Roger Federer on Playing Novak Djokovic Next: "Novak Hits Flat Shots"

Sunday, 14 Jul, 2019

If Roger Federer's going to win a record ninth championship at Wimbledon, he'll need to follow up a victory over Rafael Nadal with one over defending champion Novak Djokovic. He will face Serbian Novak Djokovic in the final.

Federer, who plays like a dream, has always been in complete charge on a tennis court and his career.

Here are some of the reactions.

Federer and Nadal hadn't played since then at Wimbledon until their semifinal Friday. Djokovic has played the final five times in the year before-2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018, in which he was defeated only once in 2013. He might need to experiment a few times against Djokovic, whose game has dipped only briefly all fortnight, in the second set against Roberto Bautista Agut. The Japanese sensation has been improving year by year and always looks like a serious threat at the Grand Slams.

Echoes of 2008 reverberated around the All England Club as Federer and Nadal wound back the clock in their much-anticipated first Wimbledon match-up in 11 years.

"I think I had spells where I was serving very well and the biggest points in the matches went my way".

But Federer's experience ensured that he eventually closed out the match quite comfortably.

Nadal fended off a fourth match point with another sublime victor but Federer sealed it at the fifth time of asking - holding his arms aloft as Nadal fired a backhand long.

Now, it'll be another legend against whom he has a losing record against that he has to better on Sunday, with Djokovic currently leading 25-22.

It took a tiebreak to separate them with Federer taking five points in a row to grab the first set - prompting Nadal to disappear for a bathroom break.

Top seed and four-time victor Djokovic reached his sixth Wimbledon final, and 25th at the majors, with a nervy 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Spain's 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

After exchanging dozens of strokes during the third set, Djokovic finally smacked a backhand down the line with the 45th shot of the rally to save a break point, then held serve to make it 5-2. Djokovic has had the advantage in the past, winning both matchups. Nadal, who fended off a challenge by the Swiss in his previous service game, held, saving two match points to force Federer to serve it out.

The last time they met at a Grand Slam was in the Australian Open semifinals in 2016, where Djokovic prevailed in four sets. "I think Djokovic is going to feel pressure, that's for sure, but then for Federer it might be his last chance".

"At the end of the match I started to play much better, no?"

After being greeted to Centre Court by a standing ovation, both Federer and Nadal seemed to have an "anything you can do, I can do, too" vibe. Nadal had two minibreaks but couldn't capitalize, scoring just one point off his serve.

Stepping on to the lawns of the All England Club aiming for a record-setting sixth consecutive Wimbledon title, many thought that Federer's 2008 loss marked the end of an era - the turning point when a younger generation would rise up to vanquish the greatest grass-court player to ever live. "First set, he was still probably managing his nerves and he made some uncharacteristic unforced errors. Was very close in the third set", Djokovic said.