Federer finds room for sentiment when friend becomes foe

Wed Jul 2, 2014 4:45pm EDT
 
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By Clare Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - Roger Federer finally blotted his copybook on Wednesday, dropping a set for the first time at this year's Wimbledon before reaching the semi-finals with an emotional victory over friend and Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka.

It is the ninth Wimbledon semi-final for the 32-year-old seven-times champion, who has been in imperious form on the grass this year, winning at Halle before steaming through five rounds at the All England Club.

Federer, playing his 16th tour match against his Davis Cup team mate Wawrinka, looked listless during the first set before getting into his stride to notch his 14th win over the Australian Open champion 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4.

"It's tough (playing against a friend). Stan played great, especially in the first two sets, until he started to really struggle with his fitness," Federer said.

Wawrinka had to compete on three successive days after weekend rain caused scheduling problems at the championships. He had also spent and hour and 40 minutes longer on court than Federer.

"I just know it was tough to play three days in a row, especially when you played the third against Roger," a weary Wawrinka said. "You have to be more than 100 percent ready physically, but mentally also.

SLIGHT CHINK   Continued...

 
Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after defeating Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in their men's singles quarter-final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 2, 2014.   REUTERS/Toby Melville