Fantastic Federer stays on song against Raonic

Roger Federer stayed on course for a record eighth Wimbledon title after dispatching Milos Raonic in straight sets in Wednesday's quarter-finals.

The seven-time champion continued to look totally at home on his beloved Centre Court as he powered to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory.

After Federer coasted through the first two sets, Raonic finally came to life towards the end of the third and started to provide a more serious challenge, but ultimately it was too little too late. Federer held firm to book his place in the semi-finals where he will take on Tomas Berdych, who advanced after Novak Djokovic's surprising retirement.

The opening stages of the match were all Federer. The Swiss ace was dictating matters from start to finish, not facing a single break point as he raced into a two-sets-to-love lead in less than an hour. 

Federer fired 27 winners and made just three unforced errors, in comparison to to Raonic's 18 and eight.

Raonic wasn't playing particularly badly, and his serve was as powerful as ever, but he just wasn't able to impose himself on the match at all.

The third set appeared to be heading in the same direction, but to Raonic's credit he did not go down without a fight. With Federer serving at 3-4, the Canadian finally came to the party, earning four break points during a marathon eighth game as he started to produce some superb winners.

Federer saved all four break points, but continued to find himself under pressure as the set continued.  Raonic maintained his newfound level of competitiveness, and the crowd was finally getting involved too.

Ultimately, however, Federer had the measure of his opponent. The 35-year-old held on to force a tie-break, and then fought back from a 0-3 deficit courtesy of a couple of scintillating winners – including a searing forehand down the line – to turn the tables and seal victory, much to his visible delight.

With Djokovic, Murray and Nadal all now eliminated, Federer knows he has a golden chance to seal an eighth Wimbledon – and 19th Grand Slam – crown.

After the match, an interviewer told Federer it was his 100th Wimbledon victory.

 "I can't believe it, 100 matches, it's a lot," he said. "I'm very happy my body kept me going over all these years. It was a perfect setting, beautiful weather – a Mexican wave on Centre Court, you don't see that every day! I'm so, so happy to be through.

"I'm very pleased with how I'm playing. You can always play a little better. You adjust to the conditions – it's like going to work, you can't produce the best every single day but you have to make sure your average is as high as possible."

Asked about some of his biggest rivals being eliminated, Federer said: "We always knew the danger was there for either one of us. I hope that Novak is okay with his injury and I hope for Andy and Novak they will recover for the American summer. And Rafa, I'm convinced he will be back very strong.

"Berdych is a good friend of mine and it is nice to see different guys, but I'm glad my dream run has continued."

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