LONDON--No longer the automatic favourite every time he steps on court, Roger Federer loves to prove he's still very much a factor in men's tennis.
He did that today in two hours and 19 minutes of largely brilliant play against Novak Djokovic, defeating the No. 1 ranked Serb in four sets to advance to his eighth Wimbledon final in search of his seventh victory.
"I'm ecstatic. I'm so happy," Federer told the BBC afterwards. "I was able to play some fantastic tennis today. The third set was the key to the match, I was able to step it up."
After the two men split the first two sets in just 54 minutes, they both dug in for the third set. Federer saved a break point in the ninth game, then broke a sloppy Djokovic in the next game to win the set. He then broke Djokovic early in the third and cruised to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 triumph in his 27th career match against the Serb.
"Of course, it feels great to be in a Wimbledon final. This is what you play for," said Federer. "I hope I can play a good match on Sunday."
Now 30, relatively old for a tennis player, Federer can reclaim the No. 1 ranking the world by beating either Andy Murray of Scotland or France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Sunday. Murray and Tsonga play the second semifinal this afternoon on Centre Court.
Federer holds the all-time record with 16 Grand Slam titles, but has not won one since the 2010 Australian Open.