Federer, Nadal Back In Wimbledon SFs; Djokovic Romps, Will Face Bautista Agut
by Staff | July 10th, 2019, 6:27 pm
  • 26 Comments

For the second straight Grand Slam, longtime legendary rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will meet in the semifinals, this time at Wimbledon for the first time in 11 years.

Both tennis greats were on late on quarterfinal day at the Championships. Federer was on Centre Court and after dropping his first service game followed by the opening set, he took command of Kei Nishikori for a comfortable 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win.

“Overall, I’m just very happy how I’m hitting the ball,” said Federer who never lost serve again after the first game. “Feel good off the baseline, too, which is clearly going to be important, maybe, for the next match.”

The victory was Federer 100th of his career at Wimbledon making the Swiss the first man in history to reach that number at a single Slam.

He also advanced to his 13th Wimbledon semifinal and 45th Slam semifinal.

Nadal was on Court 1 against the big-serving Sam Querrey. The American, who made the Wimbledon semifinals two years ago, broke Nadal as the Spaniard served for the opener. That was about the only drama in the match as Rafa broke right back, served out the first and then dominated Querrey’s second serve to a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 victory, claiming 14 of the last 18 games.

“I think I am playing with a very high intensity, playing aggressive, serving well and returning very well,” Nadal said. “Today was a big, big challenge against a server like Sam. [I broke] him six times, which is a lot against a player like him… I am very, very happy with the way I am playing.”

While Nadal was broken once, Querrey, who had held 71 of 72 times, dropped serve on six occasions. The California native won just 28% on his second serve.

“He makes a ton of just stab returns in, then he puts a little extra pressure on you coming in because he has such great passing shots,” Querrey said. “Forced a few more errors than I like. But then at the same time, he hit a handful of great passing shots by me. Just the combination of those few things makes it tougher than playing some other guys.”

Nadal leads Federer 24-15 most recently ending a 5-match losing skid to the Swiss at the French. It’s their first meeting on grass or at Wimbledon since their 2008 epic won by Rafa.

“A great feeling to be back in the semifinals, be able to be playing at this level of tennis,” Nadal said. “Very happy the way that we managed to be in that round.

“Now to play against Roger always is a unique situation. Excited to be back on this court against him after 11 years. Means a lot for me and probably for him, too,” he added. “Excited about this match, excited about this opportunity to be again in that round against him. Always I say the same: of course, the opportunities to play against each other every time are less, but we still here. After tomorrow we going to have another chance.”

Added Federer, “[He has] improved so much over the years on this surface. He’s playing also very different than he used to. Haven’t played each other in a long, long time on this surface. He’s serving way different. 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,” he said. “A lot of them are saying, ‘Oh, it’s the end,’ by 2008. Similar to me in ’09. We’re still here, so it’s nice to play each other again.”

But the favorite of the tournament remains Novak Djokovic. The defending champion was in a bit of a bind with David Goffin serving with a break 4-3, 30-0 in the first set. But Serb quickly remedied the situation and reeled off 10 straight games en route to a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 win in just under two hours.

“I’ve been playing best tennis in this tournament in the past two rounds, the fourth round and today, especially today second set and third set against Goffin, who was in-form. I felt like I managed to dismantle his game and always find the right shots. Very pleased with the performance,” Djokovic said. “This match could have gone different way. I was a break down. He was the better player for most of the first set. But I managed to turn things around.”

Goffin was trying to make his first Slam semifinal. But after an encouraging early lead, he was completely streamrolled.

“You have to play the perfect point to win it against him. Then he’s returning in your feet all the time. You know how the grass is, just in front of the line, it’s so tough, it’s really fast. He puts you under pressure all the time,” Goffin said. “Even if you play well, it’s not enough because he continues to play deep, deep, close from the line, left, right. Amazing backhand down the line, as well. He was everywhere.”

Djokovic has now won his last 12 matches at Wimbledon and 31 of his last 32 in Grand Slam play.

He’ll now be the big pick in his semifinal Friday against Roberto Bautista Agut. The 31-year-old reached his first career Slam final four easing past first-time Slam quarterfinal Guido Pella 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

“It feels good to be next to them,” he said being alongside the Big 3. “They are one of the best players in the tennis era. They are such good sportsmen, good tennis players. It feels very good to be next to them and to be part of the semi-final in this tournament.

