Roger Federer set up a clash against Novak Djokovic in the finals of Wimbledon. The Swiss player defeated one of his greatest rivals, Rafael Nadal with 3-1 in sets, thus advancing to his 12th final here in London.
After almost three hours of play, Federer managed to beat Rafa with 7:6(3), 1:6, 6:3, 6:4. It was his 16th victory against Nadal, third at Wimbledon. Overall, this was his 101st triumph in London.
“It’s always very, very cool to play against Rafa here, especially as we haven’t played here in so long,” said Federer.
After an opening set in which he won in a tie-break, and having a lot of troubles with the Spaniard, Roger slowed down in the second part of the game. Those were the moments when Nadal dominated the Central court of All England Club and when the majority of fans believed that 37-year old is on the verge of defeat. However, that wasn’t what happened. Despite his age and Nadal’s physical superiority, FedEx was dancing up and down the court, winning all of the crucial points. The majority of long rallies went in his favor, and the Swiss acknowledged that after the match.
“There were some brutal rallies in key moments that went my way. I think those might have made the difference today.”
Nadal, on the other side, looked more than fired-up, and at some moments, that energy of his was making him nervous, and impatient. He had 25 unforced errors, many of them while attacking, and the Spaniard definitely played critical moments of the clash way below his usual level of play. He congratulated Roger at the press, saying that his big rival deserved to win.
“Probably I didn’t play as good as I did in the previous rounds, and he played well. So he deserves it. Congrats to him.”
His ambitions coming to London were high, particularly after winning the Roland Garros for the record 12th time. Rafa was the favorite before the start of the match according to the bookies. He had a much tougher path towards here (Kyrgios, Tsonga, and Querrery), and yet all of his opponents were swiftly beaten.
Federer is after his 9th Wimbledon, the first one since 2017, and only the second since 2012. Still, the one man who stands between him and the trophy is the reigning champion, Novak Djokovic, who defeated Roberto Bautista-Agut in the semis.
The Serb was confident, despite losing the second set. In the end, he won 3-1, 6:2, 4:6, 6:3, 6:2. It is his sixth finals here, with the current record of four triumphs and only one defeat. Among those victories, he defeated Federer twice, in 2014 and 2015. In general, the world No.1 has an edge in head-to-head meetings 25-22.
“I have a chance to fight for a trophy. Regardless of who’s across the net or what is happening, I’ll definitely give it my all,” Djokovic stated after the end of his battle. At that point, he didn’t know who is going to be his rival this Sunday.
The Joker defeated Federer four times over the past five events, and the latest one took place last year in the semifinals of Paris Masters when Novak restrained Roger after three sets. Apart from those two finals, there was one more match at Wimbledon in 2012, when Federer beat Djokovic.
This is going to be one big spectacle. The whole tennis world is already speculating about the outcome of this match. According to some sources, the entire amount of available tickets were sold already after the second semifinals. The world’s No.1 and No.2 are meeting, but not only that. Djokovic recently stated that he wishes to break Roger’s Grand Slam record of 20 trophies won. He is five titles away (20-15), and Wimbledon is the perfect chance for the Serb to close the gap between him and FedEx.
The finals are set for 9 am ET, this Sunday.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.