Federer and Djokovic to clash in semis

LONDON, NZ Newswire July 5, 2012, 10:41 am

Roger Federer has delivered a fittingly regal performance before a star-studded royal box to edge ever closer to a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon crown.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Rod Laver and the first couple of tennis, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, were treated to a majestic display from the Swiss master on Wednesday.

Federer needed just one hour and 32 minutes to swat Mikhail Youzhny aside 6-1 6-2 6-2 to book a blockbuster semi-final on Friday with world No.1 Novak Djokovic.

"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 out there today. It was a big occasion for Mikhail. My game suits up well against his.

"He fought hard but maybe it wasn't enough, and I'm extremely happy to be in the semis at Wimbledon."

So dominant was Federer 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.

Federer's 64th match win at Wimbledon also eclipsed Pete Sampras's 63, leaving the Swiss superstar behind only Connors (84) and Boris Becker (71).

Now Djokovic almost certainly stands in his way of the chance to join Sampras with seven titles at the All England Club.

Playing on neighbouring show court one and racking up his own stunning numbers, Djokovic outclassed German Florian Mayer 6-4 6-1 6-4 in his 13th successive grand slam quarter-final.

Only Federer (33) and Connors (27) have contested more consecutive quarter-finals at the four annual majors.

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.

The Serb trails Federer 14-12 head-to-head but 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 and Federer said he'd "love to play Novak next".

"I don't think I've played him at Wimbledon, so hopefully it will be a nice match," he said.

But should he find 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.

Player Profile

Name:
Ines Ferrer Suarez
Age:
23
Wins this year:
0