Roger Federer is probably the greatest player in Wimbledon history. The 7-time champion and 10-time finalist has pretty much achieved everything a person could hope to achieve at Wimbledon.
However, there is 1 thing that he is yet to do here, and that is to win the Championships without dropping a set. Obviously, if he did manage to do it, it would be a humongous achievement. The very nature of grass courts means that 1 slightly average service game could easily lose you a set right there. In fact, Bjorn Borg is the only person to have achieved this remarkable feat in the Open Era, way back in 1976.
Federer himself has come close to this achievement on several occasions. He won the 2003, 2005 and 2006 Championships dropping just 1 set in the process. Of these, he probably came closest in 2006. In 2006, he had reached the final without losing a set, and had won the first two sets of the final – including a first set bagel – against arch rival Rafael Nadal. The 3rd set went into a tiebreak, which Federer eventually lost along with the opportunity of winning the Championships without losing a set. He bounced back to win the 4th set 6-3.
This year, Federer’s march through to the semi-finals has been serene. He has navigated a rather tricky draw without dropping a set so far. On the other hand, the other members of the famed Big 4, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are already out of Wimbledon. Federer’s semi-final opponent will be Czech Tomas Berdych, and should he get through, his final opponent would be either Marin Cilic or Sam Querrey, both first time semi-finalists.
The 3 remaining players are definitely no mugs, especially on grass. Berdych is a former finalist, and is one of a select few players who have managed to get the better of Federer at his favourite event. Sam Querrey has already beaten world no. 1 and defending champion, Andy Murray and he also beat Novak Djokovic here last year. Cilic has also been playing some of the finest tennis of his career right now.
Still, in the absence of the rest of the Big 4, Federer is being seen as the clear favourite. And with the way he’s been playing, winning the last 2 rounds in straight sets is also a distinct possibility. If so, it would be the second time he wins a major without dropping a set, following the 2007 Australian Open.
So can Federer win a record 8th Wimbledon title? And if he does, can he win it without dropping a set? Let us know what you think!