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Federer Cruises Past Youzhny Into 32nd Major Semi-Final; Next Plays Djokovic

Wimbledon, England

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer is a six-time former Wimbledon champion.

Third seed Roger Federer, who is looking to win his seventh title at The Championships, cruised past No. 26 seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals against top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic.

The Centre Court match was watched by His Royal Highness The Duke and Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cambridge, plus 1992 Wimbledon champion Andre Agassi and his wife, seven-time former winner, Steffi Graf, who arrived in London last night.

“I have a good match-up, I guess, with Youzhny, for some reason, because he is a good player and makes it hard normally for players," said Federer. "Today things worked out great for me, so I'm very happy. It was nice to play with the roof open. It was a great match for me. I played aggressive and served well again. I'm really pleased with my performance today.”

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Federer rushed through the first set in 28 minutes, losing eight points on serve. He converted two of his seven break point opportunities in the pair’s 14th meeting. Play was briefly suspended due to rain at 1:37 p.m. local time, with Federer holding a 4-1 advantage over Youzhny, who was serving at 30/40. The match got back underway at 1:58 p.m.

Federer broke Youzhny’s serve to 30 in the first game of the second set and set up three break point opportunities at 4-2. Youzhny made an error on Federer’s third break point. Federer lost just five of his service points in the 28-minute set. Youzhny could only look at Agassi, Richard Krajicek and Rod Laver, sitting in the Royal Box, for inspiration.

Youzhny was broken once again in an eight-minute game at the start of the third set, but at 1-2 the Russian could not convert two break point chances at 15/40 on Federer’s serve. Youzhny’s challenge effectively ended when he was broken in the fifth game, after he hit a forehand into the net. Youzhny recovered from 15/40 at 1-5, with gutsy net approaches to save two match point opportunities for Federer.

But the Swiss was not to be denied and finished the 92-minute encounter with a hold to 30 and an angled backhand volley. Federer is now 14-0 lifetime against Youzhny, who committed 20 unforced errors. The 30 year old won 36 of his 41 first service points and hit 25 winners.

Federer has a 14-12 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Djokovic. Federer will contest his 32nd Grand Slam championship semi-final on Friday. The feat surpasses Jimmy Connors’ 31 appearances in major semi-finals. Federer is now 64-7 at the All England Club, Wimbledon.

Looking ahead to Friday’s semi-final against Djokovic, Federer said, “It is interesting that this is our first grass court match. I'm looking forward to it. It's been a good tournament so far for me. I'm happy [that] I'm feeling good again. It gives me confidence going into a big match against Novak.”

Federer can reclaim No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings if he wins his 17th major championship title. If he does lift the trophy on Sunday, then he will match record-holder Pete Sampras for the total number of weeks (286) as the World No. 1.

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