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The two favourites for the Wimbledon Gentlemen Singles Crown, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, started their quarter-final matches off simultaneously, hoping to book a date with each other for Friday's semi-final. While Federer had the luxury of playing in front of some royalty on Centre Court in the presence of the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge (and Mrs and Mr. Andre Agassi), Novak had the privilege of being relegated to Court No.1 in front of a boisterous fans base on what was clearly the people's court.
Federer came out of the blocks firing, drawing first blood in just the second game of the first set, putting an end to a rather protracted game, which went to 6 deuces, with the help of a scorching backhand return. Youzhny found himself in another spot of bother when he went down a break point in the 6th game of the set. Nevertheless, just at that moment, the rain gods appeared to come to his rescue, briefly suspending play on centre court. However, even the rain gods are helpless when the Swiss Maestro is in this kind of a mood. Federer started from where he left off before the interruption, sealing the insurance break with a scintillating forehand cross-court winner to allow himself the opportunity to serve for the set, which he did with consummate ease to bag the first set in just 26 minutes.
While Federer had raced through his opening set, Djokovic was battling hard to break down the resistance offered by Germany's Florian Mayer. As has been the case so often with Djokovic off late, the world no.1 was the first to drop serve, doing so in the 5th game, only to break back immediately. Normal business was soon resumed, however, the first rain delay presented itself when Mayer was in a spot of bother, serving at 3-4 deuce, having just saved a break point.
The German came out of that game without any difficulty, and went up 0-40 on Djokovic's serve to win 5 straight points after the rain delay, but the world no.1 served his way out of trouble to hold serve and then subsequently break the Mayer serve in the following game to quite literally steal a very tight first set.
By now, Federer was up an early break in the second set and appeared to be winning the race to see which man got to the finish line first. A net cord that went Federer's way handed the legend the break and it seemed as if the Russian was running out of ideas to combat the Maestro in full flow. Moreover, Federer's impenetrable service further compounded Youzhny's fortunes with the Russian unable to make any sort of impression on the great Swiss' serve. An insurance break in the seventh game, gave Federer the chance to serve for a two sets to lead. A love service hold did just that, with the Swiss rounding off the second set just as quickly as the first.
Djokovic was in a hurry to play catch up, and consecutive breaks in the 4th and 6th games gave the defending champion a 5-1 lead in the second set. And Novak served it out with ease to wrap up the set in just over 20 minutes to take a two sets to love lead.
Youzhny, once again, for the third set in a row, fell behind 2-0 largely owing to some substandard play by the Russian. In the fourth game of the set, a rare glimmer of hope presented itself in the form of 2 break points on the mighty Swiss' serve. However, the chances went as quickly as they came thanks to some amazing serve by Federer.
It seemed as though Federer could not put a foot wrong in the match, breaking the Russian again in the 5th game of the set, taking his overall tally to an amazing 6 times with some sublime forehands. With Youzhny serving to stay in the match, the Swiss upped his tempo, showcasing his repertoire of shots to go up three match points. However, the Russian was determined not to leave centre court without even making a small statement, clawing himself from 0-40 down to win the service to force Federer to serve for the match. Another flawless service game saw Federer finishing proceedings on his 4th match point to become the first man in the draw to book a spot in the last 4. This commanding performance places Federer in a record-breaking 33 semifinals.
Djokovic joined the 6-time champion shortly after, breaking Mayer in the 9th game of the third set to give hiimself an opportunity to serve for the match. Mayer had his chances, like he did all set, earning three break points in the 10th game, but could not take them and Djokovic made the most of his to advance to the semi-finals where a date with destiny awaits him.
Federer leads the overall head-to-head record against Djokovic 14-12, the Serbian has won 6 of their last 7 meetings, a statistics combination which is bound to produce an enticing and mouth-watering contest. Federer on grass might just have the edge though.
Singles - Quarter-finals
 N Djokovic (SRB) d  F Mayer (GER) 64 61 64
 R Federer (SUI) d  M Youzhny (RUS) 61 62 62
File Photograph Copyright: Ricky Thorpe
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