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Thu Apr 17 14:54:22 SAST 2014

Federer and Djokovic set for semifinal showdown

Reuters | 04 July, 2012 16:120 Comments
The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Nine
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand return during his Gentlemen's Singles quarter final match against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia on day nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 4, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Clive Rose / Getty Images

Roger Federer ruthlessly dismantled Mikhail Youzhny 6-1 6-2 6-2 to reach the Wimbledon semifinals on Wednesday, while top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic motored into the semis with a quick-fire 6-4 6-1 6-4 victory over Germany’s Florian Mayer.

The third seed and six-times champion was at his imperious best on Centre Court against the 26th-seeded Russian, picking him off at will to set up a last-four showdown with defending champion Novak Djokovic.

“I thought I played great out there today,” Federer said in a courtside interview after a 14th successive win over Youzhny.

“My game maybe suits up well against his.

“He was down in all the sets rather quickly. I am extremely happy to be back in the semi-finals here at Wimbledon.”

 Federer and Youzhny were watched from the Royal Box by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and former Wimbledon champions Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.

“I think it’s inspiring when royalty and other legends of the game come to watch,” Federer said. “It’s great for tennis.”

Federer, knocked out in the quarter-finals at the All England Club the last two years, roared into a 4-1 lead and after a short rain delay wrapped up the first set in 28 minutes.

The Swiss maestro broke in the first game of the second set with the aid of a lucky net-cord and, showing no sign of the back injury which hampered him in his quarter-final win over Xavier Malisse, he sauntered into a 2-0 lead.

With the sun making a rare appearance at the tournament, Federer broke Youzhny again at the start of the third set.

The Russian let out a huge roar of frustration when he failed to take advantage of a break-point but he made far too many unforced errors to get back into the match.

Federer wasted three match points on Youzhny’s serve but he quickly earned himself two more and took the first with a deft angled volley to wrap up victory in an one hour 32 minutes.

DJOKOVIC DOWNS MAYER

Djokovic did not need to be at his brilliant best to dispatch the world number 29 who laboured to stay in the match, but never looked like troubling his opponent.

After a short rain delay, the Serb broke decisively in the 10th game of the first set and sprinted through the second on fast forward.

Mayer held on to the Serb’s coat tails in the third, but Djokovic broke in the ninth game and finished him off with an ace.

“It took me a while to get used to the conditions, having played my last three games indoors,” Djokovic said in a courtside interview.

“It was a little windy, but I’m satisfied with the overall performance. Florian had some opportunities to come back in the third set, as well as chances in the first, but I held my nerve at the important moments.”

Djokovic will now face 16-times grand slam champion Roger Federer after the Swiss dismantled Mikhail Youzhny.

“It’s always a pleasure playing against Roger, so I’m looking forward to that,” Djokovic said.

“He’s been so dominant and consistent in grand slams, it’s the ultimate challenge on a grass court.”

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