Federer says his thrilling semifinal against Nadal “had everything”

Federer says his thrilling semifinal against Nadal “had everything”

Federer says his thrilling semifinal against Nadal “had everything”

Written by Reuters

13 Jul, 2019 | 5:13 pm

REUTERS: Swiss great Roger Federer produced a vintage display to beat old adversary Rafael Nadal 7-6(3) 1-6 6-3 6-4 and reach his 31st Grand Slam final and 12th at the All England Club on Friday (July 12)

Unlike 2008 final, widely regarded as the greatest ever at Wimbledon, when claycourt king Nadal snapped Federer’s five-year reign in a five-set epic ending in near darkness and a blaze of flashbulbs, Friday’s match was less damaging to the fingernails of those rooting for each man.

The 40th chapter of their rivalry, the third-most prolific in the professional era, was compelling enough though. There was barely a cigarette paper between the two gladiators in a high-quality opening set crackling with tension. Then, at the climax to the match, Nadal, fighting as only he knows how threatened to ambush Federer’s quest for a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon singles title by saving four match points before Federer took his place in Sunday’s showpiece.

In his post-match news conference, Federer said the match “had it all” living up to the hype. The 33-year-old Nadal was understandably deflated. Having won his 12th French Open title last month, he had looked fired-up to win his third Wimbledon crown and first since 2010.

“I had my chances in the first set in the tie break but with too many breaks in front two times. But he played some great points.” Federer, who will be 38 next month, is the oldest men’s singles finalist since Ken Rosewall in 1974 and will now face old foe Novak Djokovic, the top seed and holder, seeking to avenge his losses to the Serb in the 2014 and 2015 finals.

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