Former world number one Roger Federer continues his scintillating form at Wimbledon. The 18-time Grand Slam champion is on a 13-match winning streak at Grand Slams, after he won the Australian Open in Melbourne. He opted to skip the entire clay court season, and the French Open in order to prepare for the grass and grueling North American hard court season.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion took to Centre Court, to face 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych. The 35-year-old has dropped no sets and he is currently on an 11-match winning streak after he defeated Berdych, 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 6-4. It was the Swiss number two's longest match of the tournament which lasted just under two hours and 20 minutes.
Federer will face seventh seed Marin Cilic in his 29th Grand Slam final, and 11th final at Wimbledon in 15 years. The Croat dispatched 24th seed Sam Querrey in four sets, and the Croat will be competing in his second Grand Slam final. Cilic won the US Open in 2014 and he defeated both Berdych and Federer along the way.
Federer wins the first set in a tiebreak
There was immediate pressure on the 2010 runner-up's serve as he had to fend off a break point in his opening service game of the match. Berdych saved it, and Federer held easily in his next service game to level the match at 1-1.
Both players got into their stride in the match, and they continued to hold onto their service games easily. Moreover, there were more break point chances for the seven-time champion. He did not hesitate, taking it as he produced a thunderous forehand down the line with authority, followed by a volley winner, gaining an early break to 3-2.
The former world number one consolidated the break with a hold to love, extending his lead to 4-2. However, there was a slight momentum change in the match as Berdych overcame another tough service game, and he broke Federer's serve. The third seed committed an untimely double fault. Nonetheless, with a blink of an eye, the 2010 finalist won three games in succession with a hold to love, leading 5-4.
Federer had more chances to regain the break advantage but Berdych held firm, and the former world one held serve, forcing the match into an opening set tiebreak.
It was crucial for Berdych to claim the opening set tiebreak, as Federer is a great frontrunner. He immediately trailed at 3-1 but he forced errors from Federer and got the break back.
Furthermore, the seven-time Wimbledon champion claimed the first set, 7-6(4) in 54 minutes with one of his trademark backhands
catching the edge of the baseline, forcing the error from Berdych.
The seven-time champion clinches the second set in another tiebreak
Both players held onto their service games to 30 at the start of the second set. Whilst, the former world number one had no problems on his service games. Berdych was continuing to struggle.
He faced two more break points but crucially he saved them both, as he came out on top in a baseline rally with a rare forehand unforced error sailing in the net, from Federer.
The second set was nicely poised at 2-2, and Federer stretched out ahead with some volleying, and quick service holds. The pressure was put back on Berdych but he served two aces and a serve and volley winner, leveling the score at 3-3.
However, there was a huge opportunity beckoning for the Czech in Federer's next service game as he raced out to a 0-30 lead on the 35-year-old's serve. Moreover, the former world number one served an ace, and some smart serving to temporarily bailing himself out of trouble.
Berdych created a break point opportunity with a thunderous forehand return winner down the line. The former world number one saved it smartly with a forehand winner down the line, firmly behind the baseline. He hung onto his serve, stretching out to a 4-3 lead.
The two players out on Centre Court continued to hold onto their serves with no problem, and there was an inevitable second set tiebreak. Both players split the first two points. However, Federer gained control in this tiebreak as he produced three back-to-back forehand winners down the line, which was simply amazing.
The former world number one had a slight wobble in the tiebreak but he claimed the second set with a strong backhand down the line, forcing the error from Berdych, taking the tiebreak with the same scoreline of the first one.
Federer books his place in an 11th Wimbledon final
The former world number four got off to a good start in the third set as he held serve comfortably with some hard-hitting, and forehand winners down the line. He had another small chance to break Federer's serve as the 18-time Grand Slam champion trailed 0-30 once again.
However, the Czech did not have a chance to apply some pressure on the former world number one as he found some first serves, clinching the game with a forehand winner down the line, leveling proceedings at 1-1.
Both players started to create break point chances in each other's service games as Berdych crucially held on as Federer let him off the hook with a tame forehand unforced error in the net. Berdych held onto his serve and took a 3-2 lead.
Moreover, in the next game, the 2010 runner-up had two lifeline break point chances at 15-40. However, Federer snuffed them out with back-to-back aces, out wide and down the T. The former world number one sealed the game with his third ace of the game, down the T.
It was a missed opportunity for Berdych which he would later rue, as the third seed broke the Czech's serve in the next game with a good return of serve on the second serve, leading 4-3.
The seven-time champion consolidated the break with a hold to love. Berdych was serving to stay in the tournament, which he did.
It was too little too late as the 18-time Grand Slam champion booked his spot in his 29th Grand Slam final with an unreturnable first serve out wide, closing the contest in two hours and 18 minutes.