Federer only big name left at Wimbledon after Murray, Djokovic lose

Roger Federer celebrates his win over Milos Raonic at WimbledonAlready considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Roger Federer is enjoying a late-career renaissance at the age of 35. Federer began 2017 with his first grand slam title in five years when he won the Australian Open, and now he has a perfect opportunity to become the first male tennis player to win eight Wimbledon singles titles.

Federer defeated Canadian challenger Milos Raonic in straight sets in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, and he hasn’t dropped a set all tournament. Raonic came close to breaking Federer midway through the third set, but Federer recovered and eventually won the set in a tiebreak despite Raonic gaining an early lead. The victory was a measure of revenge for the 2016 semifinal in which Raonic defeated Federer in five rounds.

Last year’s champion and top seed Andy Murray was less fortunate in his quarterfinal after taking a 2-1 set lead on American Sam Querrey, who won each of the final two sets by a lopsided 6-1 margin. No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic, who would have faced Federer in the semifinals if he had prevailed against Tomas Berdych, withdrew in the second round of his quarterfinal match due to a shoulder injury. With both Murray and Djokovic out, and Rafael Nadal already eliminated in the fourth round, Federer is the only big name remaining, with the other three semifinalists totaling one grand slam title between them: Marin Cilic’s U.S. Open triumph in 2014.

Grass has always been Federer’s most dominant surface, and he decided to play to his strengths by skipping the clay court season in order to conserve his aging body. The choice appears to be paying off, with Federer as the top remaining seed heading into the final two rounds of the tournament. Two more match victories would propel him ahead of Pete Sampras and William Renshaw as the winningest men’s singles player in Wimbledon history, and make him 2-for-2 in 2017 grand slam tournaments in which he has participated.