AO was excellent and their queens final wasn’t too bad either, especially given the fairly tough draw he had there, with kyrgios round 1, tomic, vesely, etc. all guys who had good results at wimbledon.

i am not a huge milos fan but i respect his efforts to always improve and keep fighting

today he won 35 of 47 points at net!
and he succeeded at 33 of 43 serve and volley attempts
not bad at all, really. it’s not just aces.

L.J Says:

Milos’s game has definitely improved. Bird-man seems lost out at sea, just going through the motions. In other news Lucie Safarova went to concert Radak ‘The worm’ stepanek. I know Bird-man is married now but still, Radak your breaking the Bro code. Happy Dance that Fed won.

Daniel Says:

So, Kimberly has 6 out of 8 (75%) chance of winning the bracket challenge and I have 2 out of 8 (25%). I only win if Murray wins.

Think both semis will be 4th set matches, Fed and Murray coming through. Wimbledon is too important for 2 of the top 3 grass court players to not make finals and let this chance slip by.

jalep Says:

Daniel, that makes sense. And I just checked the what if scenarios, which weren’t out when I checked earlier. Yup, Kimberly wins if Federer, Berdych, or Raonic wins. You win if Murray wins. That’s it. Bold picking by Kimberly. πŸ˜‰

Yeah, I think Murray comes through the semi-final, too. And I agree with you about # of sets.
With Federer, I have to see it to believe it — odds are fairly close vs Milos. We’ll see :)

jalep Says:

Similar stuff happened in the WTA Bracket. Davetx wins if Serena Williams wins. In all other scenarios, the Welsh witch wins.

Margot Says:

Congratulations to all the semi finalists, especially Andy, of course ;) Two of those quarter final matches were absolute corkers…..for you lucky neutrals ;)
Andy is now thoroughly battle hardened, but Big Berd is thoroughly rested, lol, so I don’t know who has the advantage really.
A friend of mine, a bigger Andy fan than me, is that EVEN possible, was on CC yesterday. “Enjoy” wasn’t quite the word she used to describe her experience! In fact, I missed last 3 sets, was out, and she spent those 3 under her seat, so we probably saw the same amount of tennis in the end!
Hmmmm…..”listened to the radio?” eh? Will have to think about that one….;)

Honfleuraise Says:

What a match. I was trying to cook in advance for house guests coming for the weekend but kept forgetting where I was at because I was so engrossed in Andy’s match I managed to burn or overcook a lot of the food. Still have to break the news to them that I will be glued to the TV over the weekend so they will have to amuse themselves – unless Andy goes walkabout tomorrow (perish the thought).

May I book my place behind the red and gold sofa please?

Willow Says:

Margot off topic, sorry about Wales, but definetly a team, and a tournament they can be proud of ….

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