Bet on Roger Federer and Milos Raonic to go the distance in the Wimbledon 2016 semi-finalsPublished July 7, 2016
With the dominant Novak Djokovic out of the equation there is real buzz about Wimbledon this year, with the early exit of the defending champion and winner of the last four Grand Slam tournaments on the spin leaving the field open.
The 34-year-old Swiss legend Roger Federer was made to work hard for his place in the semi-finals, having to come from two sets adrift to beat Croatia’s Marin Cilic. This is surely his last chance to claim an eighth Wimbledon title and 18th Grand Slam.
His last-four opponent, Milos Raonic, needed four sets to overcome the conqueror of Djokovic, Sam Querrey, in the quarter-final, but had to come from two sets down himself to see off David Goffin in the previous round.
The Canadian was a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2014 and reached the last four at Australia earlier this year. Now 25, he is beginning to look like he could be the next player to break into the elite of men’s tennis. This looks like it could be the match of the round and could potentially be a five-set classic.
Andy Murray saw off the stern challenge of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in five typically nerve-jangling sets to reach his seventh Wimbledon semi-final in eight attempts as he seeks his second Wimbledon crown and third Grand Slam win overall.
Murray will face Tomas Berdych, who was Wimbledon runner-up in 2010, but had never been beyond the quarter-finals in any year besides that until seeing off France’s Lucas Pouille in straight sets this time.
The main talking point ahead of the Ladies’ semi-finals is the very real prospect of a Williams’ sisters final.
Seeking a 22nd Grand Slam singles trophy and seventh at Wimbledon, defending champion Serena Williams was given a tough quarter-final against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, winning 6-4, 6-4 with just a single break-point in each set being decisive.
The 34-year-old defending champion now faces another Russian in Elena Vesnina, who is appearing in her first Grand Slam semi-final. Vesnina is no teenage prodigy though and at the age of 29 this could be her one crack at reaching a Grand Slam final.
Indeed, in 41 previous Grand Slam finals Vesnina’s best performances were in reaching the 4th round of the Australian Open twice and once at Wimbledon back in 2009. If the occasion gets to the Russian, Williams could win this with a bit to spare.
Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams will appear in her first Wimbledon semi-final since 2009 at the age of 36. It’s her first Grand Slam semi-final appearance since the US Open in 2010.
At 28, Angelique Kerber is the youngest of the Ladies’ semi-finalists. The German won the Australian Open earlier this year and has yet to drop a set at Wimbledon in her opening five rounds.