Swiss ace creates record of 116 consecutive unbroken service games en route to beating Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 in their quarter-final clash
London: Roger Federer set a new serving record as he defeated Gilles Simon to book a Wimbledon semi-final with Andy Murray. Federer extended his latest bid for a record eighth Wimbledon crown by dismissing France’s World No 13 Simon 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 in a commanding display of grass court mastery.
Roger Federer serves to Gilles Simon during their quarter-final match at Wimbledon. Pic/AFP
Wimbledon’s second seed eclipsed Wayne Arthurs’ 16-year-old record of 111 consecutive unbroken service games — reaching 116 in a run that began before Wimbledon, before dropping serve late in the second set — on his way to reaching a 10th semi-final in SW19.
Federer knew he would face the winner between Murray and Vasek Pospisil in the Last Four, carrying with him the ominous portent that he has never lost in the Last Four at Wimbledon.
Grass king Federer still covets that elusive eighth Wimbledon title that would push him past Pete Sampras into outright ownership of the greatest men’s haul at the All England Club.
His imperious form in south-west London so far this year suggests only a performance of true magnitude will deny him that acclaim.
Federer had predicted his service streak would end against Frenchman Simon.
And so it proved that the 33-year-old’s serving run came to an end, Simon stopping Federer serving out the second set, only for his form to collapse straight away.
Federer still pushed his remarkable serving streak long enough to steal the record however, before admitting his response to that break was crucial in victory.
“The reaction was always going to be important for me once the streak ended and the serve was broken,” said Federer. “I think I was able to do that because Gilles is obviously a quality return player and the game I got broken he was too good, so no problems to accept that.”
Tennis great Rod Laver took in Federer’s victory march, while Hollywood star Bradley Cooper kept Federer’s wife Mirka company in the players’ box. Federer had downplayed the significance of his service run ahead of this clash, and may well just feel that the end of his streak relieves a slight level of pressure as he chases that record Wimbledon title.
Federer is hardly the type to let records affect his approach, especially when serving for a set, but there can be no doubt the end of his stunning service streak will leave the focus elsewhere ahead of his Last-Four clash.