London - Six-time champion Roger Federer
reached a record eighth Wimbledon final on Friday when he defeated world
number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
the pair's 27th meeting but first on grass, Federer booked his place in
his 24th Grand Slam final where he will face either Andy Murray or
Victory on Sunday will take the 30-year-old
level with Pete Sampras's record of seven Wimbledon wins, allow him to
reclaim the world number one ranking and clinch a 17th career Grand Slam
Djokovic, who was bidding to reach a fifth successive
Grand Slam final, had defeated Federer six times in their last seven
But Federer, playing in a record 23rd successive major
semi-final, was not to be denied as he buried the heartache of having
been knocked out in the quarter-finals in the last two years.
He also took his record of semi-final victories to eight out of eight at the All England Club.
Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar and pop singer Kylie Minogue
watching from the Royal Box, Federer provided the early entertainment by
easing to the first set in just 24 minutes.
The Swiss earned the
break point he needed in the sixth game when Djokovic, who fell on the
surface made slippy by the closed roof above, could only net a running
A shout from the crowd then caused Djokovic to check his
service motion and Federer pounced with a low return which the Serb
could only dump into the net.
Federer served up two successive aces in the ninth game to lay the foundation for wrapping up the opening set.
who came back from two sets to love down to beat Federer in the
semi-finals of the US Open last year, hit back in the second set,
breaking with a razor-sharp backhand down the line for a 2-0 lead.
The match was level when the champion fired his fifth ace of the contest to take the second set.
Djokovic double fault then gave Federer break point in the sixth game
of the third which the Serb saved after a brutal, 23-shot rally.
fierce exchange, this time 26 shots, gave Federer a second break point
but Djokovic's iron defence kept him level at 3-3.
However, Federer carved out two set points in the 10th game when Djokovic missed an easy overhead.
The champion saved the first but Federer converted the second with a leaping smash into an open court.
was suddenly and comfortably on top, capitalising on a loose Djokovic
service game to break for a 2-0 lead in the fourth set.
Djokovic was under siege and fought off three break points to hang on at 4-2 down.
But Federer claimed victory in the ninth game on his first match point when Djokovic netted a service return.