Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Ageless Federer enjoys turning tables on Nadal

Ageless Federer enjoys turning tables on Nadal

Appearing in his 12th final at the All England Club, and 16 years after his maiden Wimbledon title triumph, Federer believes there is little new that either he or Djokovic can do to prepare for Sunday's showdown.

And when asked what proved the difference-maker in a tight tussle between two of the game's greats Federer was modest in response.

"Novak is the defending champion and he has shown that this week", added Federer.

That, along with a stormy second-round win over Kyrgios, fueled his fire and the only set he dropped in a marauding run to the semi-final was against the maverick Australian. "So he deserves it", Nadal said of only his fourth loss in 14 Grand Slam clashes with Federer.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic withstood a fearless effort by Roberto Bautista Agut as he wore down the Spaniard 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the Wimbledon final for the sixth time in his career.

"I didn't play as good as I did in the previous rounds, and he played well".

Like two boxers sizing up their opponent, the pair tip-toed around in what was ultimately a cagey first set, with only one break point coming and going for Federer before it headed to a tie-break. "He had that match point, he served for the fourth set, but Roger wouldn't be Roger if he wouldn't always find another shot".

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates defeating Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut during a men's singles semifinal match at Wimbledon.

"I am sad for the loss because for me it was another opportunity", said Nadal, who was also beaten in the semi-finals a year ago by Djokovic.

Nadal, serving 3-5 down, hit a serve which Federer returned with a clean victor.

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Djokovic went on to win in four sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

"I am sad for the loss because for me it was another opportunity", he said.

On Friday, Federer beat Nadal in four sets.

Bautista Agut had no answers but can be pleased with his efforts in what is turning out to be the best year of his career, having never previously reached even a quarter-final at a Grand Slam.

"Last year I had chances here (he lost in five sets to Djokovic in the semi-final), I had another one, and I was not able to convert to win it one more time here".

"There is, unfortunately or fortunately, one more (match to play)". "First set, he was still probably managing his nerves and he made some uncharacteristic unforced errors". "I think he played aggressive, he played a great match, and just well done for him".

"It is something that is going to be hard to see again", he said.

Djokovic leads 25-22 overall, 9-6 at the majors, 3-1 in Grand Slam finals and 2-1 at Wimbledon. When Bautista Agut's shot hit the net tape, popped in the air and slid over for a victor that tied their semifinal at a set apiece, Djokovic motioned to the roaring fans, sarcastically encouraging folks to get louder.

As Federer seeks revenge in SW19, potentially setting up another classic, we take a look at those four past mammoth matches. Djokovic, then just 20, led by a break in all three sets but could not get the job done, squandering set points in the first two before tiring. Moments later, he was ending a 45-stroke baseline exchange - the longest on record at Wimbledon, where such stats date to 2006 - with a backhand victor to save a break point.

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