Roger Federer moved into the 11th Wimbledon final of his career on Friday, dismissing Tomas Berdych 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 6-4 to set up a final clash with Croatia’s Marin Cilic.
Federer looked to pounce on Berdych’s service game early and did so, setting up a break point in the match’s opening game. Berdych did well to save that break point, but would be broken at 2-2 as Federer seemed to take control of the set.
But a couple of uncharacteristic double-faults from the seven-time champion gave the break back to Berdych for 4-4, and the set headed into a tiebreaker.
A key forehand miss from Berdych gave Federer the mini-break in the tiebreak and that was the only opening the Swiss needed as he went on to win the set.
Neither play broke in the second set to once again force it into a tiebreaker. Federer was just too sharp in the breaker, using his heavy forehand to build a decisive lead and open the two-sets-to-love advantage.
A volley winner at 3-3, 30-30 in the third set up a break point for Federer, and after Berdych contributed a forehand error on the next point the Swiss had the break he needed. He would go on to serve out the set and the match to advance to the Wimbledon championship for the 11th time in his historic career.
“Giving your body rest from time to time is a good thing, as we see now,” Federer said of missing the clay-court season to rest up. “And I’m happy it’s paying off because for a second, of course, there is doubts there that maybe one day you’ll never be able to come back and play a match on Centre Court at Wimbledon. But it happened, and it’s happened many, many times this week.”
Cilic won his semifinal against American Sam Querrey, fighting back from a set down to win 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-5.
“It’s definitely great for me to be in the final of a Grand Slam again,” said Cilic. “I felt that my level of tennis in the past several weeks is really on a high level, and that has given me a lot of consistency with my mindset. Obviously, it’s going to be a big match for me. But it’s a great thing that I have already played one Grand Slam final, and I believe it’s going to be easier to prepare.”
Cilic hit a whopping 70 winners to just 21 unforced errors to defeat Querrey.
Federer is 6-1 all-time against Cilic.