Federer overpowers Nadal and will face Djokovic in the Wimbledon final

Roger Federer moved to within one win of a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon singles title as he beat long-time rival Rafael Nadal to set up a final against another old foe Novak Djokovic.

Swiss second seed Federer won 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 6-4 against the Spanish third seed before an enthralled Centre Court.

Federer took his fifth match point for a shot at a 21st Grand Slam, while denying Nadal the chance of a 19th. Federer, 37, will meet Serbia's top seed Djokovic at 14:00 BST on Sunday.

Federer's eight Wimbledon titles are more than any other man in history and if he beats Djokovic he will match Martina Navratilova's success in women's singles.

Defending champion Djokovic, 32, goes for his 16th Grand Slam triumph after beating Spain's 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets earlier on Friday.

Djokovic's win ensured it would be a major final between two of the 'Big Three' in the men's game for the first time since the Serb beat Federer in the 2015 showpiece at the All England Club.

Anticipation was high for the meeting between two of the men widely considered among the greatest - if not the greatest - to have played the game, particularly because it was their first Wimbledon showdown since an epic 2008 final.

The names of Federer and Nadal, along with #Fedal40, dominating social media sites signified how the match had captured the attention of fans across the world.

That 2008 match, played over almost seven hours because of rain delays and ending in virtual darkness in front of a mesmerised Centre Court, is regarded as one of the sport's all-time great matches and it would have taken something extraordinary for the pair to recreate another occasion of such reverence.

Nevertheless, the pair - with a combined age of 70 - did produce a match which will live long in the memory.

Lengthy baseline rallies featuring flawless groundstrokes, supreme athleticism belying their advancing years and scintillating winners - particularly from Federer's backhand - left the 15,000 crowd captivated.

Federer was locked into the match from the moment he delivered an ace with the first ball and, apart from that dip in the second set, neutralised Nadal's weapons in a stellar performance.

After missing four match points, a dramatic ending saw Federer clinch victory in three hours and three minutes when Nadal whacked a backhand long.

Image result for wimbledon 2019
Courtesy: Bleacher Report

Federer's emotion was clear as a manic celebration - at least by his composed standards - greeted the match-winning point, raising both hands to the sky before wildly punching the air.

Federer, who turns 38 next month, celebrates after reaching his 12th Wimbledon final. He is the oldest Grand Slam finalist since Ken Rosewall, then aged 39, reached the 1974 US Open final.

Federer, who had more support on Centre Court than his great rival in their 40th meeting, edged ahead when he rattled off the final five points in the first-set tie-break but lost his way in the second as his level dipped.

Nadal levelled the match in little over half an hour, but Federer refocused and rediscovered his rhythm to break early in each of the third and fourth sets - and then, eventually, wrap up the match.


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