Federer overcomes shaky start to join Grand Slam 100 club

Hard to believe, perhaps, but when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet in the Wimbledon semifinals, it will be their first matchup at the All England Club since their memorable 2008 final.

The duo have not met at the All England Club since their titanic tussle in the 2008 final, when Nadal outlasted Federer over five thrilling sets that finished late in the evening gloom.

Djokovic is ahead of Becker (48-0), Pete Sampras (47-0), John McEnroe (42-0) and Nadal (38-0), who improved his own tally with his 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Sam Querrey.

"It is the biggest match of the year because you're talking about two greats of the game". I'm playing well, too.

Not many people beat Djokovic twice in a row but his coach, Marian Vajda, said he thought those two victories for the Spaniard this year would have little or no impact on their semi-final. Both Bautista Agut and Pella traversed the entire width of the court as they pushed and pulled each other to every corner, trying to get one extra ball back in play.

"We had some brutal conditions to play (in) there".

Goffin was on top in the early stages as he sensed the opportunity to become the first Belgian man to make the semi-finals at a Slam since Xavier Malisse at Wimbledon in 2002. Then as I'm signing, a guy in the crowd says, Congratulations for your 100. Federer's transition from back court to front court is better than Nadal's and I see that being the reason for the Swiss master having more success at Wimbledon.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal expressed their mutual appreciation for one another as they prepare for a long-awaited Wimbledon reunion. The 32-year-old used the return, the shot that marks him out from the rest of draw, effectively on a warm day in this leafy south-west London suburb.

Federer's four defeats in 2006 had all come at the hands of the double French Open champion, but he was always the favourite to win at Wimbledon having not lost here since 2002.

"Roger is unbelievable", said Nadal, who at least prevented Federer from becoming the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to go through the whole tournament without dropping a set. Nadal has worked on his serving and that's helped him once again be a contender on grass. I just expect to play against probably the best player in history on this surface. "I know it's not going to be easy but I will enjoy it for sure".

"They did that again in Paris this year [when Nadal won their semi-final in straight sets]". The world No.1, who turned around his 2018 season here at Wimbledon, following an elbow surgery, was all smiles when asked what challenges opponents face playing him.

Now he has gone one better and will become only the sixth Spaniard to contest a Wimbledon men's semi-final when he takes on top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic.

He saved a break point in that game but was then unable to take any of three set points in the next, and a fourth also went begging before Querrey (left) broke back for 5-5. "I had match points but Roger is very tough. I've played as good as I've played entire tournament".

  • Julie Sanders


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