Federer flying just about as high as ever at Wimbledon

Roger Federer punched his ticket to Sunday’s Wimbledon final without dropping a single set along the way. It is a feat he thought he had never previously accomplished.

“Do you remember how many times you made to the final without losing any sets in Wimbledon?,” a reporter asked.

“Never before,” Federer responded.

Reporter: “Twice.”

Federer: “Twice before? You see, I don’t know everything about my whole career.”

And that may be why the 35-year-old is not sure if this is some of the best tennis he has played in his illustrious career. Whatever the case, it has been good enough to equal his Wimbledon run in 2006 (perfect in sets before battling past Rafael Nadal in a four-set final) and 2008 (perfect in sets before falling to Nadal in five). And it’s certainly right up there with 2014 and 2015, when he played his way into the title match and then lost to Novak Djokovic.

“I don’t see myself playing better than a few years ago,” Federer said earlier this week. “But I always hope to improve every year. (I) think it’s definitely different ever since my (knee) injury–if I’m playing better this year than I have in ’14, ’15 when I had great runs at Wimbledon here. I just ran into Novak, who was red hot. Honestly, (it) was difficult to come past him for anybody–especially in the big matches.

“I’m just very happy that I’m still doing so well. Am I surprised? Maybe a little bit. But the plan was always to hopefully be strong later on in my career.”

Strong? Federer has been an absolute machine in this, his 20th season on the ATP Tour.

The world No. 5 boasts a 30-2 record with four titles, featuring the Australian Open and back-to-back Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. He is on a current 11-match grass-court surge that includes victory on the grass courts of Halle and six straight-set Wimbledon wins.

The latest victim was Tomas Berdych, who succumbed to Federer via a respectable 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 6-4 scoreline in Friday’s second semifinal.

“I mean, I don’t see anything that would indicate really Roger is getting older or anything like that,” Berdych noted. “I think he’s just proving his greatness in our sport. So I think that’s all I can say about that. That’s very simple.”

And that’s bad news for Marin Cilic, who will be Federer’s final foe on Sunday afternoon. It is a rematch of last year’s quarterfinals, in which the Croat led by two sets to love only to lose in five. And that was with Federer playing on a knee that was visibly less than 100 percent.

“It’s a big mountain to climb,” Cilic, after ending Sam Querrey’s run on Friday, said of Federer. “Roger is playing maybe one of his best tennis of his career at the moment, having a great season. So I know it’s going to be a huge challenge.”

He’s got that right.

2 Comments on Federer flying just about as high as ever at Wimbledon

  1. Cilic to bend over hard. My guess is there will be one tiebreak and the other 2 sets won’t be close. Berdych was the first and last real obstacle

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