Dan Ripley for MailOnline

  • Dan Ripley

    Host commentator

Federer’s response is to win the next three points, but Murray stays in it with a delicious passing winner and then another for 40-30.

The Federer serve is still proving too strong though as Murray’s attempts to return from out wide just drop short of the net.

Andy Murray sits in his chair during a change of ends against Roger Federer

Bit of fortune for Murray, but in truth Federer hardly got a look in as the Brit holds to love.

One of Murray’s serve was correctly called out, only for the umpire to over rule.

It’s a first double fault for Federer to give Murray an early lead but a fifth smash winner levels up.

Federer then fires well wide in a baseline rally, bringing big applause and ‘come on Murray’ shouts at 15-30.

Two Murray errors hand Federer the momentum though before a baseline rally ends with Murray again just overhitting the baseline.

Kim Murray (right) chats to Andy’s coach Amelie Mauresmo, with James Ward sat directly behind them

More trouble for Murray. The crowd noise goes up as Federer gains a break point, but presented with a chance to dispatch a winner down the line, the seven-time champion’s shot skips wide to bring deuce.

There Murray lets out a huge cheer after he holds serve following two Federer errors.

Here is how Federer took the first set:

‘Murray is battling so hard out there, but every time Federer is on serve he makes it clear that this is his turf.’

Murray is keeping at this. At 30-30 Federer was under pressure on the second serve but a charge to the net leads to a fifth winner with a volley before the seven-time champion serves out.

Andy Murray salutes to the crowd after winning a point against Roger Federer

Good response to that break from Murray who hits his third ace of the match. Even the umpire is struggling to keep with the pace of this match as he stutters on announcing 40-30, drawing laughter from the crowd before the Brit serves out.

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after winning the first set

As good as Federer is playing I can’t say I saw that break of serve coming. To the seven-time’s champion credit though he hit 11 aces, 23 winners and had a first serve of 85 per cent in the first set as he opens up the second with a hold to love.

We haven’t seen Murray put under too much pressure on serve, but Federer pounces late on in the first set!

An extraordinary passing winner with incredible power flies past Murray to bring up two set points, but despite saving the first with a winner down the line, the Brit can’t save the second as Federer breaks.

Roger Federer broke late on to take the first set against Andy Murray

‘Incredible serving from Federer, who has clearly decided that he’ll take a few passes and lobs going by him if he has to at the net We are going at breakneck pace.’

Where did Murray pull that from?! Federer played all the correct shots, making the Scot chase around the court like a cat after a mouse, only for the Scot to somehow reach out and hit a passing winner.

Federer’s response was to hit an ace out wide, it was so accurate that it was called out before a successful challenge from the Swiss handed him the point before he went on to hold serve. Murray now serves to force a tie-break.

Andy Murray chases a return against Roger Federer during their semi-final

Anything Roger can do, Andy can do better (or just as well, anyway).

I’m handing this small battle to Murray though whose serve is too much for Federer with the Brit holding to love.

Two Federer aces give the Swiss an edge but Murray hits back with another one of those cheeky lobs. Federer, clearly not happy about being lobbed again, reacts by powering yet another ace out wide to hold. Murray now serves to stay in the first set.

Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns to Britain’s Andy Murray in front of a packed Centre Court

Another hold at arm’s length for Murray, with Federer’s attempted winner out wide not troubling the permitted boundaries. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this shapes up tactically later in the match.

Yikes! This set has flown by. There have been no breaks but in 20 minutes we have already seen some brilliant play from both players as Federer edges ahead. Already we approach the business end of the set.

Kim Murray cheers on her husband Andy from inside Centre Court

That pesky Federer is so good at the net. Murray somehow keeps in one attempted winner with a passing shot but the Swiss star soon dispatches the return with a delicate drop shot.

Murray wins his first point on his second serve for 40-30 before rifling an ace out wide to hold. Superb stuff on Centre at the moment.

‘I’ve checked the cheer-o-meter and Murray is just edging it at the moment. Still a lot of love for Federer, who has won here seven times.’

It’s worth noting that the ‘cheer-o-meter’ Sam refers to is one of the finest in the journalistic world.

Blink and you would have missed that service game. Federer rifles down his tenth winner for 40-0 before serving an ace down the T to hold with ease. Federer’s most convincing game by far.

