London: Novak Djokovic booked a Wimbledon semi-final showdown with Roger Federer as the defending champion crushed Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in the last eight yesterday.
Djokovic recovered from a slow start to give a masterclass in the art of brutal baseline hitting and Mayer, the 31st seed, lacked the weapons to respond.
World No1 Djokovic can now turn his attention to a ninth consecutive Grand Slam semi-final appearance, a feat surpassed by only Federer, Rod Laver and Ivan Lendl.
Djokovic’s solitary defeat in his last 33 Grand Slam matches came against Rafael Nadal in last month’s French Open final.
And with Nadal back home after his shock exit, Djokovic, who has beaten six-time Wimbledon champion Federer in their last three meetings, including the semi-finals of the US and French Opens, must fancy his chances of extending his Grand Slam dominance to four titles from the last five Majors.
“It took me a little bit of time to get used to the conditions because I played my last three matches indoors,” Djokovic said. “It’s always a pleasure playing against Roger. I’m looking forward to it. He is a great champion and has been so dominant and consistent at the Grand Slams. He is the ultimate challenge on grass courts.”
Under ominous grey skies, Djokovic made a hesitant opening on Court One as Mayer broke for a 3-2 lead, but the Serbian top seed sprung into life with a break of his own in the next game. After saving three break points following a 20-minute rain delay, Djokovic landed the crucial blow as he broke at 5-4 to take the first set.
The 25-year-old Serb produced a blizzard of winners to break for a 5-4 lead before serving out for the win.
France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached his second successive Wimbledon semi-final with a 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 win over German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Fifth seed Tsonga sealed victory on his first match point after rushing to the net and firing a crosscourt winner, after two hours 48 minutes.
Andy Murray reached a fourth consecutive Wimbledon semi-final with a dramatic 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 victory over Spain’s David Ferrer.
The British fourth seed thrilled the Centre Court crowd as he fought back from a set down to book a last-four meeting with Tsonga. The Scot sealed victory in three hours 52 minutes with another ace. – Sapa-AFP/Reuters