Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal, will face Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon final

Florence Fletcher
July 13, 2019

Bautista Agut flashed a brilliant return past Djokovic from the first serve of the match but he barely threatened for the rest of the set as his high-risk approach produced too many errors and a provided a straightforward set win for the favourite.

Second-seeded Roger Federer topped No. 3 Rafael Nadal, 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, on Friday, in a matchup that wasn't short on drama.

But with Djokovic's forehand and focus straying, Bautista Agut took the second set, 6-4, to level the match at one set each.

With Roger Federer defeating Rafael Nadal in their semifinal, defending champion Novak Djokovic did his part Friday (Saturday NZT) to ensure he would be in Sunday's final against Federer.

Federer saved that and then threw everything in his arsenal at Nadal on a third match point only for the indefatigable Spaniard to win a sensational baseline rally.

However, the former world No 1 believes Federer won't allow the match to reach a fifth set if he doesn't want it to the distance.

The 38-year-old won that contest, and Moya is cautious how that will help Federer ahead of their match-up on Centre Court today.

However, Federer further added that he will obviously analyze Nadal's game with the help of Seve and Ivan before coming into the match. Moments later, he was ending a 45-stroke baseline exchange - the longest on record at Wimbledon, where such stats date to 2006 - with a backhand victor to save a break point.

Federer took the third set 6-3 and edged ever closer in the fourth, breaking in the third game and then nearly sealing it in the ninth, only for Nadal to save two match points and tell Federer he would have to do it on his own serve.

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The tensest, most thrilling of games followed, and after Federer fluffed a smash, Nadal squandered a break-back point.

Nadal beat the 20-time grand slam champion in an epic final the last time they met at SW19 in 2008, but was unable to pull off a repeat on Centre Court 11 years later.

It seemed certain that Djokovic was going to spend a lot less time on court in this semi-final compared to 12 months ago when he needed five sets and five hours and 15 minutes to beat Nadal. It, and probably the match, hinged on the seventh game as Djokovic, a break to the good, served at 30-40.

This is the second straight meeting of the 20 Grand Slams holder and 18 majors victor in Grand Slam.

"He's an unbelievable player, he's a champion of the sport; one of the greatest we'll ever see".

"I am sad for the loss because for me it was another opportunity", he said.

"It is something that is going to be hard to see it again".

However, Bautista Agut, who had already defeated the Serb twice this year, eventually settled and broke for 2-1 in the second set.

After watching Bautista Agut's shot hit the net tape, pop in the air and slide over for a victor that tied things at a set apiece, Centre Court spectators stood and cheered, perhaps envisioning a tight match.

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