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Federer beats Tomas Berdych to reach 11th Wimbledon final

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Roger Federer took on a familiar foe in the Wimbledon semifinals, but it was anything but easy.
Seeking his eighth Wimbledon title and 11th appearance in the finals, Federer defeated 11th-seeded Tomas Berdych 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 on Friday.

Federer, three weeks shy of turning 36, will face seventh-seed Marin Cilic, 28, of Croatia in the Wimbledon finals.

Berdych, from the Czech Republic, beat Federer in the quarterfinals of the Swiss player’s quest for a Wimbledon title in 2010 — and he challenged Federer on Friday at every turn. Federer won the first set 7-6 (4), but got off to a shaky start in the second set. He recovered in the middle, denying Berdych a break that seemed to ignite him, but Berdych didn’t go away. Federer ended up winning the second set, 7-6 (4).

Cilic is in uncharted territory at Wimbledon, but his path has led him to the men’s singles final. He outlasted American Sam Querrey in a hard-fought 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5 victory on Centre Court at the All England Club.

In a high-quality match that featured big serves, deft volleys and drop shots and a number of powerful winners between the two 6-foot-6 players, the Croatian rallied from a break down in the final set and punctuated the victory with a ripped forehand down the line on his second match point.

Querrey took lead after a brief delay late in the opening tiebreaker. With the score 6-6, stewards entered the stands to attend to a woman who needed assistance. The break only lasted a couple of minutes, but Querrey won both points when play resumed, with Cilic missing a pair of backhands, to win a set where neither player had a break point.

Cilic finally managed the first break of serve in the second set, and then went up another break in the third. But Querrey broke back to force another tiebreaker.

In the fourth set, it was Querrey who got an early break. Cilic bounced back and then broke for the fourth time in the final game.

“After that [first tiebreaker], I was just a little bit better on the return games,” Cilic said. “I was making him [play more]on his service games.”

He finished with 25 aces and won 88 percent of the points on his first serve. Cilic also had 70 winners and only 21 unforced errors. Querrey had 46 winners and 26 unforced errors to go with 13 aces.

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