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Federer advances to record 8th Wimbledon final against Murray

Roger Federer of Switzerland and Andy Murray of the U.K. will face off in the men's final at Wimbledon.
CBS/AP

Last Updated 2:09 p.m. ET

(CBS/AP) WIMBLEDON, England - Roger Federer advanced to his record eighth Wimbledon final, where he will face Andy Murray, the first British man to play in the Wimbledon final since 1938.

Federer beat defending champion Novak Djokovic in four sets on Friday, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, under a closed roof on Centre Court. The six-time Wimbledon champ is now one victory from equaling two other records in an already record-laden career.

"This is what you want to be playing for - the Wimbledon trophy," Federer said. "I've got a tough task ahead of me."

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If Federer beats either Murray in Sunday's final, he will equal Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon titles, a mark he shares with 1880s player William Renshaw. He would also take over the No. 1 ranking from Djokovic and equal Sampras' record of 286 weeks as the top-ranked player, as he aims for his 17th Grand Slam title.

"There's obviously a lot on the line for me in terms of winning here, the all-time Grand Slam record, world No. 1," Federer said. "I'm also going into that match with some pressure, but I'm excited about it. That's what I play for."

Both Federer and Djokovic went for winners on almost every point. But it was Federer who got the key points when they mattered in the third set.

"I was able to play some fantastic tennis today," Federer said. "The first two sets went really quickly, and then the third set was obviously key to the match. I was able to maybe step it up, get a bit lucky maybe."

At 4-4, Djokovic had his chance with only his third break point of the match. Federer held with three service winners.

Moments later, while serving to stay in the set - and, essentially, the match- Djokovic gifted Federer a pair of break points by blasting an overhead long with much of the court open. He saved one, but Federer's overhead smash on the second gave the Swiss great the third set, and put him on the way to Wimbledon final No. 8.

The win improved Federer's semifinal record at the All England Club to 8-0. His only loss in the final came in 2008, when Rafael Nadal beat him 9-7 in the fifth set.

Federer earned the only break of the first set to take the lead, and Djokovic returned the favor in the second set to even the score.

The third set turned out to be the decisive one, and Djokovic fought to stay in it right from the start.

After holding easily, Federer earned a break point when Djokovic sent a forehand long. Although the top-ranked Serb saved it, and eventually held to 1-1, it was the beginning of the end.

The next three games went quickly and on serve, but Federer then earned a pair of break points in the sixth game. Djokovic again saved them, the first after a 24-stroke rally that ended with Federer's forehand going wide.

Meanwhile, Murray reached the Wimbledon final for the first time, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 Friday in the semifinals.

Murray played under an open roof on Centre Court - and under intense pressure to succeed in front of the British public.

"Big relief," Murray said. "I just got to try to keep it together for the final."

Murray got off to a fast start against Tsonga, serving well and winning the first two sets easily. And after losing the second, he hung on in the fourth, breaking in the final game with a forehand return winner.

The 25-year-old Murray was playing in the semifinals at the All England Club for the fourth straight year, and finally made the final.

Murray is the first British man to play in the Wimbledon final since Bunny Austin in 1938. The last U.K. player to win the Gentleman's title was Fred Perry in 1936.

On Sunday against Federer, he'll come up against an opponent that beat him in straight sets in the 2008 U.S. Open final and the 2010 Australian Open final.

In Murray's only other major final, the 2011 Australian Open, he lost to Djokovic - again in straight sets.