Roger Federer on Friday reached his 12th Wimbledon final, defeating old rival Rafael Nadal “in one of his favorite ever matches,” 11 years after he lost 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 is to 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.
“Obviously extremely high,” Federer said when asked to rate his latest clash with Nadal. “It’s always very, very cool to play against Rafa here. It’s definitely going to go down as one of my favorite matches to look back at because it’s Rafa, it’s at Wimbledon.”
Federer is the third-oldest to play in a Grand Slam final after 39-year-old Ken Rosewall featured in the 1974 Wimbledon and US Open finals.
However, he is to have his work cut out for him today if he is to secure a 21st major title, as he trails Djokovic 22-25 in career meetings.
“Novak is the defending champion and he has shown that this week,” Federer said. “He has been really solid. I will try and push him to the brink, but it will be difficult as it’s not for nothing that he is No. 1.”
“I am sad for the loss because for me it was another opportunity,” Nadal said. “But at the same time I created another opportunity to be in another final of a Grand Slam.”
“At the same time, today is sad because for me I know chances are not forever,” he added.
Meanwhile, Djokovic will be looking to add another Wimbledon title to his Australian and US Open crowns.
“This has been a remarkable tournament for me and to be in another final is a dream come true,” the top seed said. “I had to dig deep. Roberto was playing his first semi-final at a Grand Slam and he was not really overwhelmed.”
Their match also featured the longest point ever recorded at Wimbledon by number of strokes.
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.
According to official statistics, the 45-stroke rally was the longest at Wimbledon since they started tracking point lengths in 2005.
However, for Djokovic, the important part was the effect it had on what was a very closely fought duel until that stage.
“At one stage of the match, it could have gone [a] different way. Was very close in the third set,” Djokovic said. “Obviously, winning that game was crucial for me. It gave me more confidence and relief so I could swing more freely in the next games.”
Additional reporting by AP
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there