Roger Federer has a habit of setting records and it isn’t surprising as he continues to ply his trade at the highest level, and perhaps more importantly at Wimbledon, his most successful grand slam in terms of titles won, matches won and quarter-finals reached.
It was a great serving performance today against a great return winner Roger Federer
Having arrived at his 17th Wimbledon quarter-final, the odds were very much in his favour when he stepped on court to take on Kei Nishikori for a place in the last four, the Swiss star having only lost four in his previous 16 appearances in the last eight.
On this occasion he won 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-4.
But to his surprise it was the Japanese No.1 who blasted out of the blocks in such a manner that he set the scene for a possible upset. Not only did he break the eight-times champion in the opening game, but held points for a possible double break as he took full advantage of a very nervy start by the Swiss.
Nishikori held on to the break which proved sufficient to take the openimg set which stung the second seed into a strong response by collecting the second for the loss of just one game!
The battle was truly joined with the pivotal moment coming in the seventh game with Nishikori fending off three breakpoints only for one of Federer’s trademark forehands to curl onto the baseline some 35-minutes into the third set to send him on his way and three games later, take a 2 sets to one lead having saved a break back point in the tenth game.
Both players held their ground until finally, Federer broke Nishikori in the ninth game at his second attempt following a lengthy exchange, ending when Nishikori lifted a forehand just long over the baseline.
That was enough for Federer to step and take the match serving out to love after two-hours and 36-minutes, to secure his semi-final place in what was his 100th victory at SW19, a record which no other player has achieved in Grand Slam history.
That was difficult. The beginning was brutal,” Federer told the BBC.
“Kei came out smashing return winners and I had to make adjustments to stay with him and try to turn around that first set, but Kei was the better player.
“It was a great serving performance today against a great return winner.”