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By Ajay Tyagi
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Now that the women's final is set and the Williams sisters are ready for a showdown on Saturday, we turn our attention to the men's semifinal which lines up the fabulous foursome pitted against each other. Let's take a thorough look at different equations involving the thrilling semifinal match ups -
Roger Federer vs. Tommy Haas
Federer leads series 9-2
Last Meeting - 2009 French Open Pre-quarterfinals
Federer won 6-7(4), 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2
Five time champion Roger Federer entered this year's championship with an astonishing record-tying 14 Grand Slam titles under his belt. His quarterfinal win over Croatian Ivo Karlovic marked his 21st consecutive entry to a Grand Slam semifinal. The truth is, Federer has been on dictating terms on the Centre court at Wimbledon and no matter what the statistics, Federer has managed to pull the strings together to emerge victorious at the end of the day. Where grass is not the only surface that has seen Federer's domination, a fine example of his on court brilliance came at the 2009 French Open, when after being two sets to love down against Tommy Haas, who happens to be his semifinal opponent here at Wimbledon, Federer snatched the match away from him to pull a marathon five set win. Haas, on the other hand, has found his resurgence on the green grass. At first, it was in Halle at the Gerry Weber Open where he won the first tour title in two years by beating the World No.4 Novak Djokovic in the final, and then it was the quarterfinal at Wimbledon where he re-affirmed his supremacy over the Serbian with a tough four sets win. The fact that Haas is in swashbuckling form from the past two weeks or so brings us to his chances in the semifinal agiainst arguably the best tennis player of all times, Roger Federer. Interestingly, both players have a similar style of play, serve and volley, chip and charge and with such a remarkable athleticism, both present strong contendorship for a place in the finals. Federer may have an edge in the encounter, but Haas does possess a strong chance on a given day.
Andy Murray vs. Andy Roddick
Murray leads series 6-2
Last Meeting - 2009 Qatar EXXON Mobil Open Final
Murray won 6-4, 6-2
Andy Murray has evoked a nationwide euphoria among sporting fans, all hoping for this Briton to win the coveted championship that last belonged to the great Fred Perry. Murray looked impressive in his quarterfinal win against former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero and ensured that he remains the strongest contendor for the title, atleast in the eyes of the home-fans who have now found a new 'Sporting-Hero'. His opponent in the semifinals is another Andy, the American Andy Roddick, who has already tasted Grand Slam success in New York in 2003. A mere look at the player's head-to-head record brightens up the Scot's chances, though from what we saw in the quarterfinals between Roddick and Hewitt tells a different tale altogether. Roddick enthralled in his five set tussle with the 2002 champion Hewitt, firing 43 aces and emerging victorious after three hours and 50 minutes of absolute brilliance to reach the last four. As we compare the style of play, Roddick's serve and volley game favours him on grass and gives him a slight edge in service games. Murray, on the other hand has been consistently impressive with his returns of serve. His pre-quarterfinal agianst Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka produced some scintillating tennis, but in the end it was the Scot's ability to win key points as a returner that made him seal the victory in five. With all the stats already in place, everyone will await the completion of day 11 as the results will clear the image of the 2009 Wimbledon final even more.
So on paper, a Federer-Murray final looks like a strong possibility, but A-Rod looks destined to bring some swashbuckling tennis to the fore to spoil the 'Scottish party'.
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