Photo: Paul ZimmerRoger Federer (SUI)
DAY 11: Andy Murray and Roger Federer will go head-to-head in Sunday’s Wimbledon men’s singles final after they both came through their semifinal matches in four sets on Friday.
Murray became the first British man to reach the final since Bunny Austin in 1938 after his 63 64 36 75 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Federer rolled back the years to produce a vintage performance as he demolished world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 63 36 64 63.
Federer now has the chance to leapfrog Djokovic and become the world No. 1 once again if he can prevail against Murray in the final. The Swiss maestro has an added incentive because he currently stands one week short of Pete Sampras’s all-time record of number of weeks spent at top spot.
Federer, who is also bidding to equal Sampras’s record of winning seven Wimbledon titles, was at his majestic best again Djokovic, although the Serb was the first to admit that he never reached the heights of his recent major-winning displays.
Onlookers may say that Djokovic contributed to his own downfall, and they may well be right, but nothing should be taken away from Federer. He looked every bit the player who so dominated the Wimbledon grass courts during the noughties.
Murray was also at his best as he reached his fourth Grand Slam final, and his first at Wimbledon. If he can go all the way then he will become the first Brit to win the men’s singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.
The match ended when Murray struck a sweet forehand pass that clipped the sideline. The shot was called out, but Murray was confident that the ball was in and referred the decision to HawkEye.
“I knew it was in when it left my racket, and then I thought that he challenged it,” said Murray. “Obviously it was close, but then the umpire said to me that the ball had been called out and that he hadn't overruled it.
“So then I challenged, and that was it. I knew it was in so it wasn't really an issue. Jo thought it was wide and I thought it was in. When I had confirmation I was relieved.”
Federer and Murray have met 15 times and the Scot holds a narrow 8-7 advantage. Interestingly, the two players have never previously faced each other on grass.
The final is scheduled for Sunday on Centre Court, but first the women’s singles final between Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska will take place on Saturday afternoon.
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