Federer beats good friend Wawrinka to reach 35th Slam semifinal

World number four and seven-time champion Roger Federer advanced to the Wimbledon 2014 semifinal on Wednesday after defeating good friend Stanislas Wawrinka in a four-set thriller. This is Federer’s 35th career Grand Slam semifinal and he’s aiming for a place in his ninth final at the All England Club.

“I’m just really pleased that I’m back strong this year at Wimbledon,” said Federer, made headlines a year ago at this event after a suprise second round exit. “Last year was such a disappointment. I was very deflated leaving Wimbledon on that note. It’s good to be back in the semis. The prospect is very exciting.

“Here clearly on the grass with a serve like that it’s never going to be an easy match,” he said, referring to his upcoming semifinal match against Milos Raonic of Canada. “That’s where you then sort of go back to your own game and say, ‘I’ll take care of my own serves and see what I can do on the return’. That’s my mindset right now.”

As for playing against Wawrinka, he’s what he can say.

“It’s tough [playing Stan],” said Federer. “I must say he played a great first two sets. He struggled with his fitness after that. He was hitting the ball too cleanly for me to do anything. I had to wait two and a half sets to get the first break. He’s hard to get by because we know each other’s patterns really well. We both played at a high level.”

This is Federer’s 14th victory in 16 meetings with compatriot Wawrinka. Their last meeting was in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters back in April with Wawrinka winning and acquiring his first career ATP Masters title. Wawrinka is currently enjoying a stellar season highlighted with his first Grand Slam title win at the Australian Open back in January.

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