Roger Federer stormed into his fifth successive Wimbledon final with a 7-5 6-3 6-4 humbling of France’s Richard Gasquet on Saturday.
The four-times defending champion overwhelmed his 21-year-old opponent in a display of sheer brilliance before a mesmerised Centre Court crowd.
After unleashing 20 aces and a series of scorching passing shots, Federer clinched victory after one hour 44 minutes with a forehand winner into the corner of the court.
The Swiss will face Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal in the final after Serbian Novak Djokovic withdrew with an injury during the other semifinal.
By advancing to his ninth successive grand slam final, the top seed has now won 53 matches in a row on grass.
On Sunday, Federer will attempt to join Bjorn Borg by becoming only the second man in the professional era to win five consecutive Wimbledon titles.
”It will be an incredible, awesome feeling for me to achieve this goal because I never, ever thought I was going to win Wimbledon so many times,” said the Swiss.
”Now I’m in the position to equal his great record.”
Borg dropped in a day early to watch the man many believe is destined to become the greatest ever tennis player and the Swede must have been impressed with what he saw.
Federer had won five of his previous six meetings against the surprise semifinalist and after teasing the Frenchman for about 40 minutes, he moved in for the kill.
He broke Gasquet in final game of the opening set after forcing the 21-year-old to net a backhand.
The 12th-seed had knocked out Andy Roddick in a five-set thriller in the quarterfinals but after coming off court at 8pmlocal time on Friday, his exertions told.
He provided little resistance in the second set and opted to take an injury time out before the start of the third to get his ankle strapped.
Hand on hips and standing behind the baseline, Federer appeared an uninterested observer during the 10-minute interlude.
Once Gasquet got back on to his feet, he simply did not possess the stamina to last the distance and surrendered his serve in the seventh game.
Federer brought up match point with a brilliant backhand passing shot and mercifully did not prolong his opponent’s agony.
”I wasn’t lucky… everything was difficult because after a match like Roddick yesterday, I was tired,” said Gasquet, who was forced to play back-to-back matches because of the rain that has blighted the tournament.
”I needed to rest a day but we couldn’t with the rain, so it was bad luck.”
On Sunday, Federer will be gunning for his 11th grand slam crown but to do that he has to tame his nemesis Nadal in a repetition of last year’s final. – Reuters