Federer crushes Gasquet in semis

Roger Federer moves to within one win of a fifth successive Wimbledon title with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory over the French 12th seed.
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Updated on Jul 07, 2007 07:02 PM IST
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AFP | By HT Correspondent, London

Roger Federer moved to within one victory of a fifth successive Wimbledon title with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory over French 12th seed Richard Gasquet on Saturday.

The world number one will face Rafael Nadal, the man he beat in the final last year, in Sunday's showdown where a win will make him just the second man after Bjorn Borg to win five-in-a-row at the All England Club.

Nadal made the final after Novak Djokovic was forced to retire from their semi-final with a toe injury.

Appropriately, Borg, who set his mark from 1976-1980, was on hand to see Federer edge closer to his record.

Saturday's win also put the Swiss star, chasing his 11th major title, into his ninth successive Grand Slam final.

"I was thinking Gasquet was going to put me under pressure and play well but I was ready for that," said Federer.

"He should have got to a tiebreak in the first set and maybe even had won it. But I'm happy to be in another final."

Federer said he was not surprised that Djokovic had been forced to default.

"I saw him in the locker room before the match and I knew it was going to be difficult for him," said the champion.

"Having to hang in there with Rafa was always going to be difficult for him."

Gasquet, playing in his first Grand Slam semi-final, had come back from two sets down to defeat former runner-up Andy Roddick in a marathon last eight clash on Friday.

Just 16 hours later, the 21-year-old was back on court to face the top seed.

He showed no signs of fatigue in a closely contested opening set and even had two break points in the 11th game.

Federer saved them both and made his opponent pay for his generosity by taking the first set in the next game when Gasquet dumped a backhand volley into the net.

The champion broke to go 2-0 ahead in the second set and then served a love-game to hammer home his advantage at 3-0.

He was quickly two sets in front with another love service game as the tie began to slip away from Gasquet whose problems were compounded by requiring treatment on his left ankle during the changeover.

Federer broke to lead 4-3 in the third set with a screaming down-the-line backhand and then moved to 5-3 on serve.

Gasquet clung on to trail 4-5 but the Swiss master wrapped up the tie with a pinpoint forehand in the 10th game after 1hr 44min of one-sided action.

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