Tomas Berdych played some of the best tennis of his career. He challenged at the net, returned with blistering pace and produced steady groundstrokes.
It still wasn’t enough to beat Roger Federer, much less take a set from him. The 35-year-old Swiss superstar is into the final for the 11th time in his 19 Wimbledon appearances with a 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-4), 6-4 win over Berdych. Federer has not dropped a set in the tournament this year.
The victory, though in straight sets, did not come easily for the 18-time major champion. He had 19 unforced errors — more than he’s had in any other match this tournament — and an uncharacteristic four double-faults. But as has been the case for so many years, Federer not at his absolute best is still more than good enough, at times still overwhelming.
Berdych battled valiantly, as the two tiebreakers would suggest. The lanky Czech mixed coming to the net with powerful baseline strokes and had the six-time Wimbledon champ muttering to himself in frustration on the surface he so adores. But Federer was brilliant in both tiebreaks and got a crucial break midway through the third set to cruise home.
On Sunday, Federer will face Marin Cilic in the final looking for his seventh title at the All England Club. The two met last year in the Wimbledon quarterfinal, where Federer overcame a two-set deficit to win.