LONDON — Roger Federer’s bid for a record eighth Wimbledon title was cut short in the semifinals Friday by Milos Raonic, a big-serving Canadian who came from two-sets-to-one down to win in five and reach his first Grand Slam final.
Raonic beat the seven-time champion 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Centre Court, handing the Swiss great his first loss ever in the Wimbledon semifinals after 10 straight wins.
The 25-year-old Raonic became the first Canadian man in history to advance to the final of a Grand Slam tournament. The only other Canadian to get this far was Eugenie Bouchard, the women’s runner-up at Wimbledon in 2014.
The sixth-seeded Raonic, who served 23 aces among his 75 winners, avenged a Wimbledon semifinal loss to Federer in straight sets two years ago. The No. 3-seeded Federer broke serve only once, while Raonic managed three breaks.
In Sunday’s final, Raonic will play the winner of the semifinal match between 2013 champion Andy Murray and 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych.
For Federer, the loss means he remains one title short of the all-time Wimbledon men’s record. He’s still tied with Pete Sampras and 1880s player William Renshaw with seven.
Federer last won Wimbledon in 2012, the last of his record 17 Grand Slam championships. He lost in the Wimbledon final the past two years to Novak Djokovic, who was ousted in the third round this year by Sam Querrey.
Federer fell just short of an 85th match win at Wimbledon, which would have put him in sole possession of the record of 84 he currently shares with Jimmy Connors.
After Raonic broke to take the fourth set, Federer called for a trainer on the changeover and had his right thigh massaged.
Then, while serving at 2-1 down in the fifth, Federer lost his footing on a deuce point and fell onto his stomach on the turf while trying in vain to reach a passing shot. Federer went immediately to his chair and called for trainer, who examined his left knee.
Federer, who had surgery on his left knee in January, resumed the game and didn’t show any outward sign of injury. But he was broken in that game after a crucial double-fault at deuce. On the second break point, Raonic stroked a forehand cross-court passing shot winner after both men made difficult volleys to stay in the point.
That break put Raonic in firm control, and he stayed on top the rest of the set and served out the match at love.
It was a breakthrough victory for Raonic, who has had John McEnroe in his coaching corner since the Wimbledon warm-up tournament at Queen’s Club. In his previous Grand Slam semifinal match, Raonic lost to Murray at this year’s Australian Open.
At 25, he’s the youngest Wimbledon finalist since Murray reached the title match in 2012 at the same age.
Raonic came into the semifinals on a five-match losing streak against players ranked in the top three. He was also 0-4 in majors against top-three players.