WIMBLEDON, England Roger Federer beat Marat Safin in straight sets Friday, leaving him one win from his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam championship.
Federer, who hasn't dropped a set all tournament, never lost serve as he outplayed the Russian 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-4 with a nearly flawless performance for his 65th straight win on grass and 40th in a row at the All England Club.
"It's great, a beautiful feeling, being able to get the opportunity to win the title again," Federer said after the clinical 1-hour, 42-minute victory. "It means so much to me."
His opponent in Sunday's final will be the winner of the semifinal between Rafael Nadal and 94th-ranked Rainer Schuettler. Nadal, the four-time French Open champion, has lost to Federer in the last two Wimbledon finals.
Federer, who beat Safin for the ninth time in 11 matches, advanced to his 16th Grand Slam final.
"It's a huge thrill every time when I get to another Wimbledon final," he said. "It's a great occasion."
Watching in the Royal Box was Swedish great Bjorn Borg, with whom Federer shares the modern era record of five consecutive Wimbledon titles. The only man to win six in a row was Willie Renshaw in the 1880s, and he had to win only one match to defend his titles.
"He was in the finals every time, so it was a little bit easier for him to win six in a row," Federer said. "A little different for us."
There had been pre-tournament suggestions that Federer was more vulnerable this year after failing to win a major title this season and losing in a lopsided final to Nadal at the French Open.
"Don't write me off too quickly because this is my part of the season Wimbledon, Olympic Games, U.S. Open," Federer said.
After Federer broke for the second time, flashing a crosscourt backhand winner on match point, he skipped to the net and shared an embrace with Safin, then pumped his fists and saluted the 15,000-capacity Centre Court crowd.
Sisters Venus and Serena Williams will face each other in the women's final Saturday, their first Grand Slam championship match in five years.
Between them, four-time champion Venus and two-time winner Serena have won six of the last eight Wimbledon titles. Serena beat her old sister in the 2002 and 2003 championship matches and holds an overall 5-1 edge in Grand Slam finals.
Federer has matched his Wimbledon run of 2006 of getting to the final without losing a set.
"I haven't had many problems whatsoever throughout the championships," he said. "It's been a perfect way to the finals, but there's one more left. I need to win to get it. But so far it's been quite unbelievable actually."
Looking ahead to another possible final against Nadal, Federer said he was eager to get over the 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 loss to the Spaniard in Paris his worst defeat in a Grand Slam event.
"Paris was a disappointment," he said. "It's important to bounce back from that loss. I hardly remember anything of it. It went so quickly."
With Nadal looking more and more comfortable on grass, Federer might not be a big favorite if the Spaniard gets to the final again. Nadal stretched Federer to five sets in last year's championship match.
"I don't think it matters really a lot if I'm the favorite or not," Federer said. "I'm on an incredible winning streak on grass. First, somebody has to be able to break that before we start talking differently."
Nadal has a 11-6 career edge over Federer, but the Swiss star leads 5-2 on surfaces other than clay.
"I enjoy the challenge," Federer said. "Rafa is a great competitor. He's got a winning record over me. Every time I play him, I want to beat him. He's now become so good on all the other surfaces that he's a real threat on anything."
On his favorite stage, on his favorite surface, Federer is a force. He was at his masterful best against Safin, a big-hitting former No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion playing in his first Wimbledon semifinal.
With his serve and forehand clicking, Federer smacked 14 aces and 38 winners to go with just 14 unforced errors.
"I was winning my service games pretty comfortably," he said. "I was playing well. I was feeling good out there on the court. It was perfect conditions to play."
Federer took control immediately against Safin, holding at love and breaking in the second game with a forehand winner. Federer dropped only four points on serve in the first set, serving three aces in the last game.
The only time he faced any serious trouble was when Safin earned two break points in the third game of the second set. Federer erased both by stepping in on short Safin shots and smacking clean forehand winners. Those were the only two break points he faced.
Federer dominated in the tiebreaker, racing to a 4-0 lead and finishing it off with a 127 mph ace.
Safin flashed his notorious temper in the third set. In the ninth game, he flung his racket to the turf. After losing the game, he smashed the racket against his chair and drew a code violation from the umpire.