Roger Federer’s fourth round match against Milos Raonic was much anticipated just like his last 2 matches versus Davydenko and Tomic. These three dangerous players were considered to be the biggest threat to Federer reaching his 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarter final. Incidentally, he has never lost before the quarters since I started watching him, so I like to think I have something to do with that! 😀
However, going into this match, I wasn’t too worried. Milos Raonic is a dangerous player and had pushed Federer to 3 sets in each of their 3 meetings so far, 4 of them being tie breakers. But Federer had won all those 3 matches. Plus this was a best of five Grand Slam match and the Swiss has won 250 of them so far. Raonic’s serve is a massive weapon; unfortunately against Federer, no other part of his game can really trouble the 17 time Grand Slam champion. You just cant beat Roger Federer with a big serve alone! Just ask Andy Roddick! 🙂
Milos Raonic came out as I expected, serving bombs and being ultra aggressive. But consistently maintaining it is the key to beating the top players. Roger Federer came out even better than how we are accustomed to by cutting down on his unforced errors (he would have only 4 for the first two sets!). He generated numerous break point chances but Raonic served his way out of all of them until they came to the tenth game of the set. The Canadian double faulted to give Federer set point. Though Raonic go the first serve in, Federer blocked it back to start a rally and took the set when Raonic dumped a backhand volley into the net.
The second set whizzed by as both players held serve without losing too many points. Raonic started the resulting tie break with three aces however Federer got the mini break when Roanic made an ill judged venture into the net and was easily passed. Federer closed it out when he rifled a forehand past the Canadian as he approached the net and let out a big roar. That roar could be effectively translated as “you aint coming back in this one, kid!”
Raonic made four errors as Federer broke at love to start the third set. Perhaps getting bored of the ease with which he was winning so far, his level dropped slightly and he faced trouble on his serve but he served his way out of trouble with ease. Roanic was broken again. And then the Swiss Mastero showcased his genius by hitting a drop shot for a return that Raonic didn’t bother chasing, not that he would have got anywhere near it even if he tried. The sheer nonchalance of the drop shot was matched by his equally nonchalant reaction; head down, Federer walked to the other side of the court while everyone else was still processing what they just witnessed! 😮
The end of the match came swiftly as Federer easily served it out to win 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2. He maintains his unbeaten run against Canadians and anyone born after 1990.
After the match, Federer had a hilarious interview with Jim Courier where he talked about his big bulging biceps, yep 🙂 . See the interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tFRsoTCnLjo
He also had words of praise for his good friend and countryman Stan Wawrinka who went down in five sets to Novak Djokovic in a spectacular tussle. Read the review of that match here –>https://pepsicated.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/nole-survives-stan-the-man/