The semifinals were set on the men’s side at Wimbledon on Wednesday, with Roger Federer erasing some of the disappointment of losing in the quarterfinals the past two years. The Swiss bullied Russian Mikhail Youzhny off the court 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to reach a record 32nd career Grand Slam semifinal.
“Feels great being back in the semis,” Federer said. “I know I’m playing really well. I am aware things are going to get complicated in the next match.”
“Complicated” means facing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who had an equally easy time on Wednesday, mowing over No. 31-seeded German Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
It will amazingly be the first meeting on the Wimbledon grass for Djokovic and Federer. Federer leads 14-12 in their career head-to-head encounters, but Djokovic has dominated of late, winning six of their last seven meetings.
“We never played on grass,” Djokovic said, “so I think it’s going to be interesting for both of us to see what happens.”
In the other semifinal, Britain will be on the edge of it’s collective seat to see if Andy Murray can advance past the powerful Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. On Wednesday Murray out-steadied Spain’s David Ferrer 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-4, 7-6(4), and Tsonga out-slugged German Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2.
Murray said he is not only ready for Tsonga, but ready to deflect the immense pressure to win at the All England Club.
“If you think too much about it, and you read the newspapers and you watch the stuff on TV that’s said about you, I think it would become far too much,” Murray said. “But if you kind of shield yourself from it all and kind of just get into your own little bubble, only listen to the people that are around you, then it’s something you can deal with.”
A.k.a., ‘I’ll be playing video games rather than watching the news.’
“Subconsciously, I’m probably extremely stressed out right now,” said the monotone Murray, “but I try not to feel it.”
Tsonga is 1-5 career against Murray.
In women’s doubles play on Wednesday, making up for rain-outs, the Williams sisters won two matches and are still not into the semifinals. In their second-round match they edged Russians Maria Kirilenko/Nadia Petrova 9-7 in the third, then in their third-round match they defeated American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and India’s Sania mirza 6-4, 6-3.
Already into the women’s doubles semis are top seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond of the U.S., who in their quarterfinal defeated Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in straight sets.
The Thursday women’s singles semifinals will see Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka, and Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Angelique Kerber.
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