(July 10, 2015)
It will be a repeat of last year’s Wimbledon Gentlemen’s final on Sunday when No. 1 Novak Djokovic faces No. 2 Roger Federer. Both men had straight set wins in their respective semifinals on Friday.
Two-time winner Djokovic defeated No. 21 seed Richard Gasquet 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4 to book a spot in his fourth Wimbledon final and his 17th major championship final. Seven-time Wimbledon titlist Federer bested 2013 champion Andy Murray 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.
“The first set was really close,” said Djokovic who played the first semifinal of the day. “I thought Richard played some really good tennis, especially from the backhand side. It was really difficult for me at times to play any kind of ball to his backhand side because he was really going for it, especially down the line. He made a lot of winners. He used the chipped backhand, slice variety as well.”
“Winning the first set tiebreak was psychologically very helpful for the rest of the match.”
“I tried to do my best,” Gasquet said. “I did a good first set. I did some great backhand.
“But, of course, I would like to do a little bit better then after that. I tried to be aggressive. I try my best. I did a good match. It was tough to do better. Sometimes I did mistakes in the tiebreak, of course. Some backhand I could put on the court.
“It was 2‑All, then it was 7‑2 very fast after that. It wasn’t good. He never miss on some returns. He serves well. That’s why he’s No. 1 in the world.”
The second semifinal of the day provided stunning hitting and rallies of the highest quality by both players. Despite the straight-set score the match was extremely close.
“Andy’s been playing very well for the season,” Federer said to the BBC after the match. “There is so much expectation riding on the match. I’m unbelievably happy. I played so well in the biggest occasion today.
“I’ve been serving very well for the entire tournament. I wasn’t broken against one of the best returners. I kept the pressure up and went for my shots. I mixed it up like I usually do and kept pushing forward and staying focused. It all worked out really well.”
“He served fantastic, apart from the first game where I had the chance there,” Murray said. “Didn’t really have any opportunities. Then, you know, that puts pressure on you.”
“Obviously I got broken right at the end all of the sets. But I didn’t actually play a bad match. Played pretty well.”
“Today I was clearly able to play very well from the start,” Federer elaborated. “The beginning was always going to be an important part of the game. I had to save breakpoint first, then I was able to start rolling on my serve. Played a great game to break.
“So, I mean, definitely one of the best matches I’ve played in my career. I don’t know, the first set, I don’t remember point by point, but it was definitely really, really solid.”
The win puts the Swiss in his 10th final at the All-England Club, 26th Grand Slam final, which will make him the oldest finalist at 33, since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974. He is seeking a record 8th Wimbledon title and 18th major.
“Doesn’t matter whether it’s No. 8 or No. 1,” Federer said, “Wimbledon finals is always a big occasion.”
Federer on playing Djokovic in the final: “Well, I mean, it’s great to play Novak anywhere these days, you know, because he’s a great player. He’s had great success, unbelievable success actually, throughout his career. But especially now the last few years, he’s been unbelievably dominant, especially on the hard courts, then he improved on the grass. On the clay, he’s one of the best, if not the best.
“He’s become very match‑tough. He always shows up. It’s tough to beat him. You know, he’s been very injury‑free. He’s been good for the game.
“For me, I don’t really think about the match we played against each other last year. I just remember it was unbelievably thrilling. The crowd really got into it.
“I’m just happy personally for myself to be back in a finals. Whoever that’s going to be against, it’s always a big occasion. That is Novak, the world No. 1, it obviously adds something extra.”
“I need to keep it up for one more match,” Federer said, “to really make it the perfect couple of weeks.”
The Serb, who comes into the final as the defending champion, will be playing in his fourth Wimbledon final.