LONDON, July 9: Sentimental favourite Roger Federer faces home star Andy Murray for the 24th time on Friday hoping his near perfect Grand Slam grip on the Scot will steer him in to a 10th Wimbledon final.
Federer, who made light work of Frenchman Gilles Simon (6-3, 7-5, 6-2) in the quarter-final on Wednesday, is equal with American Pete Sampras on seven with the most Wimbledon championship triumphs in the Open era.
Such is the anticipation that Friday�s other semi-final between defending champion Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasquet is in danger of becoming a warm-up act.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray defeated Pospisil 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
Federer, at 33 and hoping to become the oldest champion of the Open Era at the All England Club, also came out on top in the 2008 US Open final, the 2010 Australian Open final and last year back in Melbourne in the quarter-finals.
Murray, five years the Swiss star�s junior, won their only other clash at the Grand Slams � a five-set semi-final thriller in Australia in 2013.
Federer, runner-up to Djokovic 12 months ago, will be playing in his 10th Wimbledon semi-final and 37th at all the majors.
Murray, who became Britain�s first men�s Grand Slam title winner since Fred Perry in 1936 when he lifted the Wimbledon title in 2013, is in his sixth All England Club semi-final and 17th at the majors.
Three years on from 2012, when Federer won a seventh Wimbledon and Murray proved he could win big titles by defeating the Swiss in the Olympic final, both men agree that that summer was a crucial point.
�There was a lot on the line with Andy. I think he was going for his first Wimbledon in �12. So obviously it was always going to be tough. He had lost some majors before that (three finals in total),� said Federer.
�Then the Olympics was just a different vibe altogether. I was a bit weathered but Andy played as good a final as you can play.�
The gold medal for Murray was followed by his first Grand Slam title just two months later in New York.
Federer reached Friday�s semi-final with the minimum of fuss, dropping serve just once to Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals which ended a streak of 116 service holds stretching back to the first round in Halle last month.
Murray�s defence of his Wimbledon title ended in the quarter-finals last year but 12 months on the 28-year-old has cruised through the draw, recording his 150th Grand Slam match win in his quarter-final stroll past Vasek Pospisil.
To get to the semi-finals, Murray hasn�t had to beat a player inside the top 20.
Federer has won their last three meetings, including a 6-1, 6-0 rout at the World Tour Finals in their most recent clash at the end of 2014. � AFP