Wimbledon Day 10 live: Roger Federer and Andy Murray on course for final clash
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Second seed Andy Murray survived a ferocious Jo-Wilfried Tsonga comeback to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the seventh time on Wednesday, winning the day’s second Centre Court blockbuster 7-6(10) 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1.
After Roger Federer’s miraculous earlier escape act against Marin Cilic, when he recovered to win from two sets down, 12th seeded Frenchman Tsonga threatened something equally improbable as dusk settled at the All England Club.
Tsonga looked down and out after letting an epic 22-point tiebreak slip away despite having three set points, then capitulating in a one-sided second set.
But he roared back with some audacious attacking tennis and Britain’s 2013 champion Murray, for the first time in a tournament that had been stress-free before, seemed close to buckling.
Second seed Murray, hot favourite after champion Novak Djokovic’s third-round demise, was outplayed in sets three and four as winners flowed from Tsonga’s racket.
He then had to save a break point at the start of the decider, rediscovering his earlier form and racing away to a victory cheered by a packed arena, sealing it with an ace.
The 29-year-old now sets his sights on Czech 10th seed Tomas Berdych in Friday’s semi-final.
Tomas Berdych cruised into the Wimbledon semi-finals as the Czech 10th seed crushed France’s Lucas Pouille 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday.
Berdych is one win away from reaching his second Grand Slam final six years after losing to Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon title match.
The 30-year-old, who blasted Pouille off Court One with 35 winners and 10 aces, will play former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray or French 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Friday’s semi-finals.
Berdych, the world number nine, is the third Czech man to reach multiple Wimbledon semi-finals after Ivan Lendl and Jan Kodes.
He has now made it to six Grand Slam semi-finals, losing in four of his previous five appearances.
“On paper it looks pretty easy, but really I had to work hard for that,” Berdych said.
“I had to find my rhythm and when I did in the first set tie-break I felt much better. After that it was more straightforward.
“It’s a great feeling. I hoped one day I would have the chance to use the experience from my Wimbledon final and I’m going to go for it again.”
Roger Federer put his global army of “Fed-Head” fans through the wringer for four nerve-shredding sets before he kept alive his pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon title with a 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 win over Marin Cilic the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Novak Djokovic’s shock third round exit had raised hopes that this could be the week when the Swiss finally ends his four-year hunt for an 18th grand slam title, as the Serb had been the only man to beat him at the majors over the past year.
However, all those expectations appeared to be heading for the dustbin as Cilic stood one point away from victory – not once, not twice but three times in a pulsating fourth set that had everyone on the edge of their seats.
Three huge serves kept Federer alive – just – and he then produced the kind of form, and outrageous shots, that has made him the most successful man in tennis by stealing the tiebreak 11-9.
An ace on his first match point finished off the job and carried him into an 11th Wimbledon semi-final, and 40th overall in the majors.
He will face another big-server, Canadian Milos Raonic, for a place in Sunday’s final.
Canada’s Milos Raonic produced an irresistible display of classic grasscourt tennis to overcome giant-killer Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 on Wednesday and power into the Wimbledon semi-finals.
The influence of John McEnroe, a new addition to his coaching team, was apparent as sixth-seeded Raonic charged into the net behind his booming first serves and confounded American Querrey with a succession of deft winning volleys.
So great was the 25-year-old’s control of the first two sets that he lost just seven points on his serve during that period and faced no break points, in a display at times reminiscent of Pete Sampras in his heyday.
LONDON – Roger Federer and Andy Murray are closing in on another Wimbledon final.
Federer, a seven-time champion from Switzerland, is 34 and still looking to make history at the All England Club by winning a record eighth title.
The 29-year-old Murray already made his mark in 2013, becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.
The pair are on opposite sides of the draw, so if they win quarterfinals Wednesday, and then semifinals Friday, they would meet each other for the title Sunday.
“I hope I can win Wimbledon one more time,” said Federer, who beat Murray in the 2012 final. “That would be nice.”
That would also be an understatement.
Both Pete Sampras and 1880s player William Renshaw have won seven Wimbledon titles, but no one has eight. The only male player at any Grand Slam tournament with that many is Rafael Nadal, who has won the French Open nine times.
Federer will face ninth-seeded Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals, while Murray will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. If Federer advances, he will equal Jimmy Connors’ record of 11 Wimbledon semifinal appearances.
In the other men’s quarterfinal matches, sixth-seeded Milos Raonic will face 28th-seeded Sam Querrey, and 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych will play Lucas Pouille.
Querrey knocked defending champion Novak Djokovic out of the tournament in the third round.
Here’s a look at the four men’s quarterfinal matches:
FEDERER VS. CILIC
Federer is 5-1 against Cilic, but it’s the one loss that still hurts.
Cilic routed Federer in straight sets in the U.S. Open semifinals in 2014, the last time the two players met on court.
“These things happen. It’s OK to get blown off the court,” Federer said. “I never fully played freely in the match. But that was to his credit for just keeping cranking out serves and big returns.”
Cilic ended up winning his first major title at that tournament in New York. He’s hoping to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time.
MURRAY VS. TSONGA
Tsonga has twice reached the Wimbledon semifinals, including beating Federer in the 2011 quarterfinals.
Murray, however, has beaten Tsonga in 11 of their last 12 matches, including four times on grass.
“I know Tsonga is one of the best grass court players in the world,” said Murray, who is 6-2 in Wimbledon quarterfinals. “If he plays well (and) I’m not on my game, I can lose that match for sure.”
RAONIC VS. QUERREY
Querrey is playing the tournament of his life, reaching the quarterfinals of a major for the first time while beating top-ranked Djokovic along the way.
“I think he (Querrey) must be doing great things,” said Raonic, who recovered from two sets down to reach the quarterfinals. “I’m sure he sent a message to other players, as well, that he’s ready to play.”
Querrey beat Raonic at Wimbledon in 2012, when the Canadian was just 21. In 2014, Raonic advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to Federer.
BERDYCH VS. POUILLE
Berdych is the only player left in the men’s draw that won’t have a rest day before the quarterfinals.
The 10th-seeded Czech was forced to finish his fourth-round match against Jiri Vesely on Tuesday because play was suspended by darkness the night before.
“With the recovery, I think it was actually a good day to play a set. It’s like a day of practice,” Berdych said. “I’m quite used to it actually. I’m doing it day by day, so that’s fine.”
Pouille, a 22-year-old Frenchman, is playing in the second week of a major tournament for the first time. He had been 0-4 on grass heading into Wimbledon, but he’s now 4-4.
“Before the tournament,” Pouille said, “(my goal) was to win one match on grass.”
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Updated: July 6, 2016 04:00 AM