Wimbledon 2019: Roger Federer Beats Rafael Nadal to Set up Final against Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal to enter his 31st Grand Slam final, where he will face defending champion Novak Djokovic for the Wimbledon men's singles title.
Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal (Photo Credit: Reuters)
London: Roger Federer reached his 12th Wimbledon final on Friday, defeating old rival Rafael Nadal, 11 years after the Spaniard triumphed in their epic 2008 title showdown at the All England Club, a match widely regarded as the greatest ever played.
The 37-year-old eight-time champion won 7-6 (7/3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the pair's 40th career meeting to move into his 31st Grand Slam final where he will face defending champion Novak Djokovic.
Top seed and four-time winner 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.
Federer is the third oldest man ever to play in a Grand Slam final after 39-year-old Ken Rosewall featured in the 1974 Wimbledon and US Open finals.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 12, 2019
However, he will have his work cut out on Sunday if he is to secure a 21st major title as he trails 15-time Slam winner Djokovic 25-22 in career meetings.
Friday's semi-final was never likely to match the knife-edge theatrics of the 2008 final although Federer needed five match points to secure victory. Federer will not mind with his win coming just a month after Nadal handed him his worst loss at a Slam in 11 years in the Roland Garros semi-finals.
In a tight 51-minute opener, Nadal managed to save the only break point in the eighth game before surrendering the advantage of an early mini-break in the tie-breaker which Federer claimed thanks to five points in a row. The Spaniard finally carved out the first break of the semi-final in the fourth game of the second set, backing it up with a hold for 4-1.
The eight-time champion against the reigning champion. What a final we have in store...#Wimbledon | @rogerfederer | @DjokerNole pic.twitter.com/YKNz0h3ACw — Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 12, 2019
Nadal then broke again for 5-1 as Federer suffered a sudden and severe power outage with the two-time champion comfortable levelling the contest.
Federer, the oldest semi-finalist in a Grand Slam semi-final since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open, broke Nadal for the first time in the fourth game of the third set.
He then fought off three break points for a key 4-1 lead, coming out on top in a 23-shot rally and then a 25-stroke exchange.
There was no respite for Nadal, an 18-time Slam winner, who slipped a break down at 2-1 in the fourth.
Nadal saved two match points in the ninth game and two more in the 10th but a loose return sealed his fate.
Federer finished with 14 aces and 51 winners.
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