Federer, Nadal braced for Wimbledon epic

Ross Houston
July 12, 2019

For this, Djokovic is a heavy favourite at [1.09] to progress, and while I do think this is a bit short, it's tough to think that there's much in the way of actionable value, despite the fact that Djokovic's edge, based on service/return points won isn't as considerable as those market prices would imply. "Means a lot for me and probably for him, too", said the 33-year-old Nadal, who leads Federer 24-15 in their head-to-head meetings.

Aces haven't been Nadal's forte traditionally, but in Wimbledon 2019 he has fired 47 of them in five matches, which is an average of 9.4 per game.

When it comes to the tournament as a whole, Novak Djokovic is 7/10 to defend his title, followed by Nadal at 16/5 and Federer at 4/1.

The 37-year-old eight-time champion fought back from a set down to overcome Japan's Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 and qualify for his 13th Wimbledon semifinal.

The eighth-seeded Nishikori jumped out to an early edge by breaking in the very first game, enough to give him that set. Rafa's uphill journey on the tour did jeopardize Roger's career to an extent, but simultaneously, it brought out the best tennis within the boy from Basel. And the first time it happened, in 2008, he won the title after beating Federer in a five-set marathon.

"Always I say the same - the opportunities to play against each other every time are less, but we are still here". After going more than 1½ years without playing each other anywhere, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be meeting at a second consecutive Grand Slam tournament when they face off in Wimbledon's semifinals.

Moreover, Djokovic gets to sidestep Federer and Nadal, who boast 38 majors and 10 Wimbledon titles between them, until Sunday's final, assuming he defeats the tournament's 23rd seed, Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, on Friday.

You can start a free seven-day trial of Sling TV right here, and you can then watch Djokovic vs Bautista Agut live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or other streaming device via the Sling TV app.

Fortunately, though, that's not the case, and I think it's probably a match best watched. [It is the] semi-finals of Grand Slam, [so I am] going to try to use my experience in being in these kinds of matches, get myself tactically prepared.

The Belgian was clearly the better player for much of the first set and though Djokovic saved break points in early games he could not prevent Goffin cashing in on more in the seventh as, showing great court speed, he broke for 4-3. Federer and Nishikori went back-and-forth in the third set. With his idol Rod Laver looking on from the Royal Box, Federer raised his level of play after looking less than sharp at the outset and cruised to a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory. The only player who hit more winners than him was Kyrgios, but even there Nadal's count was higher when excluding the aces from both players.

Nadal downplayed the suggestion they had improved appreciably, describing their respective evolution as a zero-sum game in which each had added elements to his game to compensate for what age has taken away.

Not long after that ended on Centre Court, the No. 3-seeded Nadal finished off Sam Querrey, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 1 Court.

Hopefully the 40 career clash between Federer and Nadal can be the encounter to do just that. But there was something else at play, he suggested. Nadal's return game has never been better too. "And we have big respect for the sport".

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