The semifinals at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships were set today with favorites Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer all advancing easily and comfortably. The lone casualty was Stan Wawrinka who couldn’t survive a tough Richard Gasquet test losing to the Frenchman 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 in the lone match with any drama on quarterfinal Wednesday.
Early on, it was clear sailing for the top guys. In between the raindrops, Murray handled the formidable serve of Canadian Vasek Pospisil scrapping out three breaks to win 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
“I needed to [step up] because at times, [he] was serving really well, [which] made it very difficult for me,” Murray said. “Then I just managed to, at a few key moments, come up with some good shots. [The] third set was tricky, as well, because I had a bunch of break points. When you don’t take them, obviously you start to think about that a little bit. Overall, it was a good match.”
While Murray was winning, so too was Federer. Having to deal with the elements on Court 1, the Swiss swept away Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 to cruise into his 10th Wimbledon semifinals.
Simon’s caused some problems for Roger at the other Slams, but on grass it wasn’t much of a contest. Federer’s record serving streak did come to an end, though, at 116 consecutive holds. Now comes Murray on Friday.
“I still feel like I’m fresh and I’ve got energy left in the tank for hopefully a great match with Andy,” said Federer who’s won his last three against Murray. “I just hope the crowd gets into it and enjoys a good match and that we can play well. I have received a lot of crowd support over the years, and so has Andy.”
With the roof opened, Djokovic took the court against his pigeon Marin Cilic. The two met a year ago with Djokovic having to come from behind to win in five. Novak needed no such sweat today, breezing past the US Open champion 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
“It was very solid,” said Djokovic after his 13th straight win over the Croat. “I didn’t know how my body would feel after a tough five-setter against Kevin. Tactically I played very well. I try not to take my 27th Grand Slam semifinal for granted even though it is expected that top players reach this far. But you need to earn it so I’m very pleased.”
Playing on his third consecutive day, Djokovic looked super sharp and super good. And he’s got a gift in the semifinals as he’ll face Gasquet instead of his nemesis Wawrinka.
“Gasquet loves grass, and is one of the most talented players we have on Tour,” said Djokovic who had beaten Gasquet 11 of 12 times. “It’s a great effort from Richard to beat Stan. He always had touch and talent. I think he improved his fitness a lot. I heard he worked hard to get himself really fit and ready to go the distance, and it’s paying off.”
It was the closest match to call of the day and it lived up to the billing as Gasquet took it in just under three-and-a-half hours.
“Even if I lost this important game at 5-3, I kept fighting a lot,” Gasquet said of failing to serve it out at 5-3 in the fifth. “It was important because I know it’s a great match, playing the winner of Roland Garros in a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, so I need to keep focus, to stay focused, and to fight. Of course, it’s a very nice victory for me to win against him 11-9 in the fifth. It’s great.”
So the Wimbledon Friday semifinals are set:
Novak Djokovic v Richard Gasquet
Roger Federer v Andy Murray
I’ll have my picks tomorrow.
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