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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2017

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July

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News
Thursday, 13 July 2017 17:41 PM BST
What to watch out for on Day 11
Artist Federer will need Ashe's guile to combat threat of the power rangers READ MORE

It's Day 11 of The Championships and we've picked out a few highlights.

Roger Federer v Tomas Berdych
For all the physical conditioning required to play at Wimbledon, tennis isn't a cousin of power-lifting or Mr Universe - the strongest or most explosive, the one with the atomic forehand, doesn't always win.

We saw that in the final of the 1975 Championships when 31-year-old Arthur Ashe, having devised his game-plan on a napkin the night before, bamboozled the punchier Jimmy Connors with guile and subtlety. And now Federer, a 35-year-old father of four, finds himself needing to beat a couple of power-ballers - first Berdych and then Marin Cilic or Sam Querrey - if he is to supersede Ashe as the oldest men's Wimbledon singles champion of the Open era.

Federer can't clump a forehand as hard as Berdych can. But that doesn't matter, as his sophisticated, artistic tennis comes with an ultra-aggressive edge. You don't have to be slamming a tennis ball to be playing attacking tennis, and Federer hasn't given up a set at The Championships so far as he closes in on what would be his 11th Wimbledon final.

The only member of tennis's Fab Four to survive until the semi-finals, this year's Australian Open champion hasn't lost a match at the Grand Slams for 12 months (though he missed last year's US Open and also this season's Roland Garros). Two more victories and Federer would become the first man to win Wimbledon eight times, pulling clear of Pete Sampras and William Renshaw (the first top dog of 19th century lawn tennis), who each have seven titles. It would be Federer's first Wimbledon title for five years. Victory would also take Federer to 19 Grand Slam titles, which would give him a margin of four majors over Rafael Nadal, who scored his 15th at Roland Garros last month.

Federer is on a seven-match winning streak against Berdych. But, a note of caution for the Fed-heads; the last time the Swiss played Berdych at Wimbledon, in the 2010 quarter-finals, it was the Czech who prevailed. Berdych, whose best Wimbledon result was finishing as the runner-up to Nadal in 2010, and who benefitted from Novak Djokovic's retirement with tennis elbow on Wednesday, hardly represents the tennis youth. He's 31, almost 32, so if he goes on to win The Championships he would be almost as old as Ashe was in 1975.

Marin Cilic v Sam Querrey
Whoever wins this match will earn the prize of a first appearance in a Wimbledon final, as well as the opportunity to become his country's first champion at the All England Club since the early noughties. Cilic is trying to be Croatia's first Wimbledon champion since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, while Querrey's mission is to emulate Sampras, who took the last of his seven titles in 2000. Querrey, who beat a hobbling Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, is the first American man to venture this far into a Grand Sam draw since Andy Roddick was the runner-up here in 2009. Don't think that, because of Murray's injury, Querrey has been given an easy ride through the draw - his last three matches have been five-setters.

This could also go long, if their last Wimbledon meeting is to be our guide. Playing in the third round of the 2012 Championships, Cilic needed 5 hours and 31 minutes to beat Querrey, taking the final set 17-15. Or, to put that into context, around half the length of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut's first round in 2010. This will be the fifth career meeting for Cilic and Querrey, and the Croatian has won the first four. Plus, Cilic knows how to handle himself at the business-end of the Grand Slams. When he took the 2014 US Open title, he won the last three rounds - against Berdych, Federer and Kei Nishikori - in straight sets, as he played with a nerveless ease that took New York by surprise.

Kveta Peschke and Anna-Lena Groenefeld
A 35-year-old man (Roger Federer) is still in the men's singles, and a 37-year-old woman (Venus Williams) will play for the ladies' singles title on Saturday, but The Championships could bring an even older champion. Peschke, a 42-year-old Czech, has progressed as far as the semi-finals of the women's doubles with her German partner Groenefeld (a mere 32 years of age), and today they meet the all-Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. You have to go back to 1934 for the last time that a 42-year-old won the doubles' title at the All England Club. 

Martina Hingis and Jamie Murray
Twenty years ago, Venus Williams made her first singles appearance at The Championships. She lost in the first round. That same summer, a 16-year-old Hingis became the youngest women's singles champion of the twentieth century. Williams' longevity is rightly being celebrated ahead of her appearance in the final, but Hingis' long Wimbledon career should always be marvelled at. In addition to that 1997 singles triumph, she also won the Wimbledon women's doubles title in 1996, 1998 and 2015, as well as the mixed doubles in 2015. And she might just add another Wimbledon title this weekend as she and Murray, himself a former mixed doubles champion here, are playing in the semi-finals as the top seeds.

Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen
This British-Finnish combination might just retain their mixed doubles title. Reunited after their success last summer, Watson and Kontinen are just two more victories from winning The Championships again, with a semi-final to play against Brazil's Bruno Soares and Russia's Elena Vesnina. With Watson on one side of the draw, and Murray on the other, the final could end up featuring two British players in opposing teams.

Head to Head

Roger Federer
Tomas Berdych
SUI
Roger Federer
Singles Ranking5
Doubles Ranking0
CZE
Tomas Berdych
Singles Ranking15
Doubles Ranking198

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