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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Federer enters 8th Wimbledon final

PHOTOS: Federer enters 8th Wimbledon final

Last updated on: July 7, 2012 00:41 IST

Federer downs Djokovic in Wimbledon semi-final

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Six-time champion Roger Federer produced a vintage display to beat defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon semi-final on Friday.

The Swiss maintained his record of never losing a Wimbledon semi-final to reach a record eighth showpiece match at the All England Club with a dominant performance under the closed Centre Court roof.

After the first two sets were shared in less than an hour, the match came alive in the third set.


Image: oger Federer of Switzerland hits a forehand return
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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'I'm ecstatic, I'm so happy'

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Serving at 4-5 Djokovic blazed a smash long at 15-30 to give Federer two set points. Djokovic saved the first with a forehand but Federer seized his chance, winning a sensational 20-stroke rally with a smash to move within a set of the final.

Djokovic could not recover and dropped serve early in the fourth set as Federer rolled to his first final at the grasscourt slam since he beat Andy Roddick in 2009.

Federer held his nerve when he served for the match, sealing it after two hours and 19 minutes of high-octane action when Djokovic netted a forehand return.

"I'm ecstatic, I'm so happy," Federer said immediately after walking off court to huge applause.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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'I was able to play some fantastic tennis today'

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"I played a great match today and it's been a tough tournament for me really. But I was able to play some fantastic tennis today and I thought Novak played good too.

"The first two sets went really quickly and then the third set was really key and I managed to step it up and maybe get a bit lucky because he also had break points near the end of the third. It was a lot of fun out there today."

Looking ahead to a final against either Briton Andy Murray or Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who he lost to in the quarter-finals last year, the 30-year-old said: "I lost to Jo here last year and Andy's beaten me more than I've beaten him I think.


Image: Novak Djokovic of Serbia
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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'Tough task ahead of me, there's a lot on the line'

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"I have a tough task ahead of me, there's a lot on the line because I can get all-time Grand Slam record and World No. 1 so I have pressure but I'm excited about it."

Federer will return to the top of the world rankings if he equals Pete Sampras's seven Wimbledon titles on Sunday.

It would also mean he matches the American's 286 weeks spent as World No.1.


Image: Roger Federer (left) is congratulated by Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Murray ends Britain's long wait at Wimbledon

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Andy Murray consigned one of Wimbledon's longest-standing statistics to the scrapheap when he became the first Briton to reach the men's final in 74 years with a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday.

Since Bunny Austin became the last home hope to reach the showpiece match in 1938, British men have lost in the semi-finals on 11 occasions.

The fourth seed will bid to become the first British man to triumph at the citadel of grass court tennis since Fred Perry in 1936 when he takes on Roger Federer, chasing a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title, in the final on Sunday.

"It was an emotional end to the match," said Murray in a courtside interview. "I just managed to hang tough enough and I am so happy to be through."


Image: Andy Murray celebrates after his singles semi-final match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on day eleven of the Wimbledon
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Superb serving

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Murray looked to have the match under control with superb serving early on. In the second set he lost only two points on his serve and Tsonga seemed to be losing faith in himself.

Tsonga disappeared off court with the trainer for two minutes before the third set - saying later he had gone to stretch and "unblock my back" - and returned a new man.

He broke Murray and went 3-0 up, then kept the advantage and served for the set at 5-3, coming back from 15-30 down despite being hit in the groin at very close quarters by a fierce volley from Murray as the two men duelled at the net.

As Murray raised his racket in apology, Tsonga retreated to the side of the court and curled up in a ball on his knees, in obvious pain. When he recovered, he hit three quick winners to take the set.

Asked about the incident, Tsonga, a semi-finalist here last year, smiled. "I will get my revenge one time," he said.


Image: Andy Murray (R) celebrates after his singles semi-final match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Tags: Tsonga , Murray

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