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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 18 November, 2019

Semi-final bound Federer makes history with 100th Wimbledon win

The Swiss was too good for Kei Nishikori, bringing up a century of singles wins at the All England Club.

Roger Federer, the 20-time major champion.
Roger Federer, the 20-time major champion.

ROGER FEDERER CAME from a set down against Kei Nishikori to move into the semi-finals with a historic 100th victory at Wimbledon.

Nishikori capitalised on a sloppy first set from the 20-time major champion to take the initiative on Wednesday, but normal service was resumed as the second seed triumphed 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-4.

It was another landmark day for the Swiss, who is the first man to claim a century of singles wins at a grand slam event.

Federer will take on old foe Rafael Nadal, who defeated Sam Querrey in straight sets, in the last four after striking 55 winners and 12 aces in another imperious Centre Court display.

Eighth seed Nishikori made a blistering start, breaking in the opening game with a volley after a sublime winner and he had three points for a 3-0 lead, but Federer dug in to get on the board.

Still, a composed Nishikori was in control, saving the only break point he faced in an opening set which he wrapped up when Federer was foxed by a looping forehand.

Federer was a different player at the start of the second, however, breaking to love in the opening game with a rasping inside-out forehand.

Nishikori was making too many unforced errors and Federer wasted no time in getting back on level terms, casually putting away a simple winner to make it a set apiece.

The world number seven fended off a break point in a long first game of the third set, but Federer’s patience paid off when he went a break up at 4-3 with a searing forehand winner.

The eight-time champion steered away a volley to move a set away from victory and raised the roof with a majestic backhand winner on the run as he piled the pressure on.

He breezed through his service games but Nishikori put a fight, saving a string of break points until another unforced error put his opponent 5-4 up and on the brink of victory.

Federer duly served it out with ease, cruising into his 45th major semi-final and a 13th at SW19.

He’ll now face Nadal and, speaking after today’s match, the Swiss said he wasn’t going to let himself look past the job at hand.

I didn’t think of it while I was playing today. Actually not at all, not once. Then as I’m signing, the guy says, ‘Congratulations for your 100′. Oh, yeah, I didn’t know. I forgot.

“It’s nice, because if I look back at the hundred that have happened, some were so incredibly cool. Today again was a big match going into the semis, facing Rafa.

Yeah, a hundred wins here at Wimbledon. Who would have thought? I didn’t, for sure.”

Federer added of Nadal: “He’s improved so much over the years on this surface. He’s playing also very different than he used to. We haven’t played each other in a long, long time on this surface.

“He’s serving way different. I remember back in the day how he used to serve, and now how much bigger he’s serving, how much faster he finishes points.

It’s impressive to see how sort of healthy he’s stayed. A lot of them are saying, ‘Oh, it’s the end,’ by 2008. Similar to me in ’09. We’re still here. So it’s nice to play each other again.”

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