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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 July 2007, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Federer returns to final in style
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Roger Federer
Federer has dropped just one set in the tournament so far
Defending champion Roger Federer eased past French 12th seed Richard Gasquet 7-5 6-3 6-4 on Saturday to secure a return to the Wimbledon final.

The world number one was watched by Bjorn Borg as he attempts to match the Swede's five successive titles.

And after he edged a tight first set with the solitary break in game 12, Federer was never threatened.

The Swiss saw off Gasquet in one hour 44 minutes and will face Rafael Nadal in a repeat of last year's final.

606: DEBATE

Federer went into Saturday's match with a 5-1 record over the 21-year-old Frenchman, who was appearing in his first Grand Slam semi-final.

And to stack the odds even further in Federer's favour, Gasquet had needed five long sets to beat Andy Roddick the previous night.

I could see him walking around the dressing room and he's hurting just to tie up his shoe

Federer on Gasquet

Even so, Gasquet had arguably the better of the first set, repeatedly getting to 30-30 on the Federer serve.

The Frenchman looked poised to make the breakthrough in game 11 when he earned two break points, but Federer responded like a champion with an ace a forehand winner.

Moments later the positions were reversed as Federer got to set point, and a thumping pass forced Gasquet to dump his volley in the net.

From nowhere, the Swiss had taken control and he quickly broke on his way to winning the second.

Friday's quarter-final looked to have caught up with Gasquet, who had lengthy treatment on his foot before the start of the third.

And the champion Federer got the key final break with a magnificent backhand pass in game seven, serving out comfortably to seal another date with destiny on Sunday.

"I knew he was going to be tired, no doubt," said Federer. "I could see him warming up and walking around the dressing room and he's hurting just to tie up his shoe.

"But once the body gets warm you sometimes don't feel those problems, so I knew the danger and I think he actually played pretty good under the circumstances.

"Maybe he let his head hang a bit, which is normal being in a tough physical position, playing against me, being down a set and a break.

"But I think he played a phenomenal match yesterday, I enjoyed it so much to see him play that way with over 90 winners.

"That's just incredible tennis and I hope he's going to be at the top of the rankings soon.

Gasquet admitted that the quick turnaround between matches had cost him.

"Everything was difficult because I finished at 8pm yesterday and I play at noon today," said the Frenchman. "I was tired, and I played against Roger....

"It was early for sure. I needed to rest but I couldn't because of the rain (in the last week).

"With the ankle I couldn't run too much. I had two break points and if I take these anything can happen, but it's tough for me to run in the second and third sets. I was tired, and it was Roger."

SEE ALSO
Federer-Gasquet as it happened
07 Jul 07 |  Tennis


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