When it pulls spectators off their seats in a tennis stadium, chances are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are playing a match against each other. Like late Friday afternoon on the Center Court at Wimbledon. In the semifinals of the 133rd All England Championships sat in a particularly exciting duel of the Swiss with 7: 6 (7: 3), 1: 6, 6: 3, 6: 4 by. Federer is on Sunday for the 12th time in the final of Wimbledon. Opponent will be then Novak Djokovic, who prevailed in his semi-final match against the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6: 2, 4: 6, 6: 3, 6: 2 previously.
"I played some epic finals with Roger here, so I know what to expect," the Serb said. It was 2014 and 2015, both times Djokovic won. However, none of these two matches was quite as epic as the final eleven years ago between Nadal and Federer – and so was the 40th duel between the two superstars on Friday. Only in the course of the season, the tension dissolved on the court, it was from minute to minute more of the hoped for spectacular rally. "The important points in the match went for me. The first set was of enormous importance, "said Federer after the game in the BBC. Nadal said at the press conference: "I had my chances, but he played a bit better. I just was not good enough today. "
The anticipation of the classic in tennis was felt throughout the day at Wimbledon. In discussions of the fans on the system fell repeatedly the names of the two protagonists, spectators took photos in front of the scoreboard, which announced the match. In addition, the sun was above the Center Court and when Nadal and Federer then entered the lawn at 4.30 pm local time, the first cheering came up.
The start of the match was then rather restrained. Both players brought their serve games through without much effort. There was a long rally in the first set almost none, Nadal succeeded in the tiebreak into no pass and Federer was without direct backhand point. This should ultimately remain without consequences for the Swiss, after the 2: 3 in the tiebreak he made five points and took the kickoff passage with 7: 6.
Federer uses matchball number five
In the second set it became more lively, there were suddenly rallies and first break chances. Nadal took advantage of his 2: 1, then turned off the impact loss and won 20 of the last 23 points, so that he earned a loose 6: 1. In the third set, both players were finally at operating temperature. Federer get two terrific point wins at the score of 2: 1, one with the backhand and one at the net. The Center Court of Wimbledon raved, on the Murray Mound in front of Court No.1, thousands of fans got intoxicated with a summer open-air spectacle.
"The break at the beginning of the third set may have been the key to the match," Nadal said later. He could have shortened directly, but he missed three chances at the score of 1: 3. Federer struck again strong and surprisingly had in many long ball changes the better end for himself. "My backhand was not as good as in the previous rounds. It's tough on players like him, "Nadal said. Federer kept his service and got after the 6: 3, the re set guide.
And in the fourth round, he managed the early break, Nadal helped him with his rather untypical mistakes. When it was 3: 5, the 33-year-old had to fend off two match points, his serve saved him again. Nadal then had the break chance to 5: 5 at serve Federer. But again he lost a longer baseline duel. He then killed two more match balls of the Swiss but with great passing balls.
After that, there was almost no one left on the seats. Had the Spaniard made the break, the duel would probably have picked up even more momentum. Because Federer finally took advantage of match number five, it remained in a high-class match, for which the spectators nevertheless thanked the center court with great applause. "I'm exhausted. Rafa showed some high-class punches in the end. It was a pleasure to play here today, "said Federer. If he wins the final against Novak Djokovic in two days, the 37-year-old's joy will probably be even bigger.