By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Roger Federer [2] def. Rafael Nadal [3] 7-6(3) 1-6 6-3 6-4
  • Will face defending champion Novak Djokovic for a ninth Wimbledon crown
WIMBLEDON, UK – Roger Federer will face Novak Djokovic on Sunday, as he outlasted Rafael Nadal to reach the final.

 

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Roger Federer [2] def. Rafael Nadal [3] 7-6(3) 1-6 6-3 6-4

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In one of the most anticipated matches on what has generally been a poor men’s tournament, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal faced each other for the first time at Wimbledon since their epic 2008 final.

On that occasion, Nadal emerged from the dusk to claim the title, and the quality at the start of the match seemed to indicate perhaps another epic. It was not until the eighth game until there was even the sniff of a break-point for Federer, which he could not convert, as they pair chased up to a tie-break. That in itself was a nervy affair, swapping mini-breaks, until Federer started to pull away to get the first set.

Nadal put pressure on Federer’s service game at the start of the second set, and his continued pummelling was rewarded with two straight breaks before wrapping up the second set swiftly.

The momentum came back to Federer in the third set, with a single break, despite Nadal pressing hard to peg him back, but unable to quite get over the line. Even Federer gave up chances for a double-break cushion but kept his advantage to regain the lead.

It was an early break in the fourth set, but Nadal scrapped and chased for every point, saving two match points in a long game that he managed to hold, and forcing Federer to dig out a further three match points before closing out a match that he admitted had left him ‘exhausted’ in his off-court interview straight after the match.

 

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‘I’m just relieved it’s all over at this point’

There was no doubt that this match took a toll on Federer. He looked emotional at the end of the match, and admitted it could have so easily spun the other way.

He told reporters, after the match: “It lived up to the hype, especially from coming out of the gates, we were both playing very well. Then the climax at the end with the crazy last game, some tough rallies there. I mean, I don’t know. It had everything at the end, which was great, I guess. I’m just relieved it’s all over at this point.”

The Gentlemen’s Singles Final will be played on Sunday at 2pm BST.

 

How to Watch/Follow Wimbledon 2019

TV Across BBC Channels & Red Button
Live Stream BBC Sport

 

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