Roger Federer will face Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon final
WIMBLEDON, England - Old guys rule. In tennis, of course, that means men in their late 20s, like Novak Djokovic, or early 30s, like Roger Federer.
The talk the last few days at Wimbledon was of the new generation, of the kids taking over. It won't happen this year.
Djokovic, 27, defeated 23-year-old Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7), in the first men's semifinal on Friday. Then Federer, 33, broke serve in the first game and beat 23-year-old Milos Raonic, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
So two of the Big Four will be going at each other for the title Sunday, although Federer -- who was bounced in the second round last year -- was a bit of a surprise, as were the earlier eliminations of the other two, Rafael Nadal and defending champ Andy Murray.
"It was always going to be hard to get rid of all four guys at the same time," Federer said. "Let's just be honest. From that standpoint, I said it before the tournament, it's probably going to be one of the guys we expect to be in the finals. Novak did his end. I was hoping I was going to be the other one. So I'm happy about that."
In temperatures that climbed above 80 degrees, Djokovic, the No. 1 seed and 2011 winner, and Federer, the seven-time champion, kept their cool.
Watched by girlfriend and Grand Slam champ Maria Sharapova, Dimitrov proved erratic and courageous, slipping and sliding on a grass court too torn up from the daily play. He made some beautiful shots while tumbling, but he also double-faulted on three straight serves in one game.
Federer was too solid for Raonic, whose strength is serving but whose groundstrokes couldn't match Federer's.
Djokovic was a finalist at the French Open, losing to Nadal, and last year's U.S. Open and Wimbledon.
"So there is plenty motivation from my side to win after losing [in the final] three of the last four," said Djokovic, who has six Slam titles to Federer's 17. "The key against him is trying to not allow him to dictate too much."
Djokovic has played Federer at Wimbledon only once, in the semis, and Federer won.
"It's a good chance for me," Djokovic said, "on his favorite surface on his favorite court."
Federer was visibly pleased after his win in front of a Centre Court gathering that included Jack Nicklaus and 2013 U.S. Open golf champ Justin Rose, an Englishman.
"After last year I was happy to get through the first round," Federer told the BBC immediately after leaving the court against Raonic. "I didn't play so well last year. But today I played great tennis under pressure.
"I'm unbelievably proud of what I've done here over the years. I can walk these grounds feeling good. I don't have another 10 [years] left, but I get another chance to go through the emotions."
LI's Rubin advances. Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre beat Tim Van Rijthoven, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (7), in the boys junior quarterfinals. He'll play fellow American Taylor Harry Fritz in Saturday's semifinal after Fritz beat Filippo Baldi, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-5.