Roger Federer produced an epic performance and added yet another storied chapter in his famous rivalry with Rafael Nadal. The duo and their rivalry, considered one of the greatest in the modern tennis era, squared off in Wimbledon after 11 years. Federer always had a poor head-to-head record against Nadal, but in Wimbledon, he held the edge. Federer's love for Wimbledon was more than enough to take him past his most fiercest rival and the Swiss maestro did not disappoint. Federer produced a performance for the ages as he defeated Nadal 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final. In Federer's path to an unprecedented ninth men's Wimbledon title stands Novak Djokovic, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the final on Friday.
A Federer-Nadal clash is expected to be one of intensity and many twists and turns. Nadal had thrashed Federer in the French Open final and the Spaniard showed his legendary status by winning the French Open for the 12th time. However, in Wimbledon, it was Federer's turn to show Nadal who is the boss. Both players played with intensity as they did not yield an inch. The first set went to a tie-breaker and Federer always held the advantage, considering his magnificent record in tie-breakers over the years. Nadal committed a couple of unforced errors and Federer won the tie-breaker 7-3 to clinch the first set.
Nadal, though, is not someone who could lie down easily and he roared back to form to put Federer under immense pressure. The Swiss maestro once again seemed to be committing the same mistakes which he had done against Nadal all those years ago and he buckled to lose the set 1-6. However, in the next two sets, Federer's serve proved to be magical and Nadal found it difficult to find an opening. Federer held his nerve and broke Nadal early to clinch the third set 6-3.
Federer and Nadal were at their intense best in the fourth set but a break by Federer gave him a 5-3 lead and he was given the chance to serve the match out. However, Nadal refused to yield and he saved two match points on deuce. It was third time lucky though as Federer clinched the game and the set to reach the final.
Earlier, defending champion Novak Djokovic reached his sixth Wimbledon final Friday as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal prepared to meet at the All England Club for the first time since their epic 2008 title showdown. World number one and four-time Wimbledon winner Djokovic booked his 25th Grand Slam final appearance with a nervy 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Spain’s 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut. “This has been a remarkable tournament for me and to be in another final is a dream come true,” said the top seed. “I had to dig deep, Roberto was playing his first semi-final at a Grand Slam and he was not really overwhelmed. “It was a really close opening four to five games of the third set that could have gone either way—thankfully it went mine.” The 32-year-old will go into Sunday’s final seeking a 16th major title with a career advantage over both his great rivals.
He leads Federer 25-22 and Nadal 28-26. “I will watch Federer and Nadal. I am a fan of that match up—it’s one of the most epic rivalries of all time.” Watched by a Royal Box crammed with sports and movie A-listers—David Beckham, Rod Laver, Gary Player, Jude Law, Damian Lewis—Djokovic swept through the first set with breaks in the second and eighth games.