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Raonic ends Federer’s run to reach first major final

LONDON -- Milos Raonic made Roger Federer feel his age at Wimbledon on Friday as the Canadian sharp-shooter bombarded Centre Court with a succession of 140 mph missiles to flatten the seven-times champion and reach his first grand slam final.Raon...

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Milos Raonic celebrates winning his match against Roger Federer on Friday in the Wimbledon semifinals. (Photo by Susan Mullane / USA TODAY Sports)

LONDON - Milos Raonic made Roger Federer feel his age at Wimbledon on Friday as the Canadian sharp-shooter bombarded Centre Court with a succession of 140 mph missiles to flatten the seven-times champion and reach his first grand slam final.
Raonic appeared to be down and out as he trailed Federer by two-sets to one and 15-40 in the fifth game of the fourth set but somehow he managed to cling on for a 6-3 6-7(3) 4-6 7-5 6-3 win and became the first Canadian man to reach a major final.
“It’s an incredible comeback for me,” said the sixth seed, who will be seeking to win his first grasscourt title when he meets 2013 champion Andy Murray on Sunday in a repeat of last month’s Queen’s Club final.
“I was struggling throughout the third and fourth sets, he was playing some really good tennis and just on a little opening I managed to turn it around and finish it off in a great match.
“I showed a lot of emotion today, always positive, and that’s what got me through. Mentally I had one of my best matches in my career and I think that’s what made the biggest difference.”
Federer, who had survived a five-set thriller two days ago against Croatian Marin Cilic, added: “He fought. He believed, like I did against Cilic. Credit to him for hanging in there.”
Raonic will not be the only man experiencing something new on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Sunday - for the first time Britain’s Murray will start a grand slam final as favorite after crushing Tomas Berdych in the semis.
Murray was seeded to meet world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in another major showdown but the Serb’s shocking early exit opened the door for sixth seed Raonic to reach his maiden grand slam final after making the semis two years ago.
All 10 of Murray’s previous grand slam finals were against either Djokovic or Federer, which explains why the 29-year-old Scot has endured more than his fair share of pain and still only has two majors to his name.
One of those defeats came against a sublime Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final and a repeat of that duel was expected until the Swiss maestro lost to Raonic on Friday.
With a 6-3 head-to-head career lead over the 25-year-old Raonic, Murray will be expected to get his grand slam collection rolling again, three years after beating Djokovic to become Britain’s first Wimbledon men’s singles champion in 77 years.
Leading bookmakers were quoting Murray as 2-7 on favorite hours after he beat Berdych on Friday.
“It’s the first time I’ll play a slam final against someone that isn’t Roger or Novak. So, yeah, that’s different,” Murray, who won the 2012 U.S. Open against Djokovic, told reporters.
“But you never know how anyone’s going to deal with the pressures of a slam final.
“I’ll just concentrate on my side, do what I can to prepare well for it and see what happens.”

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