LONDON, July 4, 2014: Seven-time champion Roger Federer demolished Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his ninth Wimbledon final on Friday where he will face old rival Novak Djokovic for the 35th time.
Federer will be chasing a record eighth Wimbledon title and 18th Grand Slam crown overall in what will be his 25th championship match at a major while top seed Djokovic, the champion in 2011, targets a seventh major in his third Wimbledon final in four years.
Djokovic had earlier defeated Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (9/7) as the threatened overthrow of the established order fell flat.
Federer, 32, who becomes the oldest man to make a Grand Slam final since Andre Agassi reached the 2005 Australian Open final at the age of 33, will take an 18-16 career lead over Djokovic into Sunday’s championship match.
“It was down to big concentration really,” said Federer, who will be playing in his first Grand Slam final since Wimbledon in 2012 when he went level with Pete Sampras as a seven-time winner.
“I had to focus on every point. You always say that but today especially I had to be careful on my serve and there were only a few chances when he served.
“I took those chances and I’m unbelievably happy. I’ve played some great tennis this week, under pressure at times as well.”
Federer added he was delighted to have made the final 12 months after suffering a second round exit at the hands of Sergiy Stakhovsky.
“I didn’t play well last year here where I expect so much of myself, so I was happy to get through the first rounds and then play better in the second week. I’m so happy I got it done.”
Federer has beaten Djokovic in two out of three meetings in 2014 and was looking forward to renewing their rivalry which stretches back to 2006.
“Novak and myself always play good matches. We’ve played a lot in the last six months. It’s gone back and forth a bit,” he said.
“He is a great champion and is used to these occasions. He’s got the trophy here in the past and knows how it’s done.
“I know I don’t have 10 years left, so I’m going to try and enjoy it as much as I can. That I get another chance to go through these kinds of emotions is great.”
Raonic came into his first Grand Slam semi-final having fired a tournament-leading 148 aces.
But that crude, one-dimensional approach was never likely to be enough against a man of Federer’s class.
The Swiss had a 4-0 career advantage over the 23-year-old going into Friday’s encounter and once the seven-time champion broke in the first game, the tone was set for a semi-final which had none of the drama of the earlier tie between Djokovic and Dimitrov.
Federer allowed just seven points on his serve to Raonic in the first set and was equally dominant in the second where a break in the ninth game was the foundation for an untroubled two sets lead.
The Canadian, bidding to become the first man from his country to reach a Grand Slam singles final, remained oddly impassive throughout his Centre Court examination, never engaging the crowd on his side as his big day passed him by.
Federer, serving and volleying to avoid the pitfalls of the bone-dry baselines which had send Djokovic and Dimitrov slipping and sliding, broke again for 5-4 in the third and the tie was wrapped up in the next game.