Djokovic, Federer, Murray reach Wimbledon semis

4:14 PM, Jul 4, 2012   |    comments
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Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Reigning champion Novak Djokovic and six-time winner Roger Federer will duel in Friday's men's semifinals at Wimbledon, where British hopeful Andy Murray also advanced on Wednesday.

The world No. 1 Djokovic cruised past 31st-seeded German Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 on Court 1, while the third-seeded former top-ranked great Federer carved up 26th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in 92 minutes in quarterfinal action Wednesday on Centre Court at the famed All England Club. Both matches were interrupted by a brief rain delay.

And a fourth-seeded Murray snuck past seventh-seeded Spanish star David Ferrer 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in the nightcap on Centre Court.

Djokovic disposed of Mayer in 1 hour, 45 minutes, striking seven aces and breaking his German counterpart five times, compared to only one break for Mayer. The Serbian star tallied 36 more winners (50-14) on Day 9.

Mayer was appearing in his second Wimbledon quarterfinal (0-2), with his first one coming in his first appearance here back in 2004.

The 25-year-old Djokovic is now 32-1 over his last five majors and 44-2 over his last seven Grand Slams. He reached his first-ever Wimbledon final and captured his first-ever title here with a victory over Rafael Nadal a year ago and has won four of the last six major finals overall.

The reigning Wimbledon, Australian Open and U.S. Open titlist will play in his 16th career Grand Slam semifinal (8-7), including his ninth straight.

Federer, meanwhile, played in front of British royalty -- Prince William and his wife Kate -- as well as some tennis royalty -- Andre Agassi and his fellow racquet legend wife Steffi Graf, and the great Rod Laver.

The 30-year-old Federer held his serve throughout while breaking the helpless Youzhny six times in the rout.

The two-time U.S. Open semifinalist Youzhny was playing in his first-ever Wimbledon quarter.

Federer, who reached seven straight Wimbledon finals from 2003-09, is still seeking his first Grand Slam title since the 2010 Aussie Open.

In addition to his six titles here, Federer was the 2008 Wimbledon runner- up to Nadal.

Federer will appear in a record 32nd Grand Slam semifinal, as he passed Jimmy Connors for that distinction on Wednesday.

And only Connors (84) and Boris Becker (71) have won more matches than Federer (64) on the hallowed lawns at the All England Club.

Djokovic and Federer will meet for a 27th time, but, remarkably, it will mark only their first-ever Wimbledon matchup. The Swiss icon leads their all-time series, 14-12, but the Serb has won six of the last seven. They've split 10 career Grand Slam meetings.

The other quality semi will pit Murray against fifth-seeded French slugger Jo- Wilfried Tsonga.

Murray and Ferrer were also forced to wait out a rain delay, with the two men tied at 5-5 in the fourth set.

After Ferrer took the tight first set via tiebreak, Murray, who trailed by a set and 3-5, fought his way back into the match in the second.

Murray broke Ferrer while the Spaniard was serving for a two-sets-to-love lead at 5-4 in the second. The stanza eventually went to a tiebreak, which Murray won to level the match and whip the British faithful into a frenzy.

In the third set, Murray broke for a 5-4 lead and consolidated the break with a hold in the next to game to take a two-set-to-one lead.

The fourth set was not much unlike the first three. Tight.

Following a brief rain delay after the 10th game in the stanza, Murray crossed the finish line three games later in another tiebreak, converting on his first match point with a resounding ace.

The Dunblane, Scotland native moved on in 3 hours, 52 minutes, ripping 18 aces and tallying one more break (3-2) than Ferrer on Day 9.

Murray is now 6-5 lifetime against his good friend Ferrer, who upended the Scot in a French Open quarterfinal last month.

The three-time Grand Slam runner-up Murray is trying to become the first British man to reach a Wimbledon final since 1938. The last Brit to capture the title here was Fred Perry in 1936.

The 25-year-old Murray will appear in a fourth straight Wimbledon and 10th career major semifinal.

Tsonga, meanwhile, held off 27th-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 on Court 1. The popular Frenchman needed 2 hours, 48 minutes to advance, which he did with the help of 17 aces and three breaks. The capable Kohlschreiber cracked 10 aces and broke Tsonga on two occasions in a losing effort.

The 27-year-old Tsonga will appear in his second straight Wimbledon and fourth career Grand Slam semifinal.

Murray is 5-1 lifetime against Tsonga, including a quarterfinal victory at Wimbledon two years ago.

 

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