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The Early Lead
Posted at 09:15 AM ET, 07/06/2012

Wimbledon Live: Roger Federer beats Novak Djokovic to reach final

In the first of a pair of blockbuster semifinals at the All England Club, defending champion Novak Djokovic is engaged in another classic against six-time winner Roger Federer. Follow all the action here live.

10:34 a.m. — A very measured celebration from Federer who looked comfortable and in control all day. He clearly feels he has more work to do. After a full year with the No. 1 ranking, Djokovic could be on the way out and Federer, remarkably could reclaim the top spot by beating Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Sunday’s final.

Federer, who was dealing with back issues earlier this week, appeared more mobile and energized than Djokovic, particularly in the final two sets. Djokovic had won six out of his last seven meetings with Federer, but the two had never played on grass.

“I’m ecstatic, I’m so happy,” Federer said in a post-match television interview. “It feels great to be in a Wimbledon final, this is what you want to be playing for.”

10:29 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, Federer — Djokovic gets a gift from the net cord on the second point, and another succesful challenge at 30-30 gives Djokovic another shot to earn a break chance. But after missing his first four first serves of the game, Federer blasts his final two in to take the set and the match..

10:25 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 5-3, Federer — Djokovic is still pounding away at the baseline, but the errors continue to mount. Federer forces a deuce point, but Djokovic successfully challenges a second serve to earn and ace and the hold. Now Federer will try to serve it out.

10:19 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 5-2, Federer — Federer holds at love yet again and he’s one game from his first final since 2009. Could the No. 1 ranking be weighing on Djokovic’s mind a bit? If Federer wins his seventh Wimbledon title on Sunday, he’d regain the top spot in men’s tennis.

10:17 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 4-2, Federer — Djokovic is flailing and shaking his head with each unforced error. Federer flicks a brilliant forehand cross-court to earn three more break points. Djokovic shows resilience to battle back to deuce, and after Federer forces two more deuce points, Djokovic survives. He’s not out of it yet. But now he must find a way to break Federer.

10:09 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 4-1, Federer — Federer rides his serve to hold at love. Too easy.

10:08 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 3-1, Federer — Djokovic appears to hold but Federer challenges a wide forehand and the call is overturned to force deuce. A long backhand from Federer helps Djokovic finally get on the board in the set, but Djokovic still looks rattled.

10:03 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 3-0, Federer — Djokovic is letting it rip now, sensing he has to go for broke on Federer’s serve. But with the score tied at 30-30, Federer hammers a kick serve into Djokovic’s body and earns the hold.

10:00 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 2-0, Federer — Djokovic quickly goes down 0-40 with a trio of unforced errors. Another missed forehand gives Federer the early break. The champ is reeling right now and Federer smells the blood in the water.

9:57 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0, Federer — Djokovic takes a couple points in the first game of the fourth set, but Federer is really cooking now. His serve has been the key, and he’s staying back and holding his own at the baseline.


A missed break chance for Djokovic in the third set helped Federer seize momentum. (Kirsty Wigglesworth - AP)
9:52 a.m. — Federer is really moving well around the court and his wide forehands to both sidelines have Djokovic on the defensive. Very positive, aggressive tennis from Federer, but Djokovic has plenty of experience coming from behind. He trailed two sets to love in last year’s U.S. Open final before storming back to win it.

9:51 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, Federer — Federer pushes Djokovic well wide on the first point and Djokovic slips and can’t recover. Another big forehand down the line gives Federer a 30-0 lead and Djokovic misses an overhead to give Federer a pair of set points. On the second, Federer leaps high and slams home an overhead to take the set. All the momentum — and the crowd — on his side now.

9:45 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 5-4, Federer — Djokovic wastes his first break chance of the set and Federer blasts two huge first serves to hold. Now the pressure is back on the defending champ to stay in the set.

9:41 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 4-4, Federer — New balls give Djokovic’s first serve a bit more pop and he finishes off the game with a big ace out wide.

9:38 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 4-3, Federer — Federer doesn’t buckle after missing a pair of break chances, instead earning another easy hold. Djokovic could really use a quick hold of his own now.

9:35 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 3-3, Federer — Djokovic double faults to give Federer another break point, but after a brilliant rally with the champ on the defensive, Federer sprays another forehand wide. Djokovic lets out a huge roar after after the point, but after two more deuces, Federer’s crafty backhand slice down the line ends a long rally to produce another break chance. But a massive backhand from Djokovic forces a third deuce, and he escapes with a critical hold. Best game of the match so far and it could have given Federer a massive lift.

9:24 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 3-2, Federer — Djokovic pushes a backhand long and it’s another easy hold for Federer. The first two sets saw only one break each, and so far, Federer putting more pressure on Djokovic’s serve in the third.

9:21 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 2-2, Federer — Djokovic holds easily to stay on serve.


Roger Federer’s forehand was on point in Friday’s semifinal. (Leon Neal - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
9:18 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 2-1, Federer— Federer is trying to push the pace a bit and senses a weakness in Djokovic’s forehand. A big first serve sets up an easy inside-out cross-court forehand winner. Still on serve in the third.

9:15 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 1-1, Federer — A couple erratic forehands from Djokovic give Federer an ealy break point. Djokovic unsuccessfully challenges a long first serve but Federer pushes a forehand wide. Djokovic holds to even the set.

9:08 a.m. — 6-3, 3-6, 1-0, Federer — This match is cruising along under the closed roof on Centre Court. Federer holds with relative ease to open the third set.

(Original post)

Friday’s semifinal slate at the All England Club features a pair of tantalizing matchups between four of the game’s top five players.

The first semifinal pits defending Wimbledon champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic against six-time winner Roger Federer. In the nightcap, Andy Murray will look to become the first Brit to reach a Wimbledon final since 1938 when he takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Federer — in a rare underdog role on grass — grabbed the opening set 6-3, but Djokovic broke Federer early in the second and served out the set, 6-3. It’s all square at a set apiece heading into the third. Follow the rest of the action here live.

Follow us: @MattBrooksWP | @CindyBoren

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By  |  09:15 AM ET, 07/06/2012

Tags:  Tennis

 
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