“My shots are really, really flat. I like to take the ball early, to be solid. With experience of playing each year on grass, I have really learned more about the movements on grass. I feel I can play a solid game also from baseline and I can really develop the good things I do on the court here on grass.”

Bautista Agut has won both meetings against Djokovic this year, though is down 7-3 to the Serb.

“He’s been definitely playing some very, very high-quality tennis in this tournament. He has won twice against me so far this year. That’s certainly going to give him confidence coming into the match,” Djokovic said. “Obviously playing on grass, it’s different. Semi-finals of Grand Slam, going to try to use my experience in being in these kinds of matches, get myself tactically prepared. Hopefully I can execute everything I intend to do.”

All four guys will have a day off after less-than taxing quarterfinals. They’ll be back Friday for the semifinals.


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26 Comments for Federer, Nadal Back In Wimbledon SFs; Djokovic Romps, Will Face Bautista Agut

Patson Says:

7 rounds of tennis in a slam (other than the French), and in the end, Novak always wins.

:-)


Patson Says:

Damn it, I messed it up! Wish I could edit the comment.

7 rounds of tennis in a slam, and in the end, Novak always wins (other than the French)


chrisford1 Says:

Big temptation to look past RBA and discuss who Novak will play in the Final.
But Roberto Bautista Agut is 2-0 against Novak in 2019. Give him some respect.
Or enough respect not to think Novak has an easy cakewalk.

For Federer Rafa – Rafa is in beast mode. He should win, but it was like that at the AO before he was chopped, julienned, and fricasseed by Djoko in the Final. And Fed did the same to Rafa in 2017 at the AO.

It will be the 40th Fedal Whoever wins.


Van Persie Says:

RBA is no easy cakewalk for sure, but given what I saw from Nole yesterday (watched the match as replay), I expect Nole to win in 3. Nole is peaking now, and it would be the upset of the year, if RBA won the match. Who knows, maybe RBA will win a set, but it is his first semifinal at a GS, Nole is in terrific shape, am not worried.

This GS is Nole’s to lose.
Rafa played great, but I do not see him playing better, than he did until now…same with Roger, but I can see Nole capable of raising his level even more.


Nits Says:

Djokovic is playing lights out. He is having an easier path compared to other big three. He is well rested & hungry. I think he has a very smart team with an analyst I forgot his name & Ivanosevic.So can’t see anyone else winning.


j-kath Says:

The Rafa vs Roger match could wipe both of them out. However, Rafa is 5 years younger than Roger and can take the physical punishment better – so Rafa likely to squeeze out the win.

Novak likely to have a tough match vs RBA as well, but when push comes to shove Nole will win.

The Final: Whoever recovers best.


Van Persie Says:

Actually, Nole- RBA match could be more phisical, even if it would be played in 3-4sets, than Roger-Rafa. I bet, we will not see many long points at the Fedal match, Roger is not into them. the winner from Fedal match will be perhaps more tired mentally. Good news for Nole, he will have a day off to recover and he plays first.


Van Persie Says:

^^ and I have to add, should Nole prevail tomorrow, he will have the mental edge on Sunday.


Giles Says:

^^ Lol. Why would he have the mental edge on Sunday??


Van Persie Says:

^^ You’ll see on Sunday, Giles ;)


Giles Says:

You’re assuming he’ll win tomorrow!! .?!


Van Persie Says:

Well, Nole is that good , that he allows me to be a bit too confident, yes am 90% sure he wins, I leave 10% to the tennis gods ;)


FedExpress Says:

I feel that that the RG loss last month swept away all the mental edge Fed had gained in 2017 vs Nadal.

Nadal much more clearer and confident now.


skeezer Says:

Djoker has the better path, better form, and will be rested. His tennis looks very sharp.congrats to his team in getting him back to beast mode. He’s bagging another wimpy for sure.


Madmax Says:

Well,

We all know as tennis fans, that everything is on the line here. FedExpress, you give Roger little credit for the times he has dug so deep to get back to form, and to go on to win. His mental edge is fantastic and has improved more than ever. I will turn the tables around and say that it is yourself who needs to gain some mental edge, because I see your name and shudder. You have no spine of steel at all. All you ever do is criticise him, and only ever praise Roger when he wins. That isn’t being a fan. Nope. Not at all.

