THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Djokovic Sets Federer SF Clash
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic set a blockbuster semi-final clash with six-time winner Roger Federer at the All England Club on Wednesday after dismissing Florian Mayer of Germany 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
The Serb has dropped only one set in five matches to reach the final set, taking four sets to defeat Radek Stepanek in the third round. He has won both his meetings with Federer this season, including one month ago in straight sets in the Roland Garros semi-finals. This will be their first clash at Wimbledon. Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 14-12.
"It is a challenge when you play Roger and Rafa or any of the top players," said Djokovic. "Roger has been on the top of the men's game for so long. This is where he won six titles. He definitely wants to prove himself and to everybody else that he can win it once again.
"Today he won incredibly fast, in straight sets, so we'll see. I'm playing well, I believe. We both have to play at our best in order to get a win. I really have nothing to lose. I'm going to try to win."
The No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking could also be on the line Friday. Should Federer beat Djokovic and go onto win his 17th Grand Slam title in Sunday’s final, he would regain the No. 1 spot, which he previously held for 285 weeks. Pete Sampras holds the all-time record with 286 weeks at No. 1.
The 25-year-old Djokovic triumphed at The Championships 12 months ago with victory over Rafael Nadal. He won his fifth major title at the Australian Open at the start of the season with victory again over Nadal, but was foiled by the Spaniard in his bid to win four Grand Slam championships in a row as he was beaten in the Roland Garros final.
The No. 29-ranked Mayer proved a testing challenge for Djokovic. The German, who was contesting his second Wimbledon quarter-final (also 2004, l. to Grosjean), had Djokovic under pressure when he lead 0/40 on the Serb’s serve at 4-4 in the first set. Djokovic recovered though and broke Mayer in the following game to clinch the opener in 40 minutes. Rain had suspended play briefly midway through the set.
Djokovic dominated the second set, taking a commanding lead after breaking serve twice. He then broke Mayer decisively at 4-4 in the third set, before saving three break points in the final game to close out victory in one hour and 45 minutes.
"After the first set, he played unbelievable, especially in the second set," said Mayer. "He showed why he's the best player right now in the world. He left me no chance in the second set. If I could have won the first set, maybe I would have had a small chance. But still it's very, very tough to beat him."