Federer, Nadal to play second straight Wimbledon final


London : Roger Federer moved closer to a date with Wimbledon history as he reached his fifth final in succession with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Richard Gasquet Saturday.

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The Swiss is aiming to join the last man to lift five straight titles at the All England Club, Bjorn Borg, who was in the stands for the concluding weekend of the fortnight.

In a dramatic turn of events just moments after Federer had clinched his place, Rafael Nadal reached the title match as ailing Novak Djokovic was forced to quit trailing 3-6, 6-1, 4-1.

The 20-year-old Serb had played a five-setter the day before in beating Marcos Baghdatis and had been on court for 17 hours in recent days.

Djokovic could not go on with various problems including back and leg pain and a huge blister on a little toe.

The Federer-Nadal showdown is a repeat of last year's title match as well as the last two editions of the French Open.

Federer, winner of 10 grass court titles, took little notice of Gasquet, the 21-year-old Frenchman who put out two-time finalist Andy Roddick the day before in an exhausting comeback from two sets to love down.

The win put Federer into his ninth straight Grand Slam final as he won his 33rd match in a row at Wimbledon, where he last lost in the 2002 first round to Mario Ancic.