Berrettini beats friend Felix, runs into Federer conqueror

Seventh-seed Matteo Berrettini defeated close friend Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 to enter his first Wimbledon semi-final and set up a clash with Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who scalped Roger Federer in straight sets.

Berrettini is the first man from his country in the Open Era to make it to the last-four stage of the Wimbledon Championships.

“Everything is crazy right now. Thanks to Felix, I think we made a great match and I hope you guys enjoyed it,” Berrettini said in his on-court interview after trumping Canadian Auger-Aliassime, his closest mate, on Wednesday night.

“He is probably one of my best friends on tour, so it is never easy to play against him. But that’s sport and I am really happy.”

Berrettini converted six of the 14 break-points, hit 12 aces (to 13 by his rival) and won 76 per cent points on first serve. He committed only three double faults as against six by Auger-Aliassime.

“Hubert is having a great season. He won Miami, he is playing good. Beating Federer in three sets means that he’s playing well,” Berrettini said of his semi-final rival.

“But I feel ready, I am feeling confident. Good luck to him, and let us see.”

Hurkacz had beaten Federer 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-0.

In the other semi-final, top seed Novak Djokovic will face face Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov who overcame Russia’s 25th seed Karen Khachanov in a tough five-set game 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 1-6, 4-6 to enter the last-four stage of the tournament.

Djokovic had beaten Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Both the semi-finals will be played on Friday.

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