Murray’s serve is looking very strong thus far, with Federer hardly getting a look in as the Brit serves out to 15. The Swiss star is having a little trouble with the dusty baselines right now – but remember it’s the same for both players.

Andy Murray (left) of Great Britain and Roger Federer of Switzerland pose before the start of the semi-final

The many that are here are making enough noise, with fans roaring Murray on as he sneaks a winner down the line.

There is no trouble on the Federer serve this time though as he holds without deuce. A few fist pumps from the seven-time champion already indicates he knows he is in for a tough test.

‘Can’t get over the empty seats. There are great chunks of them. Who gets Centre Court semi-final tickets and thinks, ‘Nah, can’t be bothered with that?”

The Murray serve starts off strong but at 30-0 there is an early double fault for the Brit. Federer challenges a serve without success, before the Swiss star fails to return to enable an easy hold.

By far the biggest match of the tournament so far gets underway then, with Federer serving to start the semi-final.

Murray has Britain’s James Ward inside his box at Centre Court for this and already the Scot is on fire, hitting a delicate lob, and a winner down the line to bring up break point. Murray netted a return into the net for deuce though.

Federer challenged a line call correctly to gain advantage before serving out – what a start!

I just wonder where the crowd will be today. No doubt Andy Murray will at least have 50 per cent of the support but make no mistake, Federer has a strong following – even in Britain – and he will have some vocal backing inside Centre Court.

‘Murray and Federer will be taking to the court at 4.05 pm. I’m guessing this is to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs (and buy something) and allow more people to get home from work to see it.

‘The consensus among tennis sages is that Murray is the marginal favourite here. I would say it is even tighter than that, and the hot weather probably plays slightly in the Swiss’s favour as the conditions will be quick.

‘What I will be looking for early on is what happens on Federer’s early charges to the net – how effectively will he smother it and how effective will Murray’s attempts be to counter it?

‘There will be a lot of attention on how the crowd is, and it is important for Murray that they get right behind him.

‘One of these players often underperforms when they meet but you have to be optimistic that is not one of those days.’

‘Selfies galore on Centre Court at the moment as everyone wants that little reminder of the time they witnessed Andy Murray versus Roger Federer at a Wimbledon semi-final.’

If Novak Djokovic is injured he certainly doesn’t look concerned, claiming in his post-match interview that the injury is ‘nothing that concerns him’ ahead of the Wimbledon final.

Former US Open champion Andy Roddick isn’t convinced, claiming on the BBC that the call for the trainer was not tactical due to his strong position he held throughout the match.

I’m sure Sunday will reveal all but here is how Djokovic won the semi-final against Gasquet:

Because coming up in half-an-hour is Andy Murray vs Roger Federer – you’d be stark raving bonkers to miss that!

Even the net cord didn’t favour Gasquet today, as a slight deflection saw Djokovic move 30-0 up before a timely ace down the T brought up three match points.

The Serbian only needed one, hitting a passing winner near the net to reach his fourth Wimbledon final in five years.

Gasquet fought well, but Djokovic’s serve was too much as the defending champion triumphs 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-4 in two hours and 20 minutes.

The end is close, but it could have been even closer as Gasquet saved match point after Djokovic attacked the net, only to overhit the baseline.

Gasquet then saved another in a similar fashion, before (just about) serving out. Djokovic now serves for a place in the Wimbledon final.

Novak Djokovic served for a place in the Wimbledon final in the third set

‘It is all but inevitable that Djokovic will reach the final again. One thing that might hearten whoever he plays on Sunday is the way he has slipped up on several occasions around the baseline.

‘Djokovic has never liked the rutted surface that develops as the tournament goes on, and with the hot weather in the next 48 hours that effect is only likely to increase.

‘So far this has been a pretty decent hors d’oeuvres, but you have never had the feeling Gasquet would cause an upset.’

Novak Djokovic slips after attempting to return a shot against Richard Gasquet

Wonderful play from Djokovic. At times he has looked like he is going through the motions in this set but the brilliance has come through as he times a back hand winner across the net with perfect weight and acuracy, and just to prove he can mix it up then thunders another back hand winner down the line. Gasquet serves to stay in the match.

