Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal renew Wimbledon rivalry in men’s semi-finals
|Wimbledon men’s semi-finals|
|Venue: All England Club Dates: Friday, 12 July Time: First match at 13:00 BST|
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal renew their exalted rivalry on Friday when they meet at Wimbledon for the first time since the epic 2008 final.
Swiss Federer, 37, and Spaniard Nadal, 33, play their tantalising semi-final second on Centre Court.
They meet after top seed and reigning champion Novak Djokovic plays Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut at 13:00 BST.
Federer is aiming for his 21st Grand Slam title, while Nadal (18) and Djokovic (15) look to close the gap.
“Often we see matches being overhyped but you can’t overhype this one – and rightly so,” three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker told BBC Sport.
“It is the biggest match of the year because you’re talking about two greats of the game.”
‘Unique’ and ‘exciting’ – Federer and Nadal on their rivalry
Federer: “Rafa has improved so much over the years on this surface. He’s also playing very differently.
“I remember back in the day how he used to serve, and now how much bigger he’s serving, how much faster he finishes points.
“We have a lot of information on Rafa, as does he on us. So you can dive into the tactics like mad, or you say ‘it’s grass-court tennis so I’m going to come out and play my tennis’.
“I’m excited to play him again.”
Nadal: “Playing against Roger is always a unique situation. I’m excited to be back on Centre Court against him after 11 years. It means a lot for me and probably for him, too.
“The opportunities to play against each other are becoming less, but we still here.
“I’m not expecting to learn new things about him. I just expect to play against probably the best player in history on this surface.
“I know he’s playing well. He feels comfortable here. I’m playing well, too.
“I am playing with a very high intensity, playing aggressive, serving well and returning very well.
“I know that I have to play my best.”