Persistence, positivity, and a Zen-like focus carried Milos Raonic past Roger Federer and into Sunday’s Wimbledon final.
That and a thunderous weapons-grade serve which smashed the seven-times champion off Centre Court and denied him a record 85th singles victory here.
“I did a lot of things well,” the burly Canadian powerhouse said, after a 6-3 6-7 (7-3) 4-6 7-5 6-3 win to set up a showdown with home favourite Andy Murray.
“The attitude kept me in the match. I think that’s what made the biggest difference.
“I was quite vocal, but I was always positive. I was always looking for a solution,” he added.
Two years ago, Raonic could find no solutions as he was dismantled by Federer at the same stage here, but this was Raonic mark two – tougher and stronger.
And this was an older Federer: a phenomenal player but not the force he was when carrying all before him.
“He has the most decorated achievements and successes in tennis, more than anybody by a good amount at this point,” sixth seed Raonic said.
“(But) you’re playing who Roger is today, not who he’s been the past few years.
“So you try to focus in on that and what you need to do, try not to spend too much time and attention thinking about him. Especially for myself, I’ve got to always worry about myself first.”
With former world number ones Carlos Moya and John McEnroe in his support camp, Raonic has no shortage of role models or advice, he just needs to convert that into grand slam success.
“I have a great opportunity on Sunday. I’m definitely going to be looking forward to it,” Raonic said.