Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Federer, Murray Advance to Wimbledon Semifinal Showdown

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Federer, Murray Advance to Wimbledon Semifinal Showdown

Article excerpt

LONDON * Roger Federer and Andy Murray ran into each other Wednesday morning in the champions' locker room at the All England Club, then walked together over to the practice area to prepare on adjacent courts for their respective quarterfinal matches later in the day.

"We weren't chatting about anything. It was just, 'Hey, how you doing?' Nothing interesting," Murray recounted. "We get on well. But obviously, on Friday different story."

Yes, they'll meet up again Friday, only the setting will be far different and things might be a tad less cordial, because the two past Wimbledon title winners face each other at Centre Court in the semifinals.

The No. 2-seeded Federer is closing in on his record eighth trophy at the grass-court tournament; No. 3 Murray's 2013 championship was the first for a British man at Wimbledon in 77 years.

Plus, they have history on this particular patch of grass.

In 2012, Federer won his 17th and, to date, last Grand Slam title by beating Murray in the Wimbledon final. A few weeks later, also at Centre Court, Murray repaid the favor, beating Federer for the singles gold medal at the London Olympics.

"We both like to look back at that summer," said Federer, who is 12-11 against Murray. "Me, not so much at the Olympics; him, probably not so much at Wimbledon."

Both advanced in quarterfinals, slowed only by a pair of rain delays. Federer's 116-hold streak in service games, dating to his previous tournament, ended. But that was merely a blip in a 6-3, 7- 5, 6-2 victory over No. 12 Gilles Simon.

Murray hardly was troubled at all by a weary Vasek Pospisil and won 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in a match that finished with the retractable roof closed at Center Court, in front of an audience that included Prince William and his wife, Kate.

Another past champion, No. 1 Novak Djokovic, also barely was tested, eliminating No. 9 Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to improve to 13- 0 against the 2014 U.S. Open winner.

Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, plays No. 21 Richard Gasquet next. Gasquet emerged from the most compelling quarterfinal match featuring two beautiful one-handed backhands with a 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 win over No. 4 Stan Wawrinka.

"It was great to watch them go backhand-to-backhand today," said Djokovic, who is 11-1 against Gasquet. "Some great points, great exchanges."

Until Gasquet dropped to his back at the baseline when French Open champion Wawrinka's last backhand sailed long, it appeared this might be the first Wimbledon semifinals in 20 years involving men seeded 1-4.

Gasquet truly is an interloper, the only remaining man without a major title.

He never even has been to a final.

"I'm the worst," Gasquet said with a smirk, "when you see Federer, Djokovic and Murray and me."

He'll be in his third Grand Slam semifinal. Djokovic, in contrast, has eight major championships and reached his 27th major semifinal, sixth in a row at Wimbledon. …

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