Wimbledon 2019, Gentlemen's Singles Final: 21st for Federer or 16th for Djokovic?
The dream second semi-final at Wimbledon 2019 between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the game’s two of the greatest rivals, certainly lived up to its hype and expectations as the Swiss maestro deservingly overcame the stern challenge against rampant, resilient Spaniard to register a 7-6(7-3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win and book a date in the summit clash
Having entered the Wimbledon finals for a staggering 12th time in his illustrious career, The No.2 seed Federer meets World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the final to set up a mouth-watering, blockbuster of a contest to conclude this year’s event at the All England Club.
While all the hype, anticipation and attention revolved around the semi-final encounter between Federer and Nadal, Djokovic seamlessly maneuvered through his semi-final battle against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 2 hours and 49 minutes.
Djokovic now stands a chance to emulate the likes of his opponent in the final, Federer and past greats Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg to record five or more titles at Wimbledon when he faces the Swiss maestro in the upcoming summit clash.
However, having won Halle Open earlier this season, Federer is yet to beaten on grass this year and after coming through unscathed against Kei Nishikori in the quarter-final and Nadal in the semis, the 20-time Grand Slam champion will face his biggest challenge so far on grass this season when he takes to the Centre Court against the in-form Serbian in the summit clash of the competition.
Federer, a person who is not known for showing too much emotions on the courts, displayed pure moments of joy and his fist-pumps were just an indication of what it took and what it meant for the maestro to beat Nadal in their thrilling, riveting semi-final showdown.
No doubt, the eight-time Wimbledon champion will need to elevate his game a notch higher if he fancies beating a rock-solid Djokovic, who would certainly look forward to blunt Federer’s aggressive game with an array of breathtaking and thunderous passing shots from behind the baseline in their upcoming Wimbledon final.
Head to Head record
Novak Djokovic is the only man to beat Roger Federer twice at Wimbledon and the Serbian has achieved that remarkable feat at the grandest of the stages when he edged past the Swiss maestro in the finals of 2014 and 2015 editions of Wimbledon.
The 15-time Grand Slam champion marginally leads his head to head tally 25-22 against his second most decorated rival Federer on the ATP tour so far.
However, in their last 10 meetings on the tour in the lead up to their upcoming Wimbledon final, Federer has just two wins against his Serbian rival and this is indeed a worrying sign as far as the Swiss maestro is concerned.
Federer last recorded a win against Djokovic at Nitto ATP Finals, back in 2015. Additionally, in their previous three encounters when the duo clashed against each other in the finals, it was Novak Djokovic who got better off the Swiss maestro on all the three occasions.
At the Grand Slam Majors, Djokovic leads Federer 9-6 and the Swiss maestro recorded his last win over the Djokovic 7 years ago, at Wimbledon 2012.
Federer, who dominated his rivalry against Djokovic to start with, relinquished his hold over the Serb as Djokovic began to expand his stature, winning Grand Slam Majors and various ATP Masters 1000 events on a consistent basis, especially since 2011.
At Wimbledon too, having defeated the then 17-time Majors champion Federer in finals of 2014 and 2015, the Serb leads their duel 2-1.
While Djokovic starts a slight favourite over Federer to lift his 5th Wimbledon crown, the All England Club, over the years has been Federer’s fortress, with the Swiss superstar winning at SW19 for an unprecedented eight times in his illustrious career thus far.
The 37-year old Federer has been playing incredible tennis in the lead up to his Wimbledon final clash against the World No.1, but can he cross the final frontier to win not only his 9th Wimbledon title but also his 21st Grand Slam Major to complete a staggering, mind-boggling story of his remarkable success in the twilight of his career?
Or is Djokovic, in such a fabulous form too good to be beaten and a 16th Grand Slam Major is well and truly within his reach?
One can’t wait for the drama to unfold at the Centre Court on the closing day of the Championships, Wimbledon.
Published 14 Jul 2019, 12:48 IST