Federer will face the 28-year-old Djokovic in Monday morning’s final – the man he beat in five sets to win his second Wimbledon title past year.
But Djokovic had won 11 of his 12 previous meetings with Gasquet and, despite the Frenchman’s strong showing, the top seed would eventually cruise to victory number 12.
The Scot’s day was done in just more than two hours by a 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 scoreline and will be no more than an interested spectator when Federer and Novak Djokovic contest a repeat of last year’s final.
“It’s his court”, said Djokovic, who will seek to join his coach Boris Becker on three Wimbledon titles.
The Swiss Maestro, who will turn 34-years old in August, will make his stunning 10th appearance in the Wimbledon final. They were to play later Friday on Centre Court. We do this together even though I’m an individual athlete on the court and by myself, trying to win the matches.
The Serbian world number one was similarly impressive today, beating France’s Richard Gasquet 7-6, 6-4, 6-4, despite requiring two bouts of treatment on his left shoulder, something he described afterwards as “nothing to worry about”. “But I definitely don’t feel I played badly”.
Murray had special praise for his opponent after the match, hailing his longevity and impact in the sport. Federer, who is looking to become the eldest Grand Slam men’s singles champion ever, will enter the final as an underdog however he is only a mild one, priced at +110 with bet365.
Friday’s semi-final also witnessed a 15-minute 10th game in the second set.
“I was screaming inside”, Federer said later.
Murray, the 2013 champion, is in his sixth All England Club semi-final and 17th at the majors.
Federer started serving again in the second set and held it to love.
“Andy’s been playing very well for the season and there’s so much expectation riding on the match that you try to focus and keep it up”, Federer said. Murray fell behind love-40, but saved a total of five set points as the game went to deuce seven times and included furious corner-to-corner rallies.
But when it comes to Wimbledon, Djokovic knows that Federer’s silky-smooth game takes on a new dimension.
He fought back after losing the opening two games, and from 2-2 the opening set went with serve to a tie-break that Djokovic dominated.
On Murray mound, too, while there were plenty of union flags and saltires on display, other people were dressed in the scarlet and white of Federer’s Swiss flag, and roared their approval when he claimed the third set, a few leaping to their feet and punching the air.
“At times I played a few very good tennis”.
“I don’t know if it’s the best I’ve played in a loss”.
“It was one of the best serving days of my career, for sure”, Federer said. “I went for my shots and I was able to mix it up like the way I usually do”.
“It was a very good performance, considering the occasion”, said Djokovic, reaching his 17th Grand Slam final.
Gasquet does possess arguably the most lethal backhand in the game though and arrived on court fuelled with the confidence of winning a five-set quarter-final thriller against Stanislas Wawrinka.
Djokovic weathered the pressure and rose above in the first-set tiebreak.