Roger Federer seeking eighth tournament title, while Venus Williams looks for her sixth.
LONDON» They love their history around these parts and they love Roger Federer and, above all, they love watching him make history.
Now he stands one victory from an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon men’s singles championship after qualifying for his 11th appearance in the final, breaking a record he already held.
Just weeks from turning 36, and a father of four, Federer continued his resurgent season and unchallenged run through this fortnight at the All England Club by conjuring up just enough brilliance to beat 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the semifinals Friday.
“It’s great, but it doesn’t give me the title quite yet. That’s why I came here this year,” Federer said. “I’m so close now, so I just got to stay focused.”
He has won every set he’s played in six matches, and while he did not exactly dominate against the 11th-seeded Berdych, Federer was never in much trouble. On Sunday, Federer will face 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, who reached his first Wimbledon final by eliminating 24thseeded Sam Querrey of the United State 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5 with the help of 25 aces and some terrific returning.
“This is his home court,” Cilic said about Federer, “(the) place where he feels the best and knows that he can play the best game.”
Since equaling Pete Sampras and William Renshaw (who played in the 1880s) with a seventh trophy at Wimbledon in 2012, Federer has come this close before to No. 8. But he lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2014 and 2015 finals.
Here comes another chance. 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 was 39 in 1974.
“I mean, I don’t see anything that would indicate really Roger is getting older or anything like that,” said Berdych, who wore sneakers with a silhouette of Djokovic’s face on the tongue because his own usual shoes were uncomfortable. “He’s just proving his greatness in our sport.”