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Tennis: Djokovic, Federer, Murray ease into semi-finals, Wawrinka out

AFP , Wednesday 8 Jul 2015
Roger Federer (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 1183
Views: 1183

Defending champion Novak Djokovic eased into the Wimbledon semi-finals on Wednesday as Roger Federer and Andy Murray set-up a mouthwatering clash for a spot in the championship match.

But Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka was unable to complete a clean-sweep of the semi-finals by the top four when he was knocked out by French 21st seed Richard Gasquet in a five-set thriller.

Top seed and world number one Djokovic, also the champion in 2011, made the semi-finals for a sixth successive year and seventh time in total by demolishing ninth seed and US Open winner Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

It was the 28-year-old Serb's 13th win in 13 matches against the Croatian.

Second seeded Federer, the seven-time champion, reached his 10th Wimbledon semi-final with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 win over French 12th seed Gilles Simon.

Murray, the third seed, cruised into his sixth All England Club semi-final with an equally comfortable 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 win against unseeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

Djokovic, an eight-time Grand Slam champion, hit 27 winners and committed just 12 unforced errors without allowing a break point to Cilic.

"It was a very solid performance after a tough five-set match against Kevin (Anderson) in the fourth round," Djokovic said.

"The top players are expected to reach the final stages of these competitions, but still I'm happy to make my way through. Of course I try not to take it for granted."

There were two other significant landmarks for Djokovic on Wednesday -- his 650th tour-level match win and his 50th Wimbledon victory.

Federer, 33, who is bidding to become the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open Era, will be playing in his 37th Grand Slam semi-final.

He shrugged off two rain delays as well as being broken for the first time at the tournament to complete victory over Simon in just 94 minutes.

Federer fired 11 aces and 36 winners as he secured a sixth win in eight meetings with Simon.

 Federer holds a narrow 12-11 lead over Murray and has won their last three clashes.

He defeated the British third seed in the 2012 Wimbledon final -- their only meeting at the tournament -- before Murray gained revenge just weeks later in the Olympic Games final.

 Summer of 2012

"We both like to look back on that summer of 2012. If we knew I would win Wimbledon and him Olympics, I think we both would have taken it. It was a great summer for us," Federer said.

The only blip for Federer on Wednesday was dropping serve for the first time at the tournament in the 10th game of the second set which ended a run of 116th consecutive service holds since the first round in Halle last month.

Murray, 28, claimed his 150th Grand Slam match victory to make his 17th Grand Slam semi-final appearance, and his sixth at the All England Club.

"I've played Roger many times. I know him well and we get on well, but obviously on Friday it will be a different story," Murray said.

"We've played some good matches here and hopefully this will be a great one."

Bidding to become the first British man to win multiple Wimbledon titles since Fred Perry, who lifted the trophy from 1934-1936, Murray has extended his winning streak on grass to 10 matches.

With David Beckham, Prince William and his wife Kate among numerous celebrities packed onto Centre Court, the two-time Grand Slam champion was barely tested.

Gasquet stunned fourth seed Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 to reach his second Wimbledon semi-final, eight years after his first.

But the 29-year-old will have his work cut out to beat Djokovic.

The Serb has an 11-1 career record over the Frenchman whose only win came back in 2007.

Gasquet had a chance to wrap up the quarter-final in the ninth game of the decider when he was just two points from victory.

But despite Wawrinka clawing his way back, the 29-year-old claimed victory on a third match point when, for once, the Swiss star's fabled one-handed backhand let him down.

On tackling Djokovic, Gasquet said: "It will be tough but I'm happy with how I've played today and I'll try to play my best again against the best player in the world." 

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