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How The Match Was Won: Roger Federer v Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer at the net after their match
by Kate Battersby
Wednesday 2 July 2014

The key components of Roger Federer's 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 victory against Stan Wawrinka

The fight to be No.1: Swiss No.1, that is. When Stan Wawrinka won the Australian Open at the start of the year, he finally became his nation’s highest-ranked player – an irony, given that Stefan Edberg’s arrival into Roger Federer’s coaching team had clearly rejuvenated the legend’s game. But even a man who has amassed as many prizes as Federer wanted the spot back. If he reaches his ninth Wimbledon final, it will be official.

Wawrinka’s illness: late in the second set he asked for a doctor, but curiously specified he did not want the doctor to come on court until the second set was done, even though he was retching into his towel at the 5-6 changeover. Once he lost the tie-break, the doctor came on and gave Wawrinka pills, but he never recovered his sparkle.

Wawrinka’s inability to convert break point in the final game of the match: Federer served for it at 5-4 in the fourth, and Wawrinka earned his only break point of that set. Federer was wobbling, but would not allow his opponent to level for 5-5 and threaten a deciding set. Instead he utterly dismantled Wawrinka on the break point, even though he eventually needed five match points to close out victory.

The Centre Court crowd: with the possible exception of Wawrinka’s coach Magnus Norman, it felt very much as if all 14,979 people in the stands were love-bombing Federer as they willed the seven-times champion to restore the natural order after his second round exit last year. The man was in his kingdom.

Their career history: it says a lot when one player has beaten another 13 times in 15 encounters. Wawrinka snapped Federer’s 11-match streak over him at Monte Carlo this year, but had never faced him on grass, nor beaten any top five player on grass. In this quarter-final, Federer made both facts count.

Roger Federer’s path to the semi-final

First round: beats Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-1, 6-3

Second round: beats Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-5, 6-3

Third round: beats Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

Fourth round: beats Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Quarter-final: beats Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4

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