Wimbledon: Can Berdych get past the mighty Fed?

Standing between Tomas Berdych and a second Wimbledon final is seven-time champion Roger Federer, who, so far in the tournament, has looked at his best and is yet to lose a set.

Roger Federer stands just two wins away from a record eighth Wimbledon title.   -  AFP

Tomas Berdych ended a dismal losing streak against Novak Djokovic on Wednesday, albeit only when his rival retired hurt in their Wimbledon quarterfinal, but now faces Roger Federer, who he hailed as the "greatest of them all".

The 31-year-old is through to his second successive Wimbledon semifinal, where he will go up against seven-time champion Federer. However, he said he was no more daunted by the Swiss master than he was by Djokovic.

"No matter if it's Roger or if it's Novak, or a guy in the first round, what's most important is myself, my game, belief in what I'm doing," he said. "I just need to go out there and play my best."

He did, though, acknowledge the scale of the task he faced.

"It's a really exceptional tennis player that we have, that our sport has right now," he said of third-seeded Federer.

"There was nobody better in the past - I think he's the greatest of them all. It's a great challenge to have the opportunity to play him."

Berdych has never won a grand slam, although he was Wimbledon runner-up in 2010 when he lost to Rafael Nadal.

Federer stands just two wins away from a record eighth Wimbledon title but faces a perilous trip through the land of the giants if he is to become the tournament's oldest champion.

If he gets past the Czech for the 19th time in 25 meetings, Federer will face either Sam Querrey or Marin Cilic in Sunday's final.

"All three guys are taller and stronger than I am," said Federer.

"I've got to figure out a different way, carve my way through somehow with my slice and my spins, my consistency."

Marin Cilic practices at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon ahead of his semifinal clash versus Sam Querrey.   -  AFP



Croatian Cilic reached the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time with a five-set win over Luxembourg's Gilles Muller on Wednesday and said he now had real belief in his ability to go all the way.

Cilic won his only Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2014 and has been in the last eight at the All England Club for four straight years.

The seventh-seeded Croat said his triumph three years ago at Flushing Meadows transformed his confidence levels.

“I would say winning the US Open has helped me for all these Grand Slams I have played so far, and I believe the rest of my career,” he said.

“Preparation-wise I believe in my own abilities. I believe when coming to these stages of the tournament, I'm going to still be able to play great tennis. I know I have it in me that I can win. That's extremely important,” he said.

Cilic was seen by many observers, including seven-times Wimbledon winner Federer, as the one player from outside the top five who could be a real challenger this year at Wimbledon and that appears to have also boosted the Croat's morale.

With a 4-0 head-to-head record against Querrey, the powerful Croat will be the favourite to meet Federer or Berdych in Sunday's final.

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