(By Nate Williams, dpa)
London (dpa) – Roger Federer has become the first man to claim 100 victories at Wimbledon with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Japan’s Kei Nishikori to reach a record-extending 13th semi-final on Wednesday…
The 37-year-old Swiss will now have the chance to rematch Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon for the first time in 11 years since their epic 2008 final.
Nadal dismissed American Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in his quarter-final to set up the gigantic clash.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Federer, who continues his campaign for a ninth Wimbledon win.
“Rafa (Nadal) really can hurt anybody on any surface. I mean, he’s that good. He’s not just a clay court specialist.”
Defending champion Novak Djokovic is also through to his ninth semi-final with a milestone 70th victory at the All-England Club.
The world number one prevailed in a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 triumph against Belgium’s David Goffin.
It is the 13th time that the world’s best tennis trio of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal have all reached the final four of a major tournament.
All three men are at the top of the list for grand slam semi-final appearances. Federer leads with 45, Djokovic is second with 36 and Nadal has 32.
Four-time champion Djokovic will play Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut next after he beat Argentina’s Guido Pella 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 for a place in his first grand slam semi-final.
Meanwhile, the eight-time champion Federer was behind early with a 3-1 deficit and lost the first set to Nishikori, but he raced through the second set with two breaks to level the match.
Federer broke eighth seed Nishikori’s serve late in the third and fourth sets and finished the match with his 12th ace after two hours and 36 minutes.
Earlier on Centre Court, Djokovic was the first to surrender a break of serve against at 4-3 but the four-time champion immediately restored parity in the following game.
Goffin, who is ranked at number 23 in the world, folded in the second set as Djokovic won six straight games to double his advantage before prevailing in one hour and 57 minutes.
Federer was ruthless in the second set against Nishikori as the second seed broke twice using short and fast moves.
He fired a blistering backhand straight into Nishikori’s body for 5-1 before he served and volleyed his way to an all-square scoreboard.
The 20-time grand slam winner found his championship form in the third set as a crushing cross-court forehand caught the baseline to earn a break at 4-3.
Federer moved in front with a two sets-to-one lead and his supreme confidence came through to finish off Nishikori, who was competing in a fifth consecutive grand slam quarter-final.
The 29-year-old Japanese dropped his head and used his racket for balance when Federer outlasted him in an exhausting exchange for a match-winning break at 5-4 in the fourth.
Federer ran through a sensational service game that included a pair of aces to add another century stat to the resume of a record-breaking man with 102 career titles.
Federer’s adversary Nadal also had a tough start on Court One against Querrey at 5-4 when he was serving for the first set.
The Spaniard was broken for 5-5 but immediately recovered the chance by breaking again at 6-5 and converted his fifth set point to move ahead.
Nadal had no trouble from that point onwards as the 18-time major champion, who is aiming for his third Wimbledon title, closed out the match with four breaks across the next two sets.
Nadal’s victory sets up a much-anticipated rematch between him and Federer.
In 2008, he won his first Wimbledon championship by outlasting Federer over five sets in a historic contest that lasted four hours and 48 minutes.
“I’m excited to be back on this court against him after 11 years,” said Nadal after reaching the final four stage at Wimbledon for the seventh time.
“It means a lot for me and probably for him, too. Personally, 2008 was a little bit more emotional for me.”
In Kruger National Park
Author: ANA Newswire