While Djokovic stopped the rollicking run of Frenchman Richard Gasquet, Roger Federer maintained his 9-year old record of never losing in the semifinals at the All-England Club Championships. In his 10th semifinal against Britain’s Andy Murray on Friday, Federer fended off the local favorite in straight sets. The Sunday’s final, therefore, will be fought between world’s top two tennis players. The global tennis community couldn’t have asked for anything better!
Dishing out yet another impressive performance, especially in his service, Djokovic entered his fourth Wimbledon final in the last five years. Though he defeated Frenchman in straight sets, the score-line of 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 fails to tell the real story of the match. Gasquet didn’t wilt but he actually had a chance in the first set, which was too close. But on the fourth point of the tiebreaker with scores reading 2-2, the Serbian world no.1 reeled off the next 5 points and took control of the match. Even in the next two sets, the Frenchman played some unbelievably amazing shots that surprised Djokovic at times. All through the match, Gasquet struggled with his first serve but ironically, his second serve won him many points and he even managed to send down an ace. Gasquet had last reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2007 but lost to Roger Federer on that occasion. Interestingly in 2007, Djokovic had also lost in the semifinal to Rafael Nadal but after that Djokovic’s stars have been on ascendency. After winning the first set on tiebreak, Djokovic broke Gasquet’s service early in the second set to lead 2-0. But the defending champion faced trouble in the fourth game as Gasquet forced two break points. It was a crucial game that Djokovic finally won and as the set went on serves, it was 2-0 for Djokovic before the third set could get underway. In between, Djokovic had a problem with his left shoulder and on two occasions during changeovers, he needed medical help. In the third set, Djokovic obtained a break in the third game that proved decisive despite Gasquet refusing to give up. The Frenchman saved two match points in the ninth game at 5-3 but when Djokovic came on to serve in the tenth game, he showed his superiority by winning the game at love. That brought the defending champion to come face-to-face with Roger Federer in Sunday’s final.
In the second semifinal that followed the Djokovic-Gasquet match, Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer played brilliantly to snuff out Britain’s Andy Murray to reach his 10th Wimbledon final in the last 13 years. In all his matches this Wimbledon, Federer has served wonderfully and won most of his points on the first serve. Murray was equal to the task against the world no.2 but couldn’t match the firepower of Federer. As the match began with Federer’s service, Murray forced a break point to the delight of the supporters at the Center Court. But Federer held. Later in the match, Murray faced the red-hot Federer as the Swiss hardly faltered in his service. In the 2 hour 7 minute match, Federer dropped just 21 points on his serve. The first set went on serves with Murray matching Federer until 6-5. Murray began the 12th game with 15-0 but Federer produced two ripping winners to make it 15-40. Murray saved one set point but a sharp low backhand from Federer sealed the set 7-5. The story in the second set was much the same as the two guys went on serves for most part. In the 10th game, Murray saved five break points and made it 5-5. Federer easily won the 11th game and like in the first set, broke Murray in the 12th game to wrap up the second set also at 7-5. The Swiss superstar carried the momentum in the third set and Murray faced the barrage of some breathtaking shots from Federer. Somehow, the Scot managed to stay in the match until the 9th game. However, in the 10th, Murray began with a fault on his first serve and Federer reached within two points of the target with two superb backhands. Murray managed to bring the score back to 30-30 with an ace and a backhand crosscourt winner but missed again to offer a match point to Federer. The Swiss accepted gleefully to reach his 26th Grand Slam final.