Federer to win the SF tomorrow, he has to win this. If he keeps the match short, and God, please no more fifth sets, (except if he wins them!), just keep the ball clean, and do what he has been doing. Yes, no doubt that Rafa has the intensity, but sorry guys, Federer is made for grass and grass is made for him. I am going to stay super positive and I know that Roger will do his absolute best to beat Rafa tomorrow. Timing and placement. The stars are aligned. Come on Roger!

One match at a time here. Not even thinking about the final. The SF is going to be the final – and the best match of the tournament.

Roger, I salute you. Fantastic champion. Now time to get some sweet revenge for 2008. Gosh, everyone, we are here. Again. I remember where I was and what I was doing at that time. It was one helluva match.

Hope the match inspires us all to support our man.

Jatin, Daniel, Skeezer, see you around tomorrow – I will probably watch the whole match though without posting, I don’t want to miss a thing.


patson Says:

@Madmax Why unload on FedExpress ?

“You have no spine of steel at all. All you ever do is criticise him, and only ever praise Roger when he wins. That isn’t being a fan. Nope. Not at all.”

That’s uncalled for. Fandom doesn’t imply being part of a cult. You can be a fan of a player AND yet think the other player will win.


truthsquad Says:

I’m a huge Federer fan, but I think Rafa has this championship on his racket. He’s been on beast mode since before the French and he has a glint in his eye and a determination in his step that suggests to me he is going for it. I think his ultimate goal is not just Wimbledon but to eclipse Roger’s GS total of 20.


Giles Says:

Madmax. CULT LEADER!!


lylenubbins Says:

RBA has beaten Novak twice this year? Did not realize that.


chrisford1 Says:

Madmax – I hope Roger stays at 20. Just because Slamcount as a measure of any tennis player’s career rank with other pros is still used and Novak and Rafa have to have something to shoot for.
I don’t have to hope too hard, as Rafa and Novak are showing better form than Roger.
Federer is good, or made for grass, as you say, but so are the rest of the Big 4.


SG1 Says:

Thinking that the Rog-Rafa match won’t resemble the epic struggle from 2008. Both will be feeling the pressure of expectation. For Roger, he may not have a lot of opportunities left to add to his slam count. For Rafa, he’s not had a lot of success at Wimbledon in over 10 years and he may feel that this is his last chance to get another Wimbledon victory.

I don’t buy that the FO loss will affect Federer. The conditions were awful and it was on clay. I suspect that Federer will more than hold his own in this match. It hasn’t been working for me lately but I’ll go against Nadal and pick Federer to get through in 4 tight sets.

With all of the above said, I don’t see anyone beating Novak right now so I’m picking him to win the whole thing.


senorita Says:

SG1 Says:
“Thinking that the Rog-Rafa match won’t resemble the epic struggle from 2008. Both will be feeling the pressure of expectation. For Roger, he may not have a lot of opportunities left to add to his slam count. For Rafa, he’s not had a lot of success at Wimbledon in over 10 years and he may feel that this is his last chance to get another Wimbledon victory.”

In over 10 years????? Rafa won it in 2010!


SG1 Says:

Okay. It’s been 9 years, not 10. Give a guy a break.


Nits Says:

If it happens although it’s a very big if. Nadal wins the championship. What it means to his legacy?? Beating both Federer and Djokovic on his least preferred surface in three days. He will be surely on Moon.


Madmax Says:

patson Says:
@Madmax Why unload on FedExpress ?

“You have no spine of steel at all. All you ever do is criticise him, and only ever praise Roger when he wins. That isn’t being a fan. Nope. Not at all.”

That’s uncalled for. Fandom doesn’t imply being part of a cult. You can be a fan of a player AND yet think the other player will win.

July 11th, 2019 at 10:23 am

Patson, there is a history. You only need read his comments and threads, so before you start to throw stones….


Madmax Says:

To be fair to you Patson, you haven’t posted in a while, and honestly, I get tired of reading FedExpresses contnual negativity throughout, but you are right. Each to their own. And the fandom thing. Well, being a fan of Roger’s for a long time now, I guess that is fandom. I am happy with that.

ChrisFord!, I hear you. I do think that Novak will ultimately win the final, but hey. I’m sticking with Roger in the SF, and I reall hope he can pull off the win – that would be marvellous.

Enjoy!


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