WIMBLEDON – Roger Federer is in a record 32nd major semifinal, trying to make his way to capturing a record-tying seventh Wimbledon title. The Swiss beat Russiaâ€™s Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Federer will meet No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Fridayâ€™s semifinals as the Serb moved past Germanyâ€™s Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
It will be his 27th meeting against Djokovic but the first at Wimbledon and first on grass. â€œI mean, obviously things are not that drastic of a change anymore from clay, hard court, indoor, to grass,â€ Federer said.Â â€œBut it is interesting that this is our first grass court match.Â I’m looking forward to it.Â I haven’t put too much thought into it, to be quite honest yet.
â€œI’m just happy that I’m around further than I’ve been the last couple years.Â So it’s been a good tournament so far for me.Â I’m happy I’m feeling good again.Â It gives me confidence going into a big match against Novak.
â€œI’ll give a thought now today, tomorrow, and the next day then how to play him on grass.â€
Federer leads Djokovic 14-12 in head-to-head meetings, Federer winning one of the last six.
â€œMost of our matches that we play against each other are very close,â€ Djokovic Â said. Â â€œVery few points decide the winner.Â I won two years in a row against him with match points down, so I can’t really say I’ve been winning comfortably those matches.
â€œThat’s what I expect in the next one, as well.Â As I said, we never played on grass, so I think it’s going to be interesting for both of us to see what happens.
Djokovic spoke about Federerâ€™s place in history. â€œ Well, I mean, look, the success that he had over, what, the period of seven, eight years says enough,â€ Djokovic said.Â I mean, he has won the most Grand Slams in history.Â He’s rated probably as the best player in history.Â He has won everything that a tennis player can win and he’s coming back for more.
â€œHe has a lot of respect from me, from all the players.Â There is no question about it.Â You know, but we are all rivals, we are all opponents.Â You know, I don’t think about his history or his success or whatever too much when I’m on the court.Â I just want to win that match.â€
Federerâ€™s match against Youzhny was routine. At one point when Youzhny failed to convert one of the rare break points against Federer, he let out loud scream that had both fans and those in the Royal Box laughing. Visitors in the Royal Box on Wednesday included Prince William and wife Kate, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Rod Laver.
“I think it helps when royalty shows up, and other legends of the game come and see me play,” Federer commented after the match. “It’s inspiring.”
Novak Djokovic also had few problems against Mayer, dominating with forceful play, hitting 50 winners past the German.
â€œI had a little trouble adjusting, you know, to the sun and to outdoor conditions because I played last three matches indoors,â€ said Djokovic.Â â€œSo it took me a bit of time to get into the rhythm.
â€œBut, you know, it was a tricky first set obviously.Â It was important for me to get a set lead, and after that I played much better.â€
Djokovic commented on the test Federer will provide:â€It is a challenge when you play Roger and Rafa or any of the top players.Â Roger has been on the top of the men’s game for so long.Â This is where he won six titles.Â You know, he definitely wants to prove himself and to everybody else that he can win it once again.
â€œYou know, he was winning very comfortably.Â I mean, today he won incredibly fast, in straight sets, so we’ll see.Â I’m playing well, I believe.Â You know, we both have to play at our best in order to get a win.â€
â€œYou know, he has a variety, great variety, in his game, I guess.Â He uses his serve very well.Â He opens up the court.Â He uses that slice really well to get the balls to bounce low.Â You know, he’s very aggressive at times.Â He can defend well.
â€œI mean, I guess he’s going to say better, but I think that grass courts are suiting his style of game the most, so it’s going to be an interesting match.â€
Should Federer get past Djokovic and win the title, he would reclaim the No. ranking and tie Pete Samprasâ€™ record for weeks at No. 1.
Djokovic is aiming to defend his Wimbledon title from last year.