Roger Federer and Andy Murray combined for one of the best matches of Wimbledon from a pure technical standpoint in the semifinals on Friday. Both players looked like they were in fine shape to potentially take a finals match against Novak Djokovic, but it was Federer who ultimately looked better and downed Murray, 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.
It wasn't a five-set thriller, but the shot placement was so excellent from both players throughout. They were running all over the court and hitting shots so close to the line that they were constantly challenging the ruling on the court. There were so many perfect shots that often times neither guy tried to make a return as they figured the ball would be going out.
Murray got things started by almost breaking Federer's opening service game, but Federer fought off the break point to hold early. Both players were serving very hard and very well, with multiple shots the other simply didn't even attempt to return. Things finally started heating up when they were on serve with Federer up 6-5 and Murray found himself down a pair of break point attempts. Federer wound up hitting a great shot close to the net, but Murray smashed a forehand right past Federer to fend off the first break. But Federer stole the set with an excellent return on the next serve.
The second set was much of the same, with everything on serve until Murray's service game trailing 4-5. Federer's shot placement was absolutely phenomenal and he had a triple set point attempt. The first one, Murray went big on a second serve to get on the board. Then Federer made a rare mistake on one of his return. On the third attempt, Murray took things to deuce with a monster serve. Things went back and forth a whole lot from there, with both players celebrating each successful shot. The game got to deuce seven times before Murray buried a shot down the line and followed that up with an ace to hold serve.
But the next time around, Federer was successful in breaking Murray's serve at the last minute. Once again, Federer took the set at 7-5, forcing Murray to either side of the court on each successive shot.
In the third set, Murray threatened a break on Federer's second service game, but he ultimately fell short there. The set went much like the others, with both players nailing great shots and serving well, but Federer ultimately getting the edge. Federer took Murray out a game early this time around, sealing the victory.
He'll go on to face Djokovic, the tournament's top seed, in the finals on Sunday. Djokovic is making his third Grand Slam final appearance this year, having won the Australian Open and fallen to Stan Wawrinka in the final at Roland Garros. Djokovic took down Richard Gasquet in his semifinal matchup on Friday, beating him in straight sets. The women's final between Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza is set for Saturday.
SB Nation presents: Serena Williams is the greatest American athlete of our time