It was the magical moment when the victory over Pete Sampras in 2001 heralded a tennis career that would be chequered with several more such thrilling and monumental moments. The Swiss player Roger Federer’s Wimbledon match where he survived Marin Cilic in an epic 6-7 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3 victory will remain one of the best the game has had to offer in times to come.
It was a game that had kept the legendary Federer grace and rhythm intact, but what made the match immortal was the grit and guts displayed by this former Number one, when he was almost staring at defeat, when the 35-year old saved three break points from 0-40 in the seventh game of the third set. He stuck to his guns and kept his pace with the young opponent and what turned out to be a win against odds, secured his hopes of an 18th Grand Slam, clinching his place in the semifinals.
“I wasn’t seeing his serves anymore,” Federer speaks about the moments that almost broke him. “He had one chance, he took it, next thing you know you’re down two sets on grass, He was reading my serve, I couldn’t read his serve. It wasn’t going well. I had to hang in there, somehow hope for his level to drop a little bit and that’s exactly what happened.”
With this 307th Grand Slam win, Roger Federer pushes past Martina Navratilova’s mark of 306. He has to win over Milos Raonic in the semi-finals to reach the finals on Sunday. The Raonic-Federer match begins at 8 am ET on Friday, followed by the other semifinal between No. 2 seed Andy Murray and No. 10 Tomas Berdych