15 Jul 2017

Ageless Federer storms into Wimbledon final

6:06 am on 15 July 2017

Roger Federer has outclassed Tomas Berdych in straight sets to surge into his 11th Wimbledon final, the 29th grand slam decider of his incomparable career.

The Wimbledon records continue to tumble for Roger Federer.

Roger Federer. Photo: Photosport

The ageless star resisted a spirited challenge from Berdych to prevail 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to become the second oldest man in the open era to reach the final after Ken Rosewall, the 1974 runner at 39.

Fittingly, Rosewall was in the royal box with fellow Australian great Rod Laver to witness another regal centre-court performance from the majestic Swiss.

Only Marin Cilic, who ended Sam Querrey's gruelling and gallant run with a 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 win in this morning's first semi-final - stands between Federer and a record-extending 19th grand slam crown on Monday.

Turning 36 next month, Federer is striving to become the first man in history to win eight Wimbledon singles titles.

He would join his career-long rival and 10-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal as just the second man ever to amass eight titles at the same slam and, at 35 years and 342 days, the oldest Wimbledon champion in almost half a century of professional tennis.

Federer is already the oldest men's grand slam champion since Rosewall 45 years ago after capturing his fifth Australian Open title in January in the sporting fairytale of the year in his first event back from a six-month injury lay-off.

The world No.5 is through to the final without dropping a set for the the time, emulating his feats of 2006 and 2008, after delivering an at times virtuoso performances to deny Berdych a second appearance in the championship decider.

His only real slip-up was dropping serve in the eighth game of the opening set, having led 4-2, but he atoned with a clinical tiebreaker before snaring the second set in similarly signature fashion.

From 1-1 in the second-set breaker, Federer reeled off four breathtaking forehand winners in a row to take command before seizing a two-set advantage.

The third seed broke Berdych - who'd upended Federer and Novak Djokovic at The All England en route to the 2010 final - for a crucial second time in the seventh game of the third set and wrapped up victory after two hours and 18 minutes.

Federer will carry a 6-1 head-to-head lead over Cilic into the title showdown, but will be wary of the big-hitting Croat.

Cilic thrashed Federer in the 2014 US Open semi-finals and also had match points against the tennis record setter in last year's quarter-finals.