Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will meet for the 40th time on Sunday in a Wimbledon final rematch after they swept through their semi-finals in straight sets on Friday.
Second seed Federer became the oldest finalist in 41 years when he downed Andy Murray 7-5 7-5 6-4, while top seed Djokovic, who beat the brilliant Swiss in five sets in last year’s final, brushed aside Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-4.
Federer, 33, will be playing in his 10th Wimbledon final and 26th at all the grand slams where victory will give him a record eighth All England Club crown and 18th major.
His demolition of 2013 champion Murray was his most impressive in recent years and featured 20 aces, 56 winners and just 11 unforced errors.
He allowed Murray, who he has now defeated in five out of six grand slam clashes, just one break point and that was in the opening game of the two-hour, seven-minute match.
“It’s been tough, Andy has been playing very well this season and there was so much expectation on this match,” said Federer, who is the oldest finalist since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974.
“I had to try to focus and keep holding my serve one more game. You do it so many times you think the break will go against you eventually, but I managed to hold on.
“I was unbelievably happy.”
Federer has a 20-19 winning record over Djokovic but they are 6-6 in the majors.
They have met twice at Wimbledon with Federer winning a semi-final in 2012 on his way to his most recent major triumph and Djokovic gaining revenge in last year’s final.
One of the key moments in Federer’s semi-final was the 10th game of the second set when Murray saved five set points.
In an incredible 15-minute 10th game which went to seven deuces, Murray saved the fifth break point in a sublime 21-shot rally.
But the Federer siege continued and after serving a love game he got the breakthrough in the 12th game, opening the court before swatting away a high, loose response from Murray.
Serve dominated the third set until the 10th game when an unreturned backhand took Federer to match point which he converted when Murray went wide with a forehand.
Djokovic survived an unusually sloppy start and eventually dismissed French 21st seed Gasquet with 12 aces and 46 winners in two hours and 20 minutes on Centre Court.
The 28-year-old will go for his third All England Club title, and his ninth at the majors, when he faces Federer.
“It was a very good performance considering the occasion. Semi-finals are always tough and things could have gone his way in the first set. That was the turning point,” Djokovic said after booking his 17th grand slam final berth and fourth at Wimbledon.
Djokovic played down concerns about a left shoulder injury that twice needed treatment and insisted he would be ready for the final.
“It’s nothing that worries me honestly. It will be fine for the next match,” he said.
“I have a responsibility to play well here in the cradle of tennis. It is an honour to play in the Wimbledon final – the most watched tennis match in the world.
“I’m just glad to reach another final. I will be ready for it.”
For the first time, Djokovic has made the Wimbledon, Australian and French Open finals in the same year.
Djokovic, who also won Wimbledon in 2011, now has a remarkable 47-3 record in 2015 and one more win would give the reigning Australian Open champion his second grand slam this year.
It would also go a long way to erasing the heartache of his French Open final loss against Stan Wawrinka last month, a defeat that denied Djokovic the only major title to elude him.