Federer seals 100th Wimbledon win; faces Nadal in semi-final
Roger Federer did his part to set up a tantalising Wimbledon semi-final against Rafael Nadal after seeing off Kei Nishikori in four sets.
The Swiss fought from a set down to seal his 100th Wimbledon win 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-4 and reach a 13th semi-final, where he will face Nadal for the first time at SW19 since their classic 2008 final.
“It’s not like ‘I have to get my 100th’, you’re just trying to win the next game and then the match. You forget about it in the moment, but a fan said congratulations. It was a sweet way to do it. So nice,” he told BBC.
“We have a lot of information on Rafa, and so does he about us, so you can either dive into tactics or say you know what, it’s grass-court tennis and see if he can defend that. People always hype it up, we met in Paris this year, it was a joy to play there and I would love to play against him here in Wimbledon. Obviously I would be very excited.”
Having dropped just five games in his fourth-round win over Matteo Berrettinni, Federer knew he was in a match on Centre when Nishikori broke the Swiss to 15 in the opening game.
Federer continued to struggle on serve and was forced to save four more break points before missing an opportunity of his own in the sixth game, with Nishikori going on to seal the set as he chased a first Grand Slam semi-final away from the US Open.
It was Federer’s first dropped set since his opening-round win over Lloyd Harris, and to the delight of his army of fans out on Centre the 37-year-old responded in champion style against Nishikori.
Federer broke as he raced to a 3-0 lead, and did so once again to 15 as he swiftly levelled the match, needing just 23 minutes to do so.
Nishikori sought a comfort break to recompose himself, and after coming back out the 2014 US Open finalist valiantly held serve despite facing break point and being taken to four deuces.
Six games later, Nishikori’s resolve was broken, as, although he saved three break points, an inch-perfect forehand ensured Federer edged ahead for the first time in the match.
Federer took the set after Nishikori missed the chance to break back, and the Swiss maintained control in the fourth set, breaking in the ninth game before serving it out to love after two-and-a-half hours on court.