Breathtaking Federer outclasses Murray

Breathtaking Federer outclasses Murray

Roger Federer was at his scintillating best as he beat Andy Murray in straight sets to set up a repeat of last year's Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic.

The legendary Swiss has not won a grand slam since getting the better of Murray in the 2012 final at the All England Club, but on the evidence of this performance it would be no surprise if he adds to his incredible tally of 17 major titles on Sunday.

Second seed Federer produced yet another masterclass to win 7-5 7-5 6-4 in SW19 and is one victory away from claiming his eighth Wimbledon title.  

There was little Murray could do to stop the world number two, who he beat in the 2012 Olympic Games final on the famous grass court in south-west London but had his hopes of winning his home grand slam for the second time in three years ended on Friday.

The breathtaking Federer was faultless throughout the semi-final, racking up 20 aces and 56 winners to extend his winning run against the two-time grand-slam champion to four matches.

Swiss master Federer was beaten by Djokovic in the final last year and will get an opportunity to gain revenge this weekend.

Federer had only been broken once en route to the last four, but he was in danger of dropping serve in the first game when he was 30-40 down before denying Murray an early advantage.

Murray won only one game when the Swiss master thrashed him in the ATP World Tour Finals last year, but the Scot has been a different proposition in 2015 and held with an ace to level at 3-3 after coming under pressure at 30-30.

The British number one came up with two brilliant winners in his next service game in a first set that continued to go with serve, as both players were at the top of their game.

Murray was in trouble at 15-30 when serving to stay in the set and Federer jumped on a short second serve to earn two break points and won the second when the 2013 champion netted.

Federer fired down 11 aces in that thrilling first set and added another to his tally to hold in the first game of the second, before Murray battled back from 15-30 down to level at 1-1.

Murray was in another hole when Federer piled on the pressure by earning another break point, but put an attempted backhand into the tramlines and the third seed claimed a precious hold.

Federer was at his brilliant best, but Murray hung in there and dug deep to make it 4-4 after again finding himself 15-30 behind.

But while Murray was having to battle to hold, Federer rattled through his service games with relative ease and produced an incredible cross-court winner as he earned five set points on the Murray serve.

A fist-pumping Murray was fired up as he saved all five, then the tension mounted when he thought he had held with an ace but the ball was called out before finally ending a dramatic marathon game with a booming ace that did land in the service box. 

The crowd were on their feet and they had barely sat down when the brilliant Federer saved to lead 6-5 and had a sixth set point, which he won by racing into the net to end another great rally with a volley into the corner.

The third set went with serve until Federer again turned on the style when Murray served to stay in the match and those fortunate enough to be on Centre Court rose to their feet once again when another incredible exhibition from the 33-year-old ended as the Scot sent a forehand wide.

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