Federer strolls to final

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The Independent Online

Roger Federer was all class as he made history by becoming the first man to reach seven consecutive Wimbledon finals.

The five-times champion produced some immaculate tennis against a brave but outclassed Tommy Haas to win 7-6 (7/3) 7-5 6-3 and maintain his 100% record in Wimbledon semi-finals.

It was his ninth successive victory over the veteran German and his 50th win at Wimbledon, one short of drawing level with Bjorn Borg, who watched in awe from the Royal Box as Federer clinically disposed of the 24th seed.

A fifth straight-sets win of this year's Championships was just about his most comfortable as he denied Haas a single break point.

Error-free on his serve, Federer caused no end of frustration for his opponent with his ability to land the ball on a sixpence.

The 31-year-old Haas, who blew a two-set lead against Federer in the French Open last month, went shot for shot with the world number two in an opening set that remained on serve throughout.

The German's ploy was clear from the first game as he adopted the serve-and-volley tactics that served him so well against Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Federer got a couple of challenges wrong but just about everything else right, gradually bringing out his full array of shots.

And it was the 27-year-old Swiss ace who took his precision and accuracy into the tie-break, reeling off four points in a row to take it.

There were clear signs of Federer establishing a grip on the game as he reeled off back-to-back love service games early in the second set.

Haas, who produced some of the best tennis of his career to reach his first Wimbledon semi-final, had to work harder to hold his serve and the nerves began to show in the 10th game.

He missed a volley to present Federer with a set point - the first break point of the match - but redeemed himself with a 123mph serve.

It was only a temporary reprieve, however, as he put a forehand long to give his opponent a second set point.

That went by the way but another unforced error, his 20th of the match, enabled Federer to make it third time lucky as he took the second set 7-5.

There was a similar pattern to the third set with Federer starting with two more love service games.

Poor Haas could do little to combat the accuracy of Federer's serve and grew increasingly frustrated as the match began to slip inexorably away.

An unlucky net cord gave his opponent another break point in a prolonged eighth game and there was no way back for him when he netted a backhand to enable Federer to open up a 5-3 lead and he duly served out for a routine victory.

"Tommy has been playing extremely well since Paris and that is why I'm so happy come through," Federer said.

"I knew he was a danger so I'm very happy with my performance. It's unbelievable to be in another final."

Federer is through to a 20th grand slam final, overtaking the record of Ivan Lendl, and is unlikely to be overawed as he seeks to break Pete Sampras' all-time record of 14 grand slam titles.

"I've had a lot of pressure over the years, it's just another great opportunity to get into the history books," he said. "Going for something that big is quite extraordinary."