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Champion Djokovic faces Federer in Wimbledon semis

July 5, 2012 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
Novak Djokovic celebrates his quarterfinal victory over Florian Mayer at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic celebrates his quarterfinal victory over Florian Mayer at Wimbledon.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Novak Djokovic to play Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals
  • Djokovic beats Florian Mayer of Germany 6-4 6-1 6-4
  • Federer brushes aside Mikhail Youzhny for just five games
  • Andy Murray to play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in other semifinal

(CNN) -- Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and six-time winner Roger Federer will meet in the last four after both came through quarterfinal matches with comfortable straight sets victories Wednesday.

Federer was at his imperious best as he crushed Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-1 6-2 6-2 with Djokovic later joining him in the semifinals after dispatching Germany's Florian Mayer 6-4 6-1 6-4.

"Roger has been on the top of the men's game for so long. This is where he won six titles. He definitely wants to prove himself and to everybody else that he can win it once again," said Djokovic, who will lose the top ranking if Federer can win a record-extending 17th grand slam title on Sunday.

"Today he won incredibly fast, in straight sets, so we'll see. I'm playing well, I believe. We both have to play at our best in order to get a win. I really have nothing to lose. I'm going to try to win."

Great detail is taken as grounds crews prepare Centre Court for Sunday's historic match between Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London. Federer is seeking to tie the record for most men's singles titles at Wimbledon, and Murray is shooting to become the first British male to win his nation's major singles championship in 76 years. See the action as it unfolds here, and visit CNN.com/tennis for complete coverage.<br/><br/> Great detail is taken as grounds crews prepare Centre Court for Sunday's historic match between Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London. Federer is seeking to tie the record for most men's singles titles at Wimbledon, and Murray is shooting to become the first British male to win his nation's major singles championship in 76 years. See the action as it unfolds here, and visit CNN.com/tennis for complete coverage.

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Britain's home hope Andy Murray will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in the other semifinal after both later won four-set matches.

World number one Djokovic had reached this stage of a grand slam for the ninth successive time, with only Federer, Rod Laver and Ivan Lendl surpassing that record.

He recovered from a slow start, dropping his opening service game, to overpower Mayer, helped by a 20-minute rain delay out on Court One.

When he returned he broke for a second time to take the opening set and two further breaks saw him with a two set lead.

The third set followed a similar pattern as the 25-year-old Serbian produced a string of winners and he took a 5-4 lead before serving out for victory.

Djokovic has beaten Federer in their last three meetings, but the Swiss maestro was even more impressive in seeing off Youzhny on Centre Court, never allowing his opponent the chance to get a foothold in the match.

"It is interesting that this is our first grass-court match. I'm looking forward to it," the 30-year-old Federer said of what will be a record 32nd grand slam semifinal appearance, surpassing Jimmy Connors' total.

"It's been a good tournament so far for me. I'm happy I'm feeling good again. It gives me confidence going into a big match against Novak."

Djokovic is fully aware of the challenge posed by Federer, who is one week short of Pete Sampras' career record of 286 at the top of the world rankings.

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"He is a great champion and has been so dominant and consistent at the grand slams. He is the ultimate challenge on grass courts."

Djokovic is bidding to become the first man since Federer in 2007 to retain the Wimbledon title, and also add to his Australian Open success earlier this year.

World No. 4 Murray kept fans on Centre Court on tenterhooks for nearly four hours before he got past Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer.

Ferrer took a set lead and was a break up in the second before his Scottish opponent established a toehold in the match.

He trailed 5-2 in the second set tiebreaker before hitting back to level and moved ahead when he took the third set.

A brief rain delay halted play at 5-5 in the fourth set before fourth seed Murray returned to win the match 6-7 7-6 6-4 7-6.

It will be his fourth Wimbledon straight semifinal, bidding to become the first British player to win a grand slam since Fred Perry in 1936.

Tsonga will provide stiff opposition but he was extended by German Philipp Kohlschreiber in their clash on Court One.

After dropping the second set, Tsonga, who beat Federer in the quarterfinals last year, emerged a 7-6 4-6 7-6 6-2 winner.

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