Djokovic turns up the heat against Mayer to set up sizzling semi with Federer
14:47 GMT, 4 July 2012
Novak Djokovic played the best tennis of his Wimbledon campaign to see off Florian Mayer and set up a mouth-watering semi-final against Roger Federer.
Mayer, ranked 29th in the world, played some excellent tennis, particularly in the first set, but Djokovic's experience, power and superior placement allowed the world No 1 to record a rousing 6-4 6-1 6-3 win on Court One.
On a roll: Novak Djokovic reacts as he breaks the serve of Florian Mayer
Federer, who is looking for his seventh Wimbledon title, has a 14-12 win-loss record against Djokovic, although the Swiss has not beaten the defending champion in 12 months and the two have never met on grass before.
The meeting with Federer will be Djokovic's ninth consecutive grand slam semi-final appearance.
Djokovic, whose last defeat to Federer came in the semi-finals of the French Open last summer, is relishing the prospect of another showdown on a big stage.
'I am looking forward to it,' Djokovic said. 'It's always a pleasure playing him. He is a great champion. He has reached 33 consecutive grand slam quarter-finals.
'He has dominated for so long. He is so consistent and for me it will be the ultimate challenge.
'It was a tricky match. There were quite a few breaks and there was a rain delay and the conditions were quite windy. It could have gone either way but overall I was happy with my performance.'
Down and out: Florian Mayer returns to Djokovic on his way out of Wimbledon
The Court One crowd expected Djokovic to steam roller his way through the first set, but the Serb did not seem himself in the opening stages.
Djokovic looked sluggish and a number of unforced errors handed Mayer two break points in the fifth game of the opening set. The German took the first one available to him, forcing Djokovic to hit a backhand long.
The break caused gasps among the crowd, but the champion allayed their fears when he struck back by immediately breaking his opponent when Mayer netted after a bruising rally from the baseline.
A rain delay of 22 minutes affected Djokovic badly, as he lost four straight points to give Mayer three break points. The German should have taken the second one when he came to the net but his volley was too weak.
Eye on the ball: Djokovic was in fine form as he took on Mayer
There was no slow start from Djokovic at the start of the second set. Mayer's desire to win was shown in the third game when he dived into the path of a bullet forehand from Djokovic to return just over the net.
But normal service resumed in the following game, however, as Djokovic broke with a lovely cross-court forehand and the Serb broke again in the sixth game to wrap up the second set in just 25 minutes.
The inevitable opportunity for Djokovic to break in the third set came in the eighth game at 30-40 but the Serbian returned a forehand wide.
The four-time grand slam winner was almost made to pay straight away when Mayer engineered a break point in the following game, but the German returned a forehand long.
Djokovic broke in the ninth and rescued three break points the following game before serving out to earn a place in the last four.