Two giants of the game will meet in the semi-final as Rafael Nadal will take on Roger Federer at Wimbledon for the first time since 2008.
Federer and Nadal Know Each other Inside out.
This rivalry will see it’s 40th chapter at the All England club with Nadal leading 24-15 in their head to head matchups. Of those 39 matches, 13 of them have been in Grand Slams. While Nadal holds a 10-3 record versus Federer in those contests, Federer has the advantage on grass. They have played 3 times at Wimbledon with Federer holding a slight 2-1 lead. So far in this edition of the tournament, Nadal has been playing sensational tennis. He has only dropped one set in route to this semi-final and has looked great. His serve and return game have been top notch and he looks to be at his best right now.
Heading into this match, Nadal has only had his serve broken twice since the start of the tournament. As for his return game, he showed in the quarter-final just how razor sharp he has been. In defeating American Sam Querry 7-5, 6-2 and 6-2, Nadal was able to break the big man’s serve six times. Prior to this match, Querry had only been broken once out of 72 service games. The last two seasons have not been easy on Nadal having withdrawn from several tournaments due to a variety of physical ailments. It seems like all of that is behind him as he chases his first Wimbledon title since 2010. The two recently met at the Rolland Garros where Nadal defeated Federer in the semi-final of the 2019 French Open.
Federer Will Feel Confident
While Federer has not been tested the way Nadal has, he usually saves his best for the semi-final and finals of Grand Slams. His last one was the 2018 Australian Open and he will be keen to assert himself on grass the same way Nadal does on clay. In fact, when you take a closer look at their head to head matchups, Federer does seem to have an edge on faster surfaces. The only times they’ve ever met on grass have been at Wimbledon. Since it’s been 11 years, it’s hard to put any stock into those matches as both players are in different stages of their careers at this point. When it comes to playing on faster surfaces, it is hard to ignore the fact that Federer beat Nadal five consecutive times dating back to 2015. All of those matches were played on hard courts. The only win Nadal has over him in that span is the French Open semi final last month which of course was on clay.
There isn’t a Clear Favorite
When it comes to these two all time greats, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a 50-50 contest. Regardless of what they’ve done leading up to the semi final, they know each other so well at this point it’s hard to call either of them an underdog. We don’t know how much longer both will be around and we should enjoy the show while it lasts. Their last meeting at the All England Club is considered by many the greatest match ever played in the history of this great tournament with Nadal winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (8-10) and 9-7 in a match that lasted almost five hours.
It is highly unlikely that we see anything approaching that epic contest considering the age of both players but what we will see is two of the best to ever do it push each other to the limit.