July 10, 2019
Roger Federer will play Rafael Nadal in their first Wimbledon showdown since their epic final in 2008.
The Federer-Nadal semi-final on Friday will be one of the most keenly-anticipated tennis matches in years.
And Federer has promised all-out attack as he seeks to take revenge for his recent defeat to Nadal at Roland Garros.
First Federer had to take out Kei Nishikori on Wednesday. He managed this despite losing the first set.
Roger admitted: ‘It was difficult, the game was brutal. Kei came out and was smashing return winners and I definitely had to make some adjustments.
‘Kei was the better player first set. So it was really important for me to get the lead in the second and then maybe start more of a normal match at one-set-all.
‘But in the end I served really good and I did it until the very end. So it was a good serving performance today against a very good return player.’
Roger forgot that he had just notched his 100th Wimbledon win. He is the only player to score a century like that in the singles at any Grand Slam event.
He explained: ‘When you do throw your hands up into the air and you’re celebrating, you’re not thinking “hundred, hundred hundred.”
‘But this was a sweet way to do it, a great crowd again. I love playing at Wimbeldon and getting the hundred against Kei is very nice.’
As we told you yesterday, Federer doesn’t care about the statistic. All he cares about now is beating Nadal and reaching the Wimbledon final.
And Roger’s tactics will be simple. Attack.
Federer explained: ‘We have a lot information about each other. You can dive into tactics for two days. Or you can say: “You know what, it’s grass-court tennis, I am going to go out and play attacking tennis.
‘And if he can defend it, that’s good for him. And if he can’t, well then it’s good for me.”‘
Nadal won with relative ease in straight sets recently at Roland Garros. But to Federer, that was on Rafa’s court. This will be on his. Centre Court.
Speaking shortly before Nadal’s straight sets victory over Sam Querrey was confirmed, Roger said: ‘We had some brutal conditions in Paris but it was a joy to play against Rafa on his court.
‘But of course I’d love to play against Rafa here at Wimbledon. Obviously I’d be very excited to play against him. But I would approach it like any other match because that’s what we tennis players do.’
When Nadal had seen off Querrey he said: ‘I’m very happy to be in the semi-final again. I had a couple of dangerous situations in the first set but then I played well.
‘To face Roger is great. It is difficult to imagine being in that situation again but here we are. I’m excited to play against Roger again here at Wimbledon after such a long time.’
The last time, back in 2008, Nadal emerged from the gloom as winner after one of the most dramatic contests of all time.
Before that, Roger won both their showdowns at Wimbledon. Rafa leads the head-to-head 25-14 but Roger has enjoyed plenty of success over Nadal since his comeback from injury more than two years ago.
Take your pick. We pick Nadal at the end of an epic but would be equally delighted if Federer won instead.
Something else we told you the other day was that we wouldn’t be surprised if the underrated Roberto Bautista Agut reached his first Wimbledon semi-final.
And he made it, beating Guido Pella in four sets. Bautista Agut will play Novak Djokovic in the other semi-final after the Serb defeated David Goffin in straight sets, despite being broken in the first.
Sadly Andy Murray and Serena Williams were knocked out of the mixed doubles.
But we are still so lucky to have Serena on display in the singles.