Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will battle for a place in the Wimbledon final on Friday, 11 years after they mesmerised Centre Court in a Grand Slam Championship match, widely regarded as the greatest ever played.
However, it is eight-time champion Federer who just edges their Wimbledon head-to-head 2-1, after winning the 2006 and 2007 finals before Nadal famously broke the spell in 2008. Nadal demolished Federer in straight sets in the semi-finals at Roland Garros last month on his way to the 12th title in Paris. In terms of the bare statistics at the All England Club in 2019, there is little to choose between them.
Nadal has served up 47 aces so far and been broken just four times; Federer has 42 aces, dropping serve on only three occasions. The Spanish third seed is yet to face a seeded player and has only been truly tested once, in his four-set second round victory over Nick Kyrgios. Federer, 37, is the oldest man in the last four of a Slam since 39-year-old Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open.
The eager anticipation of their 40th clash has relegated defending champion Novak Djokovic’s push for a fifth title to second billing. The top seed and world number one has reached the semi-finals for the ninth time, racking up his 70th career win at Wimbledon by sweeping past David Goffin in straight sets. It is to be noted that he reeled off 15 of the last 17 games.
In his 36th GS final four appearance, the 15-time major winner faces Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who makes his semi-final debut at the majors at the 27th attempt.