The fight is going, but it’s not quite gone! Almost blind to the net, Gasquet hits a superb winner running back to the baseline which proves rather useful in helping him hold.

Another routine hold for Djokovic, this time to 15. Gasquet looks resigned to his fate now with Novak’s serve looking as strong as ever.

Gasquet changes tactics and it at least turns around a service game which was running away from him.

Already 0-30 down, a Djokovic slip allows the Frenchman back in before a rare serve and volley coupled with an even rarer Djokovic error at the net sees the Frenchman hold on.

Novak Djokovic is handed a towel by a boy girl during his semi-final against Gasquet

And that final is surely on the horizon now as Djokovic holds to love. Is the Gasquet engine finally running out of steam?

‘Novak Djokovic two sets up. He is 161-1 when winning the first two sets in a best-of-five-set match.

‘I can’t see Richard Gasquet joining Jurgen Melzer (Roland Garros 2010) as the only man to beat Djokovic from two sets down.’

Here is how Djokovic took the second set:

Gasquet looked to have lost serve after a return was called out, but after challenging is rewarded as the ball did in fact just kiss the baseline.

Djokovic, already halfway towards the turnaround, looked furious as the evidence flashed on the big screen, but it only delayed the inevitable as Novak soon broke in deuce to put him well on course for the final.

Ah Gasquet, what could have been. At 0-30 on the Djokovic serve, the duo exchange a rally before the Frenchman hits way out on the forehand.

It allows Novak a route back to win the following two points, before even the back hand lets Gasquet down as he slices into the net after charging forward.

Anyway back for Gasquet now? It will be some turnaround if he could. It will also have to be in five sets, and seeing as he needed the full five to defeat Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals I do wonder if there is enough left in the Frenchman’s tank.

A wobbly but positive start to the set for Gasquet who through deuce serves an ace to hold.

Novak Djokovic receives treatment in the latter stages of the second set

The trainer is back on for Djokovic, massaging what looks like his upper back.

A second double fault for Novak brings up 15-15 and murmurs from the crowd perhaps suggest they are siding with the underdog, Gasquet.

But Djokovic hits back, with an ace down the T (with its usual thump) bringing up set point, which the Serbian takes after Gasquet overhits the baseline on return.

This is crunch time in this match. You feel Gasquet needs to hang on in this second set to have a strong chance of winning overall.

And the Frenchman is at least making a fight of it, hitting another one of those delicious back hands across court for 40-15 before serving out. Djokovic now serves for the second set.

Spectators on Henman Hill watch the first-semi-final on the big screens at Wimbledon

Djokovic called for the trainer in the changeover – is there a physical problem or two for Novak?

If there are he is not clearly showing it as the Serbian holds to 30. Gasquet now serves to stay in the second set.

Perfect response from Gasquet who holds to love with Djokovic overhitting a serve over the baseline. A quick game that, and with the changeover now in flow both players look forward to a well earned drink.

This is much more like Djokovic who tears into Gasquet after holding to 15. The highlight of the game being a flick of the wrist to add topspin to a crosscourt forehand winner. No way back into the set for Gasquet if Novak continues like this on serve.

Not seen too many of those. Gasquet’s serve has been below standard today but he does produce his third ace for 40-15.

That is followed by a double fault, before another ace down the T to hold. Inconsistency at its purest.

Novak Djokovic returns to France’s Richard Gasquet during the semi-final at a packed Centre Court

Now then, Gasquet is again working his way into the set, chasing towards the net to just about scoop the ball over for a winner for 30-15 – it gets better too with Djokovic appealing to his coaches after conceding two break points.

The Serbian saves one with ease, before firing an ace out wide for another. Two break points gone for Gasquet and in truth he had no chance to do anything with either.

There are no second chances neither as Djokovic serves out in deuce.

Gasquet wobbles again – conceding another break point – before this time serving his way out of trouble in deuce.

Meanwhile, all is not going well it seems between Henry and Ferguson in the Royal Box. It all started so well following that warm greeting too…

From Sportsmail’s Sam Cunningham at Wimbledon:

‘Henry had his back to him during the last break in play. Fergie looked p****d off.’

Thierry Henry (centre) was sat close Sir Alex Ferguson in the Royal Box. Bjorn Borg (bottom left) was also in attendance

Djokovic takes it up a level. Gasquet advances to the net but that still can’t prevent Novak from hitting a back hand passing winner while off balance.

Here is how Djokovic took the opening set:

Test of character coming up for Gasquet who serves to open up the second set. And just like the first set, it doesn’t start well as he concedes break point only for another one of those back hand stunners into the corner to bail him out for deuce.

That back hand isn’t always perfect though, and a low return into the net sets up another break point which Djokovic punishes with a passing winner.

A tough first set to lose for Gasquet who for so long looked the match for Djokovic before an overhit backhand led to a collapse in the tie-break.

Dokovic took the first mini-break to lead 2-1 after Gasquet overhit the baseline, but that didn’t last long as Novak then found the top of the net on return.

Gasquet blew a big chance to hit a winner with a rare overhit backhand creeping over the baseline before another saw Djokovic lead 4-2.

From there Djokovic took an iron grip, eventually serving out the tie-break to 2.

Richard Gasquet (left) returns to Novak Djokovic during their closely fought first set

So can Gasquet hold when it matters most? You bet he can! Straightforward stuff from the back-hand specialist who hardly gives Djokovic a sniff. A tie-break seems very apt for a very close first set.

‘Nice moment in the press room as 1960 Wimbledon champion Neale Fraser came in to seek out his namesake Stuart Fraser of Sportsmail to say thank you for the piece he wrote about him in today’s paper.

‘Neale and his brother John are the last brothers since the Murrays to make both semi-finals of Wimbledon, in 1962. And no, they are not long lost cousins.’

I love those aces that just produce a thump as they hit the wall. It’s a fourth of the match for Djokovic, who adds his own chapter on back hand winners with a passing shot for 30-15 before serving out to hold.

Gasquet now serves to take this enthralling set into a tie-break.

Novak Djokovic slips and drops his racket after trying to return to Richard Gasquet

Hoe does the Frenchman respond to throwing away a promising opportunity to break the Djokovic serve?

By holding with ease of course. Kids, if you want a back-hand masterclass watch this match, tape it and etch it into your heads because Gasquet has fired another superb winner down the line on the way to holding serve.

What a chance gone for Gasquet! Already 0-15 up, the Frenchman hits a dead simple smash wide (even the crowd took a few moments to realise he missed!), and that’s just the shot in the arm Novak needs as he then goes on to serve out.

I do love the way Djokovic slides his way across court – even when it’s totally in vain. The Serbian ends up on the floor in a losing battle to win a point as he stretches to reach Gasquet’s returns.

That’s when Djokovic can even reach them. A delicious back hand winner from Gasquet down the line helps power the Frenchman to a service hold.

More evidence of that Djokovic frustration? The Serbian double faults to open up serve and after firing an attempted winner wide challenges the call out of hope rather than expectation.

But the defending champ isn’t totally lost, unleashing a ferocious crosscourt back hand winner to hold.

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar (left centre) was in attendance on Centre Court

Djokovic is looking frustrated. The defending champion is certainly not showing his overall class and he’s had his chances.

Gasquet’s first serves are hovering around 50 per cent, but the Frenchman is battling well as he holds again. 

Crickey, Gasquet really is a back-hand demon. Djokovic is left rooted as the Frenchman sends a winner down the line for 15-30.

At 30-30, Gasquet somehow keeps returning in a net rally but it becomes one too many as Djokovic backhands across court before the Serbian serves out. A brilliant start to this match.

Richard Gasquet of France responded well after being broken early in the match

And we are all square again. Gasquet holds to 15 and is looking comfortable on Centre Court now. The back-hand specialist even exchanges a backhand baseline rally with Djokovic which the Serbian powers into the net. Over to you, Novak…

But this was something we didn’t see yesterday with Sharapova! Gasquet takes the fight to the Djokovic serve, fighting back from 30-0 to bring up deuce.

The Frenchman even gains break point, but is given no chance to do much with it as Djokovic aces out wide. What nerve!

But Gasquet soon finds another break point and this time takes it to sensationally put this set back on serve.

Novak Djokovic broke early against Richard Gasquet but was broken straight back

We saw what happened yesterday with Maria Sharapova after she was broken in her opening service game, could Gasquet be heading the same way?

The Frenchman was up 40-15 but soon falls flat as Djokovic breaks in deuce. I wonder what Thierry Henry and Sir Alex Ferguson made of that inside Centre Court?

Thierry Henry (left) shakes hands with Sir Alex Ferguson (right) in the Royal Box

The former Arsenal striker, with Andrea Rajacic, and the former Manchester United manager were sat in close attendance on Centre Court

Novak Djokovic will serve first then to get the semi-finals underway. No nonsense from the defending champion to start as he races 40-0 up, before Richard Gasquet scores his first point after Djokovic finds the net.

A wide forehand from Novak brings up 40-30 but a serve down the T is too much for Gasquet who returns over the baseline.

‘Eight years since reaching the semi-finals here in 2007, Richard Gasquet is back in the last-four.

‘He may never have quite fulfilled the expectations of some when he first burst onto the scene as a teenager in 2005, but he is still a dangerous opponent on the grass.

‘Still, hard to see how he can beat Novak Djokovic over the best of five sets. The world No 1 leads their head-to-head record 12-1.

‘If Gasquet is to give Djokovic a scare, he will have to play just like Stan Wawrinka in last month’s Roland Garros final and go for winner after winner. I’m not sure he has it in him both physically and mentally, though.’

Very few spare seats are around and I expect those to be quickly filled in once serves up between Djokovic and Gasquet.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion has arrived at day 11 dressed as a tennis net. It will be all-white when he takes to Centre Court later on, speaking of which, Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasquet should be out very shortly for their semi-final.

Roger Federer practises before his men’s semi-final with Andy Murray later on

Federer looks on from the practice court at Wimbledon

In fact so popular even his practice hits draw a full house.

‘A real A lister day in the Royal Box and they just keep coming – Olly Murs has now appeared on the players’ lawn in a suit with a very short pair of trousers.

‘We’ve had Garbine Muguruza’s pre-final press conference – she captivated her audience. Definitely a new star.’

Mike’s not wrong. Charles Dance and Dame Shirley Bassey are also here. Bassey apparently quite neat with the ol’ backhand. Who knew? 

The defending champion and the outsider to win the tournament will serve up from 1pm…

Sienna Miller is also on the tennis action as the actress arrives at SW19.

Sienna Miller arrives on men’s semi-final day at Wimbledon

Sienna Miller signs autographs for a fan following her arrival at SW19

Well I throw this one over to Brad Gilbert, who has assessed the serve, volley, forehand, backhand and movement from both players ahead of the semi-final.

Click here to read the full report from Murray’s former coach.

Andy Murray makes his way through the crowd ahead of a practice session on day 11 of the Wimbledon Championships

The Brit will take on Roger Federer later on this afternoon in the men’s semi-finals

Murray practices ahead of his last four clash as he attempts to reach his third Wimbledon final

..because judging by the lovely sunny weather, it’s not seeing any involvement this afternoon.

‘Football royalty populate a star-laden royal box today. Thierry Henry is there with his girlfriend Andrea Rajacic while Sir Alex Ferguson will cheer on his Scottish pal Andy Murray.

‘Sachin Tendulkar and Rod Laver, two of the greatest their sports have ever seen, is on the list.

‘So is Bjorn Borg, whose ice veins will be tested in this high summer heat. Dame Shirley Bassey in also scheduled for the posh seats.’

But prepare for the long haul folks, because this could very well be a slog – and an enjoyable one at that.

Britain’s Andy Murray will be in action against Roger Federer later on (five sets anyone?) but first up it’s the defending champion Novak Djokovic who is heavy favourite against Richard Gasquet (three sets anyone?)

People queue to attend day 11 of the Wimbledon Championships



Three Wimbledon champions line up on Centre Court, but only one is guaranteed a place in the final as the last four of the men’s singles takes the spotlight on day 11 of the championships.

First up is defending champion Novak Djokovic who will be a huge favourite to defeat Stan Wawrinka’s quarter-finals conqueror Richard Gasquet when the duo serve up play at 1pm.

Following on is arguably the highlight of the day as 2013 winner and Britain’s Andy Murray takes on seven-time champion and fan favourite Roger Federer.

Follow Sportsmail’s coverage of both semi-finals as they happen.

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