Evergreen Roger Federer downs Tomas Berdych to set up Marin Cilic Wimbledon final showdown

Swiss ace gunning for record eighth title at the All England Club after beating Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 on Friday

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 11:42pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 July, 2017, 10:34am

Roger Federer’s relentless pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon title continued as the Swiss ace beat stubborn Czech Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 to reach the final for the 11th time on Friday.

The 35-year-old was given his toughest test yet by the 11th seed, who beat him at the quarter-final stage in 2010, but he raised his game at the crucial moments to become the oldest men’s singles finalist since Ken Rosewall in 1974.

Earlier, Croatia’s Marin Cilic reached his first Wimbledon final at the 11th attempt with a 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 win over America’s Sam Querrey.

Federer has now reached 29 grand slam finals and for the third time in his career has progressed to the Wimbledon final without dropping a set, having also achieved the feat in 2006 and 2008.

“I feel very privileged to be in another final,” Federer said.

Watch: Roger Federer v Tomas Berdych highlights

“I’ve got the pleasure to play on centre court another time. I can’t believe it’s almost true again. I’m happy to have a day off to reflect on what I’ve done at the tournament.”

Twelve months ago, Federer lost to Milos Raonic in the semi-finals, his legs looking heavy and the years finally appearing to catch up with him, but this year he rolled back the clock in glorious fashion.

Querrey stuns defending champ Murray at Wimbledon

He now is one match away from holding two of the game’s major four prizes for the first time since 2010, having begun the year by claiming the Australian Open title.

In the other semi-final, Cilic took a 4-0 career lead over Querrey, including a marathon five hour, 31 minute win at Wimbledon in 2012, which was the second longest match in tournament history.

Watch: Marin Cilic v Sam Querrey highlights

There were signs that spectators were in for another long afternoon with no break points at all in the first set.

“It’s unbelievable. I have played really well from the start of the tournament,” said 28-year-old Cilic.

“Sam played at a high level especially in the first set. I was 4-1 up in the tie-break and didn’t convert.

Roger Federer eyeing another Wimbledon title as Murray and Djokovic bow out

“But after that I was better in the return games. I thought the level was really high.

“I’m feeling a positive on the court. It’s extremely important. My emotions are helping me a little bit.”

Cilic fired 25 aces and 70 winners past world number 28 Querrey, who was the man who ended Andy Murray’s reign as Wimbledon champion in the quarter-finals.

Cilic is the second Croatian man to make the final after 2001 champion and former coach Goran Ivanisevic.

“I never doubted it. Who knows what will happen in the final? It’s great to see Cilic there,” Ivanisevic told the BBC.