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Djokovic moves one step away from fifth Wimbledon title

13 July, 2019, 17:40 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Roger Federer must win first set against Rafael Nadal says Woodbridge

In Dubai in February, Federer became the second man to win 100 career titles and in the lead-up to the grass grand slam, he broke double figures at a single tournament for the first time with a 10th win in Halle.

It will be Federer who bids for a ninth Wimbledon title against the four-time champion Novak Djokoic, the third member of the great triumvirate that still dominate the sport.

Djokovic will be competing in his sixth Wimbledon final as a four-time champion with only one loss to Britain's Andy Murray in 2013.

More importantly, the Serb beat Federer in the final here in 2014 and 2015.

It's all on the line in their 48th meeting, and Djokovic must shut off the fact he is facing Wimbledon's darling and channel all that energy into lifting a 16th Grand Slam title. 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. Another was that Federer was able to withstand Nadal's serve, which has improved a ton over the years.

One key for Federer, however, was that his rebuilt backhand, hit strong and flat more frequently than it used to be, held steady against Nadal's bullwhip of a lefty forehand. "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".

On the women's side, American Serena Williams is looking to tie the women's record of Grand Slam championships. Federer rattled off a pair of stinging first serves to reach 6-3, then claiming the bracket with a forehand strike. Federer, understandably, seemed more jovial about Friday's match.

"It was a joy to play today", he added after reaching his 31st grand slam final. The legendary narrator and wildlife activist was spotted in the Royal Box for the Federer and Nadal clash.

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Yet Henman - a four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist - suspects Federer will have to take his game up another level despite the impressive fashion in which he overcame Nadal in the final four. Oddly enough, since then, the two arch rivals did not cross each other's path at Wimbledon until they came face to face yesterday.

The match between Djokovic and Bautista Agut is the first of the two men's semifinals, and it begins at 1 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET), before Roger Federer takes on Rafael Nadal. Both players started off with some attractive rallies, as Nadal's resilience and Federer's backhand had the crowd riveted.

The first pressure moment of the match came in the eighth game, and a break point opportunity for Nadal.

Rafael Nadal celebrates a point.

"I think straight sets was a bit brutal for Novak, to be honest", Federer said.

That self-assured Federer went weirdly AWOL in the second set, arguably the worst frame he's ever played at Wimbledon, definitely the poorest as per score. Suddenly the match sprung into life, and it looked like some potential fireworks were now on the horizon. Federer and Nadal were to play next on Centre Court.

And, perhaps shockingly, this is the narrowest the gap has been between the two since July 2004, when Federer had two and Nadal had none.

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