Federer Chases His Ninth Wimbledon Title
This clash of giants on center court at the All England Club did not disappoint. Two of the best players of all time went head to head for a place in the final with Roger Federer emerging victorious. He defeated Rafael Nadal in four sets 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-3 and 6-4 in a match that lasted just over three hours. With his victory today, Roger Federer becomes the oldest player to reach a Grand Slam Final in the Open Era. The Swiss legend has already played in 30 Grand Slam finals during his illustrious career. In order to win his 31st appearance, he will need to defeat the current world number 1 and defending Wimbledon champion, Novak Djokovic.
Going into the semi-final against Nadal, Federer would have been feeling confident because of the playing surface. It would be hard to argue that Federer is the greatest grass player of all time. He holds a favorable head to head record on fast surfaces over Nadal even though the Spaniard still holds a 25-15 (today’s match included) overall advantage in their head to head matchups. They had not met on grass since the epic Wimbledon final from 2008 but they have played on hard courts several times since then, with Federer having won the last five straight.
Nadal Looked Great in the Second Set
After Federer won the opening set in just over 50 minutes, Nadal came roaring back in the second. He won 30 out of 45 points in that second set and really looked set to take over the match. At one point he won ten points in a row and looked to have Federer in trouble.
While in the first set Nadal appeared to be playing too deep behind the baseline, it looked to be the perfect strategy as he won the second set convincingly. Whatever was going on with Federer in that second set, he quickly recovered in the third and never looked back once he got into his groove.
Federer Did What He Does Best
One thing that worked really well for Federer in this match was his serve and volley. With Nadal sitting so deep, Federer was able to play the angles like only he can on grass. He was of course helped by Nadal’s sloppiness that translated into 25 unforced errors for the Spaniard. It is remarkable to watch a player Federer’s age play the serve and volley so effectively. During the match he was incredibly efficient, hitting 51 winners. It took him five match points to get the job done but he was clearly the better player on the day. That takes his overall record against Nadal to 3-1 on grass, with all four matches coming here at the All England Club.
Federer Meets Defending Champion Djokovic
If Federer does manage to win his 9th Wimbledon title, he will have to go through the only two players that have been able to match his level for the past decade. Of the last 57 majors, the big 3 (Federer, Djokovic and Nadal) have won 52 of them. This final will make 53 and their dominance as a trio does not appear to be slowing down. As good as Nadal looked coming into the semi-finals, Djokovic looks even better. Their head to head meetings are quite even with Djokovic holding a small 25-22 edge. It is the 6th Wimbledon final for the defending champion Djokovic who will give Federer all he can handle on Sunday. It should be a classic!