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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Federer in 9th Wimbledon final; meets Djokovic

PHOTOS: Federer in 9th Wimbledon final; meets Djokovic

Last updated on: July 04, 2014 23:54 IST

PHOTOS: Federer in 9th Wimbledon final; meets Djokovic

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Roger Federer reached a ninth Wimbledon final after emerging unscathed from the crosshairs of bullet-serving giant Milos Raonic, winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 with a masterful display of the grasscourt arts on Friday.

Chasing a record eighth title at the All England Club, Federer set up a mouthwatering final against top seed and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic with an almost casual demolition of the 23-year-old Canadian, who looked overawed by the magnitude of the occasion.

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The Serb  beat Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(7) in the other semi-final earlier.

Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, broke in the opening game and then comfortably saw out the first set before breaking decisively in the ninth games of both the second and third sets, with his opponent unable to gain a foothold in the match.

The 32-year-old Swiss played most of the match at walking pace and finished off his opponent in one hour 41 minutes, clenching his fist in a restrained celebration when Raonic hit a backhand return wide on match point.

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Image: Roger Federer of Switzerland jumps to make a return during his Gentlemen's Singles semi-final match against Milos Raonic of Canada
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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Federer in 9th Wimbledon final; meets Djokovic

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"I think that was unbelievably effective," said Federer, who has been in imperious form on the grass this year after winning in Halle and motoring through the early rounds at Wimbledon.

"I am extremely happy to be in another final. I have played some great tennis, under pressure as well at times because I didn't play so well here last year."

Having reached a 25th Grand Slam final, Federer will face Djokovic in Sunday's showpiece with the confidence of an 18-16 winning record against the Serb.

"It's always great, we always have good matches against each other and we have played (each other) a lot in the past six months and it has gone back and forth a little bit," Federer told the BBC.

"He is a great champion and he has been around now for a long time, so he is used to these occasions. He has already got the trophy here so he knows how to get it done."

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Image: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning his Gentlemen's Singles semi-final match against Milos Raonic of Canada
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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Djokovic downs Dimitrov

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Top seed Novak Djokovic, a six-time Grand Slam champion, had to draw on all the experience gleaned in 23 major semi-finals to get the better of 23-year-old Dimitrov, who was on a roll after winning the pre-Wimbledon tournament at Queen's Club and downing third-seeded champion Andy Murray in the quarter-finals.

"It's a good win for me. I am really pleased to be part of another entertaining match," Djokovic said. "Considering that I have lost the past couple of grand slam finals - and all these matches I could have won - I am looking forward."

Both players slipped and slid along the dusty Centre Court baselines, frequently losing their footing.

But Djokovic started smoothly, breaking the serve of the Bulgarian, nicknamed "Baby-Fed" for expansive shot-making reminiscent of Federer, in the fifth game of the first set and claiming it in only 27 minutes.

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Image: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after beating Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Djokovic downs Dimitrov

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The Serb, who was runner-up last year, looked to be cruising when he broke again in the third game of the second set. But Dimitrov, watched anxiously by girlfriend and former champion Maria Sharapova, raised his energy to reel off five games in a row to level the score.

Two gladiatorial sets followed by tiebreaks were testament to the intensity of the contest.

With the match on a knife-edge, it was Djokovic who found the extra grit. He saved a set point in the ninth game of the fourth set and three in the tiebreak before sealing victory with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Djokovic described his opponent as a "future star" with quality shots.

"He's already a top player, winning against Murray in the quarters," Djokovic said, adding that Dimitrov deserved respect for fighting so valiantly in his first semi-final.


Image: Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

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