Clinical Djokovic crushes Gasquet to reach final

Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:19pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Defending champion Novak Djokovic emphatically booked his place in a fourth Wimbledon final with a clinical 7-6(2) 6-4 6-4 defeat of gallant Frenchman Richard Gasquet on Friday.

Underdog Gasquet offered fans on a sun-baked Centre Court plenty of "oooh-aahh" moments with his trademark single-handed backhand but there were not enough to really concern the world number one who looked supreme.

There were a few more unforced errors than normal off the Djokovic racket in a tight first set but once he cruised through the tiebreak he bolted the door on the 21st seed whose wait for a first grand slam final continues.

In the second and third sets a miserly Djokovic made just nine unforced errors and his only slight concern was a stiff shoulder that needed a couple of visits from the trainer.

In the final the 28-year-old Serb will face seven-times Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, the man he beat in five sets to win his second Wimbledon title last year.

"It was a good performance, considering the occasion. It's always tough. Richard had a great tournament and deserved to be in the semis," said the eight-times grand slam champion. "The first set could have gone his way, luckily it went to me."

The pre-match statistics did not give 29-year-old Gasquet's many admirers cause for optimism.

Djokovic had beaten him 11 times out of 12, had lost one of his previous 31 matches against the Frenchman and had not lost to a player ranked as low as Gasquet in a grand slam arena for five years.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a shot during his match against Richard Gasquet of France at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 10, 2015.                        REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth