Plenty was expected of Roger Federer and Andy Murray on day 9 - the 2 biggest names remaining in the Men’s draw at Wimbledon - and the fans at Centre Court were treated to 2 absolutely brilliant quarterfinal battles. First, Federer came back from the dead to beat Marin Cilic. Then, Andy Murray held his nerve to halt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s stirring comeback.
Federer, the ageless warrior, looked all but out against Cilic as the Croat took a 2-sets-to-love lead with his big serves proving to be an effective weapon. But all those who started writing obituaries for FedEx’s career were stunned by what came next. The Swiss maestro took the game to the Croat with attacking gameplay and scripted a memorable 6-7 (4-7), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (11-9), 6-3 victory.
It was by no means easy. Federer showed tremendous hunger and desire while saving triple break points in the 3rd set before breaking Cilic. The 4th set proved to be an even tighter affair - Federer had to save 3 match points to extend the game into the 5th set. He proceeded to take the game by the scruff of its neck in the 5th with a flurry of aces. In fact, he served up 15 of his 27 aces in the final 2 sets.
Federer will next face another big server in the semifinals - Milos Raonic - in his quest for his 8th Wimbledon title. Raonic got past giant killer Sam Querrey 6-4 7-5 5-7 6-4. The Canadian will not be a pushover by any means and will provide a tough test for Roger.
The 2nd match at Centre Court also turned out to be a pulsating affair with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga putting up a commendable fight before losing to Andy Murray 7-6(10) 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1. Murray looked to be running away with the match after demolishing Tsonga in the 2nd set and going a break up in the 3rd.
But the versatile Frenchman sent shivers down the partisan home crowd and proceeded to give Murray a brutal examination before the semifinals. He broke back in the 3rd immediately and then broke again to clinch the set.
Tsonga refused to roll over for Murray and again survived an early break in the 4th to push the match to a decider. The final set, however, was a let down as Murray steamed through to win it 6-1. His opponent in the other semifinal will be 10th seeded Czech Tomas Berdych who defeated highflying Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-6(4) 6-3 6-2.
Here’s a complete list of fixtures for day 10 of the championships-
|17:00||Serena Williams (USA)  v Elena Vesnina (RUS)|
|17:00||Angelique Kerber (GER)  v Venus Williams (USA) |
|17:00||Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) / Nicolas Mahut (FRA)  v Treat Huey (PHI) / Max Mirnyi (BLR) |
|17:00||Julien Benneteau (FRA) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) v Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Rajeev Ram (USA) |
|17:00||Martina Hingis (SUI) / Sania Mirza (IND)  v Timea Babos (HUN) / Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) |
|17:30||Julia Goerges (GER) / Karolina Pliskova (CZE)  v Caroline Garcia (FRA) / Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) |
|17:30||Serena Williams (USA) / Venus Williams (USA) v Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) / Elena Vesnina (RUS) |
Day 10 Preview:
Day 10 at Wimbledon traditionally witnesses the Women’s singles semifinals and this year we have 2 athletes who have stood tall at the lawns of SW19 over the past 16 years like all-conquering colossuses. Serena Williams and Venus Williams have won 11 out of the last 16 Wimbledon titles between them.
While Venus (36) is in her final hurrah, Serena has shown no signs of slowing down as she guns for Steffi Graf’s record 22 Grand Slam titles. Serena has 21 to her name currently.
Serena, the top seed, will take on an unfancied Elena Vesnina, the only unseeded player in the semifinal lineup. On the paper, this game is a colossal mismatch. Serena struggled against Christina McHale in the 2nd round but has been in splendid form ever since, dispatching off the likes of Kuznetsova, Annika Beck and Pavlyuchenkova with disdain. The 29-year-old Vesnina has exceeded expectation by reaching this stage.
Perhaps, Vesnina will try to gain inspiration from an unseeded Roberta Vinci’s shock win over Serena in the US Open semifinals last year.
Venus Williams, on the hand, has a tough match against an in-form Angelique Kerber, the reigning Australian Open champion. Venus, seeded 8th, has done extremely well to reach this stage at the age of 36 after struggling with medical issues for a long time. But Kerber herself has found a new gust of wind lately to propel her career forward and starts as the favourite against Venus.
An all-Williams final is a tempting prospect. The last time it happened was in Wimbledon 2009, when Serena beat Venus. If Venus and Serena keep their ends of the bargain, the fans will get to feast their eyes on yet another Williams sisters showdown come Saturday.
But as is often seen in Wimbledon, the most well thought out plans could be thrown into disorder by a spell of inspired tennis.
Fans across the world can tune into the following networks to catch all the action live on television:
ARQ (NOVA/CET 21)-CZECH REPUBLIC & SLOVAKIA
beIN SPORTS-FRANCE, MIDDLE EAST
EUROSPORT-RUSSIA, UKRAINE, BALTICS, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, ESTONIA, MOLDOVA, ARMENIA
I.K.O (SPORT KLUB)-BOSNIA, CROATIA, MACEDONIA, MONTENEGRO, SERBIA, SLOVENIA
SETANTA-REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
SKY DEUTSCHLAND-GERMANY & AUSTRIA
SKY ITALIA -ITALY
THE TENNIS CHANNEL-UNITED STATES
Fans can also catch the action on the internet via live streaming in websites www.wimbledon.com and www.starsports.com.Published 07 Jul 2016, 10:32 IST