Until Gasquet dropped to his back at the baseline when French Open champion Wawrinkas last backhand sailed long, it appeared this might be the first Wimbledon semifinals in 20 years involving men seeded 1-4.
Another fierce serve allowed Wawrinka to pick his spot and claim the set with a forehand victor off a tame return, but a gutsy fourth set from Gasquet set up a decider. “It would’ve been difficult to lose”, Gasquet said.
Simon did not do much wrong as he won the longest rally (26 shots) in the match, his tally of 21 unforced errors was fewer than his rival and of course there was the break.
Djokovic was mobbed by fans after a Thursday lunchtime practice session on Court 14, as he geared up for his sixth consecutive grand slam semi-final.
Only Federer (37), Jimmy Connors (31) and Ivan Lendl (28) boast more appearances at the penultimate stage of a major.
Serena Williams is back in the Wimbledon final, and still on target for a calendar-year Grand Slam.
Beating Andy Murray on Centre Court at Wimbledon was never going to be easy.
The second-seeded Federer and Scotland’s Andy Murray, the No. 3 seed, also won their matches on Wednesday over France’s Gilles Simon and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, respectively, to set up a blockbuster semi-final showdown on Friday.
Federer is relishing a 24th career match-up with Murray and their first grasscourt battle since the Scottish world No. 3 reversed his 2012 Wimbledon final defeat with gold-medal glory three weeks later in the London Olympics decider at the All England Club.
The hard-hitting Pospisil threatened to come roaring back in the second and it took Murray until the penultimate game of the second set to break his opponent, before serving out for the win. It was the first time Federer had been broken after 67 service games at Wimbledon, a streak that stretched to 116 games when including his title run at the grass-court tournament in Halle, Germany.
The 28-year-old Scot must become the first man to beat Federer in a Wimbledon semi-final tomorrow, to keep his bid for a second title on track.
Yesterday, he reached his 10th Wimbledon semi-final and aside from the blip of 2013 when he lost in the second round, he has reached two finals in the past three years. Federer leads Murray 12-11 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head.
“I played well in both of them and had chances in the Wimbledon Final for sure”.
Andrew Brownbill/AP Roger Federer has defeated Andy Murray in 12 of 23 meetings entering Friday’s semifinal. “I was just a bit weathered”.
The British No 1 had already beaten the Canadian twice this year, without conceding a set, and he completed another comfortable 6-4 7-5 6-4 win on Centre Court.
There were two other significant landmarks for Djokovic on Wednesday – his 650th tour-level match win and his 50th Wimbledon victory. He knows the magnitude of this semi-final against Andy Murray, and what he is trying to achieve by winning this slam at his age.
“I’m proud because there are big players in the semis”.
Say what you will about Wawrinka’s competencies on grass but in the last three years, these two have delivered some of the greatest matches in Grand Slams. I couldn’t do many games in that match. But most of the Federer we see today is the one who, after a match, plants his gleeful, grinning face centimetres from the camera before frantically waving both hands.
“It’s a great effort from Richard to win against Stan, who is in a terrific form, and five sets”, said Djokovic. “Roger does tend to play quite quickly on his service games but as a returner I don’t mind that so much because there’s less to think about”.