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By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, July 10, 2017

Roger Federer

Moving fluidly, Roger Federer outclassed Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, rolling into his record 15th Wimbledon quarterfinal.

Photo credit: Ashley Western/CameraSport

Advancing age and talented young opponents aren’t gaining ground on Roger Federer.

Moving fluidly and serving authoritatively, Federer outclassed Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, rolling into his record 15th Wimbledon quarterfinal.

Watch: Nadal Bangs Head Jumping

It is Federer’s record-extending 50th career major quarterfinal.

Federer broke the record for most Wimbledon quarterfinals he previously shared with Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors.

Breezing into the quarterfinals has infused the 35-year-old Swiss with confidence as he became the second oldest man in the Open Era to reach the quarterfinals of The Championships, following 39-year-old Ken Rosewall's run to the 1974 final.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion has not dropped a set in four tournament victories. 

"I feel like I'm rested enough," Federer said. "I've had, you know, not the most toughest matches. I can look at this quarterfinal in a totally relaxed fashion. Physically I'm not fighting anything like last year with my knee. I'm ready to go this afternoon if I have to, which is great, but I don't have to. I think that's a great bonus.

"Then again, the best players are left in the draw. It's going to be a tough one. I'm aware of that. That's why I can't think too far ahead. I think it's going to be a tough finish to this tournament."

Continuing his quest for an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon championship, Federer will face Milos Raonic in a quarterfinal rematch of the 2016 semifinals.

A gritty Raonic withstood a severe test from 10th-seeded Alexander Zverev prevailing 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, to advance to the quarterfinals for the third time in the last four years.

The 2016 finalist smacked 20 aces and denied 14 of 17 break points in a three hour, 23-minute victory.

Federer has won nine of 12 meetings with the explosive Canadian, but Raonic has claimed their last two matches, including rallying for a 6-3. 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory in the semifinals last July. 

"I got to bring the intensity, the focus that I've shown throughout this tournament, the mentality on the serve, first and second serve," Federer said of the quarterfinals. "Very few wrong decision making. Understanding what to do at what stage. Then on the return, keep going for it, keep staying aggressive. Positive attitude. I do believe good things can happen."

The Federer-Dimitrov encounter pitted two former Wimbledon boys’ champions: Federer won the 1998 junior title and Dimitrov rule as boys’ champion a decade later.

The gifted Dimitrov grew up looking up to Federer, but has struggled to stay in step with his former hero as Federer has won all six of their match, sweeping 14 of the 16 sets they’ve played against each other.

The 13th-seeded Bulgarian has the tools—outstanding athleticism and speed, explosiveness and the ability to play all-court tennis—that made him a 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist.

However, Federer does everything better, is a far more accurate ball striker, hits on balance more frequently and is a more polished player.

The serve was the key stroke. Federer served 69 percent, hit eight aces against no double faults, won 17 of 23 points played on his second serve and dropped serve just once all afternoon.

In contrast, Dimitrov offset seven aces with seven double faults and sometimes tightened under break-point pressure as Federer converted five of 10 break points.

Three consecutive forehand errors from Dimitrov gave the Swiss the first break and a 5-4 lead in the opener.

Federer fired an ace to serve out the opening set at love.

"Today nothing was going my way, absolutely nothing," Dimitrov said. "I mean, shame. I really felt I was on a good path. I felt I think physically very strong. Didn't waste that much energy the previous matches.

"But yeah, I guess I need to accept this like this. I need to move on now, yeah, just start preparing for whatever's ahead of me."

Ripping open the match, Federer soared on a five-game run building a two-set lead.

Dimitrov flashed a backhand down the line to save break point, but misfired on a forehand down the opposite sideline as Federer broke for the second time in a row for 5-4.

When an off-balance Dimitrov pushed a forehand beyond the baseline, Federer wrapped up a clinical conquest in 98 minutes.


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