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Wimbledon Tennis 2012 Semifinals: Recap for Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates match point during his Gentlemen's Singles semi final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day eleven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2012

Roger Federer will go for his seventh career Wimbledon title on Sunday against the winner of the second semifinal between Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Federer earned his eighth career Wimbledon finals berth with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Novak Djokovic on Saturday. He looked dominant and earned his first victory over a world No. 1 player in his Grand Slam career.

Let's take a look at Federer's victory over Djokovic with a set-by-set recap of Saturday's action.

 

First Set

Federer came out blazing in this match's first frame. He used his serve to keep Djokovic on his heels, and he returned Djokovic's explosive serve with relative ease.

Djokovic couldn't get into a rhythm because of Federer's deep shots. He kept Djoker off-balance with a wide array of powerful groundstrokes, and he didn't let Djokovic go on the offensive. 

This is the Federer we are used to seeing at Wimbledon. He used his precise serve and excellent service returns to hold a major advantage over Djokovic. 

This momentum would carry him through the entire first stanza, but the tides would turn in the match's second frame. 

 

Second Set

Djokovic could have gone away, but he didn't. He jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set.

After jumping out to a 1-0 lead to start the set, Djokovic hammered four rally winners past Federer to break him in the second game. Djokovic would follow that up with another victorious game on his own service.

Djokovic wouldn't hold onto this momentum, but he had an excellent set. He wound up breaking Federer's serve twice and held his own service as well.

Those breaks would have proved more critical if Federer wasn't a headstrong, proven champion.

 

Third Set

The third set started off as expected for each player. Federer held on his first two serves, and Djokovic narrowly avoided a break on his first service.

Even though Djokovic avoided the break on his first service game, he never really recovered. 

The sixth game was perhaps the most riveting of the match. A 23-shot rally provided fireworks that only two elite players could provide. 

Each player held their serve until the pivotal 10th game of the set. Federer used his forehand to batter Djokovic and eventually won the break point. 

I think this set looks closer than it looked on TV. Djokovic hung in there, but Federer was primed to take control throughout the set. 

 

Fourth Set

By this point, Djokovic didn't even seem like he wanted to be here. Federer was on cruise control, and each point was a struggle for Djokovic to win.

Federer jumped out to a 3-0 lead after holding on his first serve, breaking Djokovic and holding his second serve as well. Djokovic didn't have much energy, and the outcome seemed pretty obvious at this point in the match.

Djokovic did manage to stick around. After all, he's notorious for two things: returning serves and coming back from large deficits. 

He managed to hold serve in the fourth, but he couldn't come close to breaking Federer in the fifth. Federer kept pounding his serves deep, and he neutralized Djokovic's power return game. 

The rest is history. Djokovic held his next serve and was able to keep the match at 2-4 in favor of Federer, but Federer was simply too much. He won another easy service game to go up 5-2 and eventually served his way out of the match after Djoker won the next game.

His 6-3 victory in the decisive set is a testament to the ruthless focus he showed throughout the match.

Federer will go for his record-tying seventh Wimbledon title on Sunday. If he plays like this, I don't see how he could possibly fall.

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