Federer has more history in sight
Victory over Berdych sets up meeting with Cilic for eighth Wimbledon title
LONDON — Roger Federer’s name is all over the tennis record books, and now he’s got a chance for another unprecedented feat.
Federer moved one victory from an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon men’s singles championship after qualifying for his 11th appearance in the final at the All England Club, extending a record he already held, by defeating Tomas Berdych 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4 on Friday.
“I was able to come up with the goods when it mattered,” said Federer, who is seeking his second major title of the year, which would up his men’s career record total to 19.
The other finalists is Marin Cilic, who won 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5 over 24th-seeded Sam Querrey.
Since equaling Pete Sampras and William Renshaw with a seventh trophy at Wimbledon in 2012, Federer has come this close before to No. 8, but lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2014 and 2015 finals.
This year, Federer has won every set he’s played in six matches.
“It’s great, but it doesn’t give me the title quite yet. That’s why I came here this year,” said Federer, who is weeks away from his 36th birthday. “I’m so close now, so I just got to stay focused.”
Federer would be the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the Open era, which dates to 1968; as it is, he’s the oldest finalist since Ken Rosewall finished as the 1974 runner-up at age 39.
“I mean, I don’t see anything that would indicate really Roger is getting older or anything like that,” Berdych said.
Federer’s win at the Australian Open in January gave him his first major championship in 4 1/2 years.
He skipped this year’s clay-court season, and last year, after losing in the Wimbledon semifinals, took the rest of 2016 off to let his surgically repaired left knee heal.
“Giving your body rest from time to time is a good thing, as we see now,” Federer said.
Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, reached his second Grand Slam final with the help of 25 aces. He broke Querrey four times — the last one ended the match.
“After that (first tiebreaker), I was just a little bit better on the return games,” Cilic said. “I was making him (play more) on his service games.”