The 2012 Wimbledon men’s main draw singles semi finals are now set. The semi finals will be played on Friday 6 July beginning at 1pm local time in London, United Kingdom. In this post what happened in the quarter finals, plenty of interesting facts and figures about the four players in the semi finals and their head-to-head records will be covered.
From the initial 240 men playing at Wimbledon this year (112 main draw + 128 qualifiers), only the four best players remain. The trophy, “The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Champion of the World”, a maximum of 2,000 ATP ranking points, £1,150,000 (pounds sterling) for the winner and the coveted Wimbledon singles title will be won by the player that is able to perform best in the semi finals and again in Sunday’s final.
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The 2012 Wimbledon men’s singles semi finals are:
First match on centre court – Novak DJOKOVIC  v  Roger FEDERER
Followed by- Andy MURRAY  v  Jo-Wilfried TSONGA
In the quarter final matches played on Wednesday 4 July current World No.1 and defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic played against No.31 seed Florian Mayer of Germany. The 28-year-old Mayer was playing in his second career Grand Slam quarter fi.al after first doing so at Wimbledon in 2004 in playing in just his third Grand Slam singles main draw event.
The 25-year-old Djokovic won through to his 16th career and 9th straight Grand Slam semi final in 1 hour and 45 minutes, 6-4 6-1 6-4. The 1.88m Djokovic has won 8 of these Grand Slam semi finals, including 6 of his past 7 with his last loss being against Federer at Roland Garros in 2011. The Serbian is playing in his fourth Wimbledon semi final this year (also 2007, 2010 and 2011) after losing just the one set against No.28 seed Radek Stepanek in the 3rd round to extend his career record at Wimbledon to 32-6.
Roger Federer played on centre court at the same time as Djokovic played on court 1 in the quarter finals and he played against No.26 seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. Federer last won Wimbledon in 2009, he is a 6-time Wimbledon champion. The 30-year-old Youzhny was bidding to make his first Grand Slam semi final after making the quarter finals twice before: at the Australian Open in 2008 and Roland Garros in 2010. Federer is pictured above after making contact with the ball during his effective and efficient service action at Wimbledon.
The 30-year-old Federer won through to his 32nd career and 4th straight Grand Slam semi final in 1 hour and 22 minutes, 6-1 6-2 6-2. The 1.85m Federer has won 23 of his Grand Slam semi finals thus far, including all 7 that he has played at Wimbledon and has now extended his career record at Wimbledon to 64-7. The Swiss can regain the World No.1 ranking by winning a record equalling 7th Wimbledon final and equal another Pete Sampras record, 286 weeks spent ranked No.1. Federer was perilously close to losing in the 3rd round to No.29 seed Julien Benneteau after being 2 sets to love down and at 6 points all in the fourth set tie break.
What Djokovic said about his semi final opponent, “Roger has been on the top of the men’s game for so long. This is where he won six titles. He definitely wants to prove himself and to everybody else that he can win it once again.”
What Federer said about his semi final opponent, “It is interesting that this is our first grass court match. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a good tournament so far for me. I’m happy I’m feeling good again. It gives me confidence going into a big match against Novak.”
Andy Murray played on centre court straight after Federer in the quarter finals. Murray played against No.7 seed David Ferrer of Spain in his 13th Grand Slam quarter final in a rematch of the 2012 Roland Garros quarter final won by the 1.75m Ferrer. The 30-year-old Ferrer who already achieved his career best at Wimbledon was bidding to complete his Grand Slam semi final set.
The 1.9m Murray won in 3 hours and 52 minutes, 6-7(5-7), 7-6(8-6), 6-4, 7-6(7-4) to extend his career record at Wimbledon to 29-6. The Scot has won 3 of his 9 Grand Slam semi finals thus far, twice at the Australian Open and once at the US Open. Can Murray become the most recent male Grand Slam singles champion from Great Britain since Fred Perry in 1936?
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga played on court 1 straight after Djokovic in the quarter finals against No.27 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany. The 28-year-old Kohlschreiber had already achieved his career best at Wimbledon and in a Grand Slam singles event.
The 27-year-old Tsonga won his 8th career Grand Slam semi final to progress to his 4th semi final and 2nd straight Wimbledon semi final. The 1.88m Tsonga won in 2 hours and 48 minutes, 7-6(7-5), 4-6, 7-6(7-3), 6-2 to extend his career record at Wimbledon to 18-4. The Frenchman has won 1 of his 3 Grand Slam semi finals thus far, back in 2008 at the Australian Open. Can Tsonga become the most recent male Grand Slam singles champion from France since Yannick Noah in 1983?
The head-to-head records for the semi final match-ups are:
In the battle for a first ever Wimbledon final for the victor, Murray goes in with the home crowd advantage and leading Tsonga with 5 wins to 1 in their previous matches on the ATP Tour. Murray won the most recent encounter at the 2011 Queen’s Club final in London 3-6, 7-6(7-2), 6-4 on a grass court. Murray has won their past 4 matches and the pair have played on grass twice already including at Wimbledon in 2010. Tsonga defeated Murray at the Australian Open and on the challenger tour on grass at Nottingham in 2004.
In the battle for World No.1 and being the short favourite to take the Wimbledon title, Federer goes in leading Djokovic with 14 wins to 12 in their previous matches. Djokovic won the most recent encounter at the 2012 Roland Garros semi final in Paris 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. Djokovic has won 6 of their past 7 matches and they are 8-7 Djokovic in their last 15 matches. The pair are meeting in the semi finals of a Grand Slam for the fifth time in the past seven slams. Djokovic and Federer are tied at 5 wins each when they have met in Grand Slams. Interestingly, this is their first ever tour match on a grass court.
Who are your predictions to make this year’s Wimbledon final?
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photo credit: mbevis