Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer For the Wimbledon Title, Who’s The Pick?

by Sean Randall | July 13th, 2019, 3:14 pm

It’s a 1v2 seeded final at Wimbledon Sunday across the pond as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer renew their rivalry. It’s been a while since these two have played in a Grand Slam – 2016 Australian Open. While the Roger-Rafa rivalry gets all the headlines, these two titans have “quietly” met more times in a Slam than any other pair.

Their Open Era record 16th Slam meeting will either take Federer to 21 or Djokovic to 16. Take your pick! Here’s mine:

Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer
In the Slams and in just about every relevant category (hard, grass, clay, indoor, outdoor, finals), Djokovic leads Federer. Overall, he’s up 25-22 and in Slams it’s 9-6, plus 3-1 in Slam finals and 2-1 at Wimbledon.

He’s also nearly six years younger than Federer which, I think, is important because after Friday’s matches, Novak may be a tiny bit fresher than Fed who must have exhausted a lot in that incredible win over Rafael Nadal (and let’s not forget Fed played the clay season!).

So now the task for Roger is to beat Nadal and