He is known for his formidable return of serve, and it is likely to need to be at its very best if Britain’s Andy Murray is to reach his third Wimbledon final today.
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Standing between Murray and a clash with either Novak Djokovic or Richard Gasquet is a man whose serving has been nigh-on flawless for the first week and a half of the tournament.
In his five matches on the way to this afternoon’s semi-final, seven-time champion Roger Federer has lost just one of 73 service games, and faced only three break points.
Those numbers are testament to Federer’s serene progress towards a 10th appearance in Wimbledon’s last four and have got the pundits eulogising the evergreen Swiss once more.
“Roger is playing brilliantly,” said former British No1 John Lloyd. “He’s gone into this serving-machine mode at the moment. He’s attacking with his serve and volley, mixing it up with his slice.”
Three-time finalist Andy Roddick also paid tribute to the 33-year-old’s variety. “He’s able to run his second serve to different places: a short little kick-out or a hard kick-out, a slice second serve into the body. He moves his serve around,” Roddick said.
“It’s not so much the pace. I hit it hard; he places it a lot better than I did.”
Murray, who lost the 2012 final to Federer but lifted the title 12 months later, has been no slouch either, dropping just two sets on his way to a sixth Wimbledon semi-final in seven years. His returning prowess has also been in evidence, with only Gasquet winning more points on opponents’ first serve than the Scot.
Murray was widely tipped to win the championship after a strong first half of 2015, but will have to end a three-match losing sequence against Federer that includes last year’s 6-0, 6-1 humiliation at the ATP World Tour Finals in London if he is to do so.
“I picked Andy to win at the start of the tournament,” said Lloyd. “I’ve not seen anything to change my mind, but he’s going to have to be at his best.”