July 10, 2020
Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal in the semi-final at Wimbledon!
Do you remember this time last year? What a delicious prospect it was. The anticipation was so palpable we can feel it still.
The match, when it came, certainly didn’t disappoint. How could it, when two true masters of their art were creating the beauty on Centre Court?
How we long for the second Friday of Wimbledon 2021! Men’s semi-finals day. There’s nothing quite like it.
That wonderful occasion will come round again soon enough. We can start counting down the days on the tennis calendar.
We can start to imagine Wimbledon 2021.
Booking our place in the historic outdoor theatre of Centre Court. The tingle of excitement.
Will two of the world’s finest three players face each other in sporting combat once more?
Will the other legendary all-time-great also be doing battle on that same glorious afternoon on Centre Court?
The Big Three, all on one day. It’s more than possible because last year proved it.
Why should Wimbledon 2021 be any different?
Federer will be desperate to end on a high. Djokovic always seems to feature on semi-finals day. Nadal has featured at the last two tournaments as well.
The second Friday of Wimbledon always delivers scintillating tennis. High drama, high stakes. Top tennis warriors giving their all.
This is always one of the hottest tickets in the entire Wimbledon fortnight.
Some people love semi-final Friday even more that the final itself on the Sunday.
In a sense you get double your money’s worth on Friday. Two incredible matches, with a place in the Sunday showpiece awaiting the winners.
You won’t leave knowing who is champion. You won’t see an all-time great lift the trophy. But you will still be enthralled by the story-lines.
All the ingredients are there for a full and sumptuous afternoon of entertainment in one of world sport’s most coveted arenas.
Last year it was Federer v Nadal. And we saw Roger at his greatest.
He took the first set thanks to five consecutive points in the tie-break. What poise and nerve he showed.
Back came Rafa with a blistering second set. So forceful and commanding that lesser players than Federer would probably have been blown away entirely.
Not Roger. He rediscovered his rhythm. His serve and backhand were simply exquisite.
Rolling back the years in the garden of his dreams. Breaking at just the right tiime. Against a man of Nadal’s quality.
Rafa saved one match point after another. Yet Federer was supreme and he wasn’t to be denied on that special day.
Roger won 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Yet the scoreline could never convey the sheer beauty and magnificence of the performance. Or indeed what it was like to witness this match, up close and personal.
Numbers can’t describe the feeling, when you know you are in the best place on the entire planet at that particular moment in time. There’s no satisfaction quite like it.
Federer v Nadal. Wimbledon. Centre Court. It just doesn’t get any better in the sporting universe.
Last year was their first Wimbledon clash since the historic final of 2008 – one of the greatest contests Centre Court and the world has ever seen.
For Wimbledon 2019, they were still truly extraordinary. No reason why that won’t hold true for Wimbledon 2021 as well.
And by the time Nadal congratulated his opponent last year, Federer knew his opponent for the final on Sunday.
Djokovic had downed Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets. Precision, elasticity, astonishing technique. A wonderful display.
The scene was now set for Sunday’s classic final. Federer v Djokovic. Just amazing.
Finals weekend. Worth every penny.
Choose your day. You just know you won’t be disappointed.