Federer, Nadal Renew Wimbledon Rivalry In Men’s Semi-Finals
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.
Federer is aiming for his 21st Grand Slam title, while Nadal (18) and Djokovic (15) look to close the gap.
Friday’s highly-anticipated semi-final will be the:
40th meeting between the pair in their illustrious careers
14th meeting at a Grand Slam, having only played in semi-finals and finals
fourth meeting at Wimbledon, with Federer leading 2-1 in the head to head
“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.”
Race to be the Goat continues
The battle to be the man with more Grand Slam titles than any other provides an added element of intrigue to the match between Federer and Nadal.
A third Wimbledon triumph for the Spaniard, who won the 2008 and 2010 titles, would move him just one behind the Swiss, having never been so close to his tally.
Federer, who is aiming for a record-extending ninth men’s singles title at Wimbledon, was nine majors clear of Nadal at the end of 2007 – when he was 26 and had already won 12 of his 20 majors.
Nadal closed that gap to just two with his 12th French Open title last month, while 32-year-old Djokovic is hot on their heels despite only winning his first major in 2008 and only adding a second three years later.
The rivalry in numbers
11 – Successive Grand Slam titles won between them, stretching from the 2005 French Open to the 2007 US Open
12 – Finals reached by Nadal at Roland Garros – a record which Federer is trying to match at Wimbledon
65 – Consecutive grass-court wins for Federer before Nadal ended that run in the 2008 Wimbledon final
70 – The combined age of 37-year-old Federer, who turns 38 next month, and 33-year-old Nadal
100 – Matches won by Federer at Wimbledon, the first man to reach a century at a single Grand Slam
211 – Consecutive weeks sharing the top two spots in the world rankings between July 2005 to August 2009
234,308,576 – Combined career prize money (US dollars)