Milos Raonic made tennis history Friday at Wimbledon, and he did it against arguably the greatest player of all-time.
The 25-year-old rallied in the semifinal to defeat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. He becomes the first Canadian man to ever reach a grand slam final.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) July 8, 2016
Raonic did so in the face of incredible odds. Before Friday, the last time Federer lost a match leading two sets to one was in the 2011 U.S. Open semifinal against Novak Djokovic.
Tennis diehards have known of Raonic's potential since he burst onto the scene that same year. He reached the Australian Open’s fourth round as a qualifier and put the rest of the ATP Tour on notice with his monster serve (he is nicknamed "Missile"). Since then, he's won eight titles, reached at least the quarterfinals at all four majors and consistently ranks in the world top 10.
Born in Montenegro, then part of Yugoslavia, Raonic moved to Canada with his family at age 3. Starting a few years later, Raonic would go to the courts with his father, Dusan, and practice with a ball machine at odd hours for cheaper fees.
Dusan, formerly an engineer and professor at the University of Montenegro, brought his family out of the Balkans in 1994 to avoid war, but he didn't bring a strong tennis background. As a kid, Raonic became obsessed with the sport and idolized 14-time grand slam champion Pete Sampras.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 8, 2016
On Sunday, he will get a crack at the crown Sampras claimed seven times. But Raonic will not hear much support. Brit Andy Murray will attempt to win his second Wimbledon title.
Full disclaimer: Raonic is not the first Canadian to reach a grand slam singles final. That honor goes to fellow rising star Eugenie Bouchard, the 2014 Wimbledon women's runner-up.
Follow Axel Boada on Twitter @axelboada.