As expected the top three ranked players, defending champion Novak Djokovic, seven time champion Roger Federer and the 2013 champion Andy Murray have coasted into the semi-finals at Wimbledon 2015 with straight sets wins on Wednesday. They have been joined by the 21st seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet who equaled his previous best of reaching the last four in 2007 here (loss to Federer) with a 11-9 fifth set upset win over the French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in a match lasting 3 hours and 28 minutes.
The line up for the ladies singles final to be played on Saturday has also been decided. Spain’s Garbine Muguruza will have the unenviable task of preventing Serena Williams from claiming her 6th Wimbledon crown and 21st grand slam title. In the Ladies’ semifinals on Thursday, Muguruza defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets. Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova in two routine sets in the second semifinal.
Andy Murray kick started the proceedings against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, who was making his first appearance in the last eight stage of a grand slam. The 2013 champion, who became the first British player in 77 years since Fred Perry won in 1936, on the hallowed center court, did not drop serve in the 2 hour and 12 minute encounter as he won 6-4,7-5,6-4.
His opponent in the semi-final Roger Federer dropped serve for the first time in 9 matches and after 116 service holds as he was broken while serving for the second set at 5-4. He responded in style as he made short work of the French no. 1 Giles Simon 6-3,7-5,6-2 on court no. 1. It will be their second meeting at Wimbledon, with Federer winning the 2012 final to claim his seventh Wimbledon crown that equaled Pete Sampras’ tally of seven. The Swiss second seed had also won from 2003-2007 and in 2009 previously.
The 2011 and 2014 champion Novak Djokovic, who erased a two set deficit in the round of 16 against the South African Kevin Anderson, never faced break points on serve and broke serve once in each set to extend his head to head record against the U S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia to 13-0. Djokovic won 6-4,6-4,6-4 only to find out that he would have to wait to avenge his French Open final defeat to Stanislas Wawrinka as Richard Gasquet claimed the battle between two of the best single handed backhand players in the game. Gasquet’s winning scoreline was 6-4,4-6,3-6,6-4,11-9. The duo have faced off twice in grand slams on the clay courts of Roland Garros and each time the top seed from Serbia triumphed in straight sets.
The semi-final line-up to be played on Day 11 in the men’s section is as under with the head to head and 2015 records with my pick mentioned first :-
Novak Djokovic (1) (46-3) v. Richard Gasquet (21) 26-8; Djokovic leads 12-1
Roger Federer (2) (39-6) v. Andy Murray (3) (46-6) ; Federer leads 12-11
It was ladies semi-final day on Thursday and the eagerly awaited showdown between the five time champion Serena Williams and the 2004 champion Maria Sharapova which was billed as the final before the grand finale on Saturday ended in a one sided 6-2,6-4 win for the American who won her seventeenth consecutive match against the Russian. Sharapova dropped serve in the opening game and could make little impression on the Williams serve. The world No.1 did not face a break point in the entire match. She faces the rising 20th seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain who ended Poland’s 13th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska’s hopes of reaching the final- again after 3 years – as she claimed the 1 hour 56 minute semi-final 6-2,3-6,6-3. Williams is the current holder of the other three majors and a win on Saturday will give her the Serena slam for the second time in her career – 12 years after her first. The Wimbledon titles will also give her a chance of completing the calendar slam should she win the U.S. Open in September at the Flushing Meadows, New York.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]