Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
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Sad Nadal sees chances of third Wimbledon title slipping from his grasp

Sad Nadal sees chances of third Wimbledon title slipping from his grasp

If Roger Federer's going to win a record ninth championship at Wimbledon, he'll need to follow up a victory over Rafael Nadal with one over defending champion Novak Djokovic. Nadal, the man who sported slick long hair back in 2008 is now balding, while Federer has the wrinkles of a man that has been chased by everyone in the sport for the best part of two decades. Never is, really, no matter where they play.

With the Spaniard making it a match, Djokovic flapped his arms at the capacity crowd in an effort to coax a show of support.

Roger Federer says he believes his win was written in the stars.

After edging a tense first set by taking the final five points of the tiebreak, Federer was overpowered in a 36-minute second as Nadal, eyeing a first Wimbledon title for nine years, appeared to have wrestled control.

"I felt like I played good also throughout the four sets".

I thought probably the biggest points in the match went my way. The five-set match, played 11 years ago, is considered one of the best tennis matches in history.

Federer is an eight-time Wimbledon champion, while Nadal has won two titles at the All England Club.

Djokovic, a 15-time Grand Slam champion, is respected by British fans but certainly not revered in the same saintly fashion reserved for Federer.

Djokovic, who was also the 2011 champion, wasted a match point in the fourth set as sentimental favourite Federer came back from 2-5 down.

In terms of anticipation, the Djokovic-Batista Agut semifinal felt like an undercard compared to the Federer-Nadal clash in store.

That knocked the belief out of Bautista Agut and Djokovic broke for 2-1, again for 4-1 and though the Spaniard saved four match points, the world No 1 finished things off to book his place in another final.

"I had my chances", said Nadal.

Roger Federer in action against Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon. As they prepare for the Wimbledon final, we look at their previous grand slam deciders.

And Federer is well aware of the challenge he faces in defeating world No 1 Djokovic, who he has not beaten at a Slam since 2012 and has lost twice in three meetings to at Wimbledon, in the 2014 and 2015 finals.

"I'm exhausted. It was tough at the end".

"There is, unfortunately or fortunately, one more (match to play)".

Federer won the first set 7-6 (3).

Like all great sporting rivalries, there is no doubt that both Federer and Nadal are a major cause for each other's respective success.

Novak Djokovic during his semi-final match.

However, he will have his work cut out on Sunday if he is to secure a 21st major title as he trails 15-time Slam victor Djokovic 25-22 in career meetings. "Is something that is going to be hard to see it again". When Djokovic ended that 45-stroke point - the longest on record at Wimbledon, where such stats date to 2005 - with a backhand victor, he cupped his ear while glaring into the stands. Djokovic, then just 20, led by a break in all three sets but could not get the job done, squandering set points in the first two before tiring.

After watching Bautista Agut's shot hit the net tape, pop in the air and slide over for a victor that tied things at a set apiece, Centre Court spectators stood and cheered.

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