Roger Federer will attempt to win a record 8th title at Wimbledon’s All England Club on Sunday after posting an impressive three-set victory over Andy Murray in the semi-final on Friday. The 33-year-old Swiss master, who already shares the record for most titles at Wimbledon (seven, with American Pete Sampras), was in truly imperious form as he broke Murray once in each set to win a magnificent contest 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 and set up a final clash against no. 1 seed Novak Djokovic on Sunday.
Federer, seeded no. 2 at Wimbledon this year, was dominant from the start — once he survived an early break point — and kept up his brilliant serving form that had seen him broken just once through the first five rounds of the tournament. Indeed, Federer had already set a new record for consecutive service games without being broken (116) — ended by Gilles Simon in the quarter finals — during his run to the semi-finals, and Murray came up against a player at the very top of his game. Federer hit a staggering 85 percent of his first serves in the first set — including 11 aces — and would drop only 21 service points all game. The first set ended with the first service break of the match, Federer finally getting through Murray’s serve to take the lead. It was a pattern he would repeat in the other two sets.
Murray, seeded no. 3 and backed by a partisan center court crowd, gave as good as he could, but he just couldn’t get through Federer’s sublime play. All three sets went pretty much with serve, although it was Murray that struggled to hold serve and ultimately got broken late in each set. The 10th game of the second set perfectly crystallized what Murray was up against, as he faced no less than five break points in a riveting game that lasted 14 minutes before the Scotsman finally prevailed to tie up at 5-5. There would be no denying Federer though; he held serve in the next game and then broke Murray — again in the 12th game — to take the second set.
Federer sealed the third set — and the match — with another break, again the only one of the set, and he now goes into Sunday’s final, his 26th grand slam final and his 10th at Wimbledon, as, according to the Guardian, the oldest man to reach the final at Wimbledon since Ken Rosewall in 1974.
Federer will now face Djokovic in a repeat of last year’s final, which the Serbian won in five sets. If he can play as well as he did against Murray, he could well avenge that loss and leave the All England club on Sunday with that record eighth Wimbledon trophy in the crook of his arm. As the vanquished Murray said of the final after the game, according to the Guardian.
“..it should be a fantastic match. If Roger serves like he did today, he’ll give himself a great chance to win that match.”
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)