Deep into the fourth set, with momentum in Federer’s favor, he earned two break chances at 2-2, and another at 4-4, but failed to convert.
“Yeah, so opportunities were all around the fourth set,” Federer said. “I think I pushed him on a few service games to get the break. But somehow I couldn't get it done. Either he served well or he hit the line on the serve, or with the forehand. He did a great job there.”
At 5-6 with Federer serving at 40-15, he hit consecutive double faults to help hand over the break.
“Something went wrong,” he said. “I don't know. I can't believe I served a double fault twice. Unexplainable for me, really. Very sad about that, and angry at myself because never should I allow him to get out of that set that easily.”
It only got worse from there for the seven-time Wimbledon champion. In the fifth set, during the first deuce at 1-2, Raonic hit a short, backhand down-the-line slice as Federer came into the net. The Swiss reached it, but slipped as he lunged for Raonic’s passing shot, falling flat onto his chest. He laid there a few long seconds before going to his chair to call the trainer.
“I hope I didn't hurt myself,” he said. “Then, is it a three‑day thing, is it a 24‑hour thing, or is it more? I don't know at this point. I hope it's not so bad. I walked it off. I was able to finish.
“But I don't slip a lot. I don't ever fall down. It was a different fall for me than I've ever had.”
This would prove to be the beginning of the end for the world No. 3. Ironically, the fall—both literally and figuratively—came about because of a Raonic slice.