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Thu Apr 24 05:49:50 SAST 2014

Federer and Djokovic chase records

Sapa-AFP | 05 July, 2012 07:230 Comments
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Florian Mayer of Germany during their quarterfinal at Wimbledon yesterday. Djokovic won 6-4 6-1 6-4 and will meet Roger Federer of Switzerland in the semifinal
Image by: SUZANNE PLUNKETT / REUTERS

NOVAK Djokovic booked a Wimbledon semifinal showdown with Roger Federer yesterday as the defending champion crushed Germany's Florian Mayer 6-4 6-1 6-4.

Djokovic recovered from a slow start to give a masterclass in the art of brutal baseline hitting and Mayer, the 31st seed, lacked the weapons to respond.

World No1 Djokovic can now turn his attention to a ninth consecutive Grand Slam semifinal, a feat surpassed by only Federer, Rod Laver and Ivan Lendl.

Djokovic's solitary defeat in his last 33 Grand Slam matches came against Rafael Nadal in last month's French Open final.

And with Nadal back home in Mallorca after his shock exit, Djokovic, who has beaten six-time Wimbledon champion Federer in their past three meetings, including the semifinals of the US and French Opens, must fancy his chances of extending his Grand Slam dominance to four titles from the past five majors.

"It took me a little bit of time to get used to the conditions because I played my last three matches indoors," Djokovic said.

Federer crushed Mikhail Youzhny 6-1 6-2 6-2 to reach a record 32nd Grand Slam semifinal.

The six-time champion, who now passes the record held by Jimmy Connors, cruised to a 14th win in 14 meetings against the 26th-seeded Russian.

Just as importantly for Federer, who is chasing Pete Sampras's record of seven Wimbledon titles, there were no signs of the back pain that dogged him in the last round.

Youzhny was so dispirited that he turned to the Royal Box for help. The 30-year-old appealed to tennis legends Rod Laver and Andre Agassi, who were watching from their privileged positions.

"Can you tell me what I'm supposed to do out here?" begged the Russian.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France qualified for a semifinal against Andy Murray by beating Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 7-6 (5) 4-6 7-6 (3) 6-2. Murray came from a set down to beat Spain's David Ferrer 6-7 (5) 7-6(6) 6-4 7-6 (4).

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