Classic Djoko-Fedex final in the offing

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer’s legendary rivalry will get another chapter on Sunday when they face off for the Wimbledon men’s singles title.
Djokovic (left) has had the upper hand lately over Federer
Djokovic (left) has had the upper hand lately over Federer

London

Both men have become synonymous with championship matches at The All England Club. At least one of them has made it to the Sunday summit clash in all but two editions of The Championships since 2003. “It’s the final of Wimbledon. This is the kind of match that I always dreamed of being part of as a young boy. This is what I worked for. I wanted to be in this position,” said Djokovic.

“I have a chance to fight for a trophy. Regardless of who gets across the net or what is happening, I’ll definitely give it my all.” Top seed and defending champion Djokovic leads second seed Federer 25-22 in their head-to-head series. They have the second-most prolific rivalry in the Open Era, only trailing Djokovic-Nadal (54 matches).

Federer and Djokovic have squared off in 13 of the 14 most recent seasons on the ATP Tour, but the Serbian has had the upper hand lately, winning their past four duels. Djokovic also leads 2-1 in grass court, prevailing in the 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon finals. Their recent battles have still been highly competitive, though. Djokovic’s victory over Federer at the 2018 Paris Masters was named Best match of 2018 by ATPTour.com.

Their familiarity with each other means there will be no secrets when they take to Centre Court. Djokovic knows what he must do to beat Federer, and vice-versa. It will come down to who can execute their game plan most effectively. “I think the moment you’ve played somebody more than 15 times, there’s not that much more left out there. You know where the players go when it really matters,” said Federer.

“I don’t think there’s much I need to do in terms of practice. This is like school: You’re not going to read lots of books on the day of the test. You don’t have the time. It’s quite clear the work was done way before.” The two finalists carry different playing styles and personalities, but their path to the title decider have been similar.

Federer and Djokovic have each dropped two sets this fortnight, one in the first week and another in their respective semi-finals - Djokovic against Roberto Bautista Agut and Federer against Rafael Nadal. They’ve also hit more winners than unforced errors in all of their matches.

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