Saturday, July 11, 2015

Wimbledon Day 11 recap: Federer is phenomenal in semis

Roger Federer, shown at Indian Wells in March, beat Andy
Murray in straight sets to reach his 10th Wimbledon final.
Federer will meet Novak Djokovic in a rematch of last
year's final. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Men's semifinals -- Even at age 33, this was Roger Federer at his finest. In a matchup of former Wimbledon champions, the second-seeded Federer topped No. 3 Andy Murray 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 to reach his 10th Wimbledon singles final. Federer saved the only break point he faced, pounded 20 aces and had 56 winners against only 11 errors.
   Federer shares the record of seven Wimbledon singles titles with Pete Sampras and 1880s player Willie Renshaw. Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years in 2013.
   Federer will face top-seeded Novak Djokovic -- who defeated No. 21 Richard Gasquet 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4 -- in a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final that Djokovic won in five tense sets. Djokovic also won the title in 2011.  
   Men's final matchup -- Federer leads the 28-year-old Djokovic 20-19 in the head-to-head series. They are 6-6 in majors and 1-1 at Wimbledon. Djokovic has won the last two meetings, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in the final at Indian Wells (hardcourt) in March and 6-4, 6-3 in the final at Rome (clay) in May. Here's my story on the Indian Wells final.
   Women's final matchup -- Top-seeded Serena Williams leads the series against No. 20 Garbine Muguruza 2-1, all in Grand Slam tournaments.
   Williams won the last encounter 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16 at the Australian Open in January. Muguruza routed Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of last year's French Open. They first met in the second round of the 2013 Australian Open, and Williams cruised 6-2 6-0.
   Stars and stripes -- Fifth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, both California natives, lost to top-seeded Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Sania Mirza of India 6-1, 6-2 in 56 minutes in the women's doubles semifinals.
   In the mixed doubles semis, top-seeded Mike Bryan and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, both of the United States, fell to seventh-seeded Leander Paes of India and Hingis 6-3, 6-4.
   Unseeded Reilly Opelka, 6-foot-10 (2.08 meters), beat top seed and fellow American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 7-6 (13) to gain the boys final against 12th-seeded Mikael Ymer of Sweden. Ymer beat unseeded Patrik Niklas-Salminen of Finland 7-6 (3), 6-3.
   At least one American will play in the boys doubles final. Top-seeded Fritz and Michael Mmoh, also from the United States, will take on fourth-seeded Opelka and Akira Santillan of Japan in the semis. 
   Fast fact -- Federer, who will turn 34 on Aug. 8, became the oldest Wimbledon finalist since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall lost to Jimmy Connors in 1974. Connors was 21.
   Northern California connection -- Kops-Jones was born in Fresno, won the 2003 NCAA doubles title with Cal teammate and Sacramento native Christina Fusano, and lives in San Jose.
   Mike Bryan and his brother, Bob, are scheduled to play three matches for the Sacramento-based California Dream in World TeamTennis late this month. The 37-year-old twins played two years at Stanford, leading the Cardinal to the NCAA team title in 1997 and 1998.
   In Friday's mixed doubles semis, unseeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of the Dream and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden lost to fifth-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary and Alexander Peya of Austria 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.
   Quote -- Federer: "Definitely one of the best matches I've played in my career. One of my best serving days of my career, for sure."
   Today on TV (beginning at 6 a.m. California time, ESPN): Women's singles final, Williams (1) vs. Muguruza (20); men's doubles final, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau (4) vs. Jamie Murray and John Peers (13); women's doubles final, Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza (1) vs. Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina (2).

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