Federer, Djokovic cruise to set up another championship showdown
LONDON — Roger Federer crushed Andy Murray's Wimbledon final dreams with a 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 victory on Friday to set up another title showdown against Novak Djokovic.
Federer, the second seed, and world No. 1 Djokovic will clash in their second consecutive final at the All England Club a year after Djokovic came from 2-5 down to win the trophy in a dramatic fifth set.
Federer will bid for a record eighth Wimbledon title in his 10th final on Sunday.
He won his last Grand Slam — his 17th — with a win over Djokovic in the 2012 final but stands 2-3 against his rival since their 2014 Wimbledon clash.
Murray was displeased with his effort. "I start every tournament with the goal of winning. If I don't do that I'm disappointed," Murray said. "It was tough to always play catch up. I definitely don't feel like I played a bad match. Today was a tough one, but the final should be a fantastic match. If Roger serves like today he may have a good chance."
Djokovic dismantled the picture-book backhand of Richard Gasquet in a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-4 sweep to reach his fourth Wimbledon final. Djokovic won his 12th match of 13 played against Gasquet.
"Novak has been the best player for several years now," said Federer, after beating Murray for the 13th time and fourth in a row. "He's made it tough for guys to win big tournaments. But I know how to beat him. This is a difficult occasion, I hope to get this one on Sunday,"
Federer won with 20 aces and 84 percent winning percentage on first serve. He fired 56 winners over two hours, seven minutes. He took control from the start and never gave any ground to third-seeded Murray.
Federer took a two-sets-to-love lead shortly after Murray saved five break points in a dramatic 15-minute 10th game in the second set.
"In that game I was screaming inside of myself," Federer said. "Those were set points, Andy was able to elevate his game and I was playing my best at that moment."
Once that set was packed away, the 33-year-old increased the pressure, breaking for a final time in the last game from a Murray return wide.
"It was tough, Andy's played well this season," Federer said. "There was so much expectation, you have to focus to keep it up. You always fear the break will come and he will come back.
"But I played well in the biggest moments and that's probably why I won. My serve was going very well against one of the best returners.
"I kept the pressure up, went for my shots and mixed it up. I kept pushing forward, kept pressure up, went for shots, mixed it up, kept pushing forward, stayed focus, it all worked out very well."
After winning the first set in a tiebreaker, Djokovic took a tighter grip against Gasquet to win in just under two and a half hours, advancing with a dozen aces, 46 winners and three breaks of serve.
"The first set was really close," Djokovic said. "It was really difficult for me at times to play any kind of ball to his backhand side because he was really going for it, especially along the line.
"He made a lot of winners. He used the chipped backhand, slice variety as well. Winning the first set tiebreak was psychologically very helpful for the rest of the match."