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Even in twilight zone, Federer still sparkles

Ex-champs Djokovic, Murray get upset ax.

LONDON (AFP) – Roger Federer moved into a 12th Wimbledon semi-final and within touching distance of a record eighth title Wednesday as injury-hit Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic crashed out on a dramatic day at the All England Club.

Swiss maestro Federer eased to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) win over Milos Raonic to become the second oldest Wimbledon semi-finalist of the Open era.

However, defending champion Murray, severely restricted by a right hip injury, was dethroned by Sam Querrey 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 6-1.

Three-time winner Djokovic was also heading for the exit after the second seed quit his quarter-final against Tomas Berdych with a right elbow injury while trailing 7-6 (7/2), 2-0.

It means that Federer will face Berdych in Friday’s semi-finals while Querrey will tackle Marin Cilic after the former US Open champion put out Gilles Muller, the conqueror of Rafael Nadal, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1.

Federer, 35, and playing in his 100th match at the All England Club on Wednesday, is the second oldest man to reach the semi-finals after Ken Rosewall, who finished runner-up in 1974 at the age of 39.

Canadian sixth seed Raonic had knocked out Federer in the semi-finals in 2016, a defeat which led the Swiss superstar to shut down the rest of his season to rest a knee injury.

On Wednesday, Federer matched the big-serving Canadian with 11 aces while crunching a spectacular 46 winners.

He also saved all five break points he faced and has reached the semi-finals without dropping a set.

On Friday, he will take an 18-6 career record over Berdych into their semi-final.

One year after knocking out 2015 champion Djokovic in the third round, 29-year-old Querrey, the world number 28, accounted for Murray.

The big American will be playing in his first semifinal at the majors at the 42nd time of asking.

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