Seven-time champion Roger Federer produced a sublime performance to end Andy Murray’s hopes of a second Wimbledon title to reach his tenth final at SW19.
The contest was billed as a heavyweight showdown but the Swiss maestro made a mockery of the pre-match predictions, securing a clinical 7-5 7-5 6-4 win by breaking Murray in the final game of each set.
The imperious Federer will now play Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s showpiece in a repeat of last year’s final after the world number one delivered a similarly efficient display in beating Richard Gasquet in the earlier semi-final.
Murray, meanwhile, will reflect on an extremely promising two weeks which only came to an end due to the sheer brilliance of Federer, who rolled back the years with his performance.
The Centre Court crowd appeared unusually split in loyalties given a Brit was on his show, such is Federer’s unrivalled status at SW19, and they were treated to some glorious tennis in the opening stages.
Federer’s serve was tipped as the crucial component in the destiny of the contest and, after saving an early breaking point, the Swiss star didn’t face another, duly producing 20 aces with his first-serve percentage nearing a remarkable 80%.
After taking the first set with a break in the 11th game, Federer continued to race through his service games in the second set while at the same time applying pressure on Murray’s, forcing the world number three to save six set points at 5-4.
While Murray rose to the challenge, Federer duly broke in the Scot’s next service game before claiming the third set in similarly efficient fashion.
The result means Federer maintains his bid to surpass Pete Sampras’s record of seven Wimbledon titles and has a chance at retribution after a gruelling five-set defeat to Djokovic in last year’s final.