Federer and Djokovic to clash in Wimbledon semi
Thu, 05 Jul 2012 7:21a.m.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will clash for the 27th time in a high-stakes Wimbledon semi-final after upping the ante at the All England Club.
Federer delivered a fittingly regal performance before a celebrity-filled royal box to edge ever closer to a record-equalling seventh crown with a 6-1 6-2 6-2 quarter-final drubbing of Mikhail Youzhny.
Djokovic then confirmed his 11th grand slam appointment with the Swiss master with an equally ruthless 6-4 6-1 6-4 dispatch of German Florian Mayer.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Rod Laver and the first couple of tennis, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, were among the dignitaries treated to a majestic display from Federer.
"I think it helps when royalty shows up and other legends of the game see me play," Federer said.
"It's inspiring. I'm happy they all came and supported me.
"I thought I played great."
So great in fact that his vanquished opponent at one point turned to the royal box and sought advice from the great Agassi.
"What do I have to do here?" Youzhny shrugged.
But the Russian was utterly powerless to stop the 16-times major winner from inflicting a 14th defeat from 14 encounters with his career contemporary.
Prince William and Kate were also suitably impressed as Federer set yet another record that may stand the test of time.
The 30-year-old surpassed Jimmy Connors for most grand slam semi-final appearances after qualifying for the 33rd of his incomparable career.
Now Djokovic stands in his way of the tantalising chance to join Pete Sampras with seven titles at the All England Club.
And giving their semi-final an extra edge, should Federer find tennis's seventh heaven on Sunday, Federer would also supplant Djokovic as world No.1 and equal Sampras's all-time record of 286 total weeks atop the rankings.
"Obviously it's a big deal. No denying," Federer said.
Federer will be the sentimental favourite on Friday, but 25-year-old Djokovic holds a clear edge over his senior rival in recent grand slam meetings.
Although the Serb trails Federer 14-12 head-to-head, he has had his measure in four of their past five grand slam showdowns, including in straight sets at last month's French Open on clay.
But the two tennis titans have never previously clashed on grass.
"We don't know quite what to expect," Federer said.
"I feel it's a bit of an even ground. You have to ask him. I feel good about the match. I'm excited."
Even as the defending champion, Djokovic agrees the surface is a neutraliser.
"Grass courts are suiting his style of game the most," the top seed said.
"He has a variety, great variety, in his game. He uses his serve very well. He opens up the court. He uses that slice really well to get the balls to bounce low.
"He's very aggressive at times. He can defend well.
"So it's going to be an interesting match."
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
Neymar scored one goal and set up another for Jo to lift Bra...
Italy clawed back a two-goal deficit to win 4-3 and overcome...
The head of Coliseum Sports Media says getting the rights to...
After the rowing success at the London Olympics, a number of...
While Coliseum says it's focused on football, could they cha...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.