LONDON // Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will contest a third successive men's singles final at Wimbledon tomorrow after the top two in the world enjoyed comfortable semi-final victories over Marat Safin and Rainer Schuettler respectively. Federer, seeking a sixth title at the All England Club, stretched his winning sequence of grass to 65 matches as he continued his untroubled progress at the top of the draw.
None of the Swiss player's six opponents have managed to win a set and only two of them - Robin Soderling and Marc Gicquel - broke his serve. Nadal, who went agonisingly close to deposing Federer in a five-set thriller last year and thrashed the world No 1 in the final of the French Open last month, has conceded only one set to his six victims so far and is playing better than he has ever done on grass.
He was briefly threatened by Schuettler when the German went a break up in the second set of their semi-final but the Spaniard swiftly rectified that and went through convincingly 6-1, 7-6, 6-4. The gallant Schuettler had taken two days and more than five playing hours to get past Arnaud Clement, of France, in the quarter-finals. Federer was expected to be tested by Safin, the Russian who famously beat him at the same stage of the 2005 Australian Open.
But Safin, who had eliminated the third seed Novak Djokovic to clear his path to the last four, never looked like knocking the champion out of his confident stride and was sent packing 6-3, 7-6, 6-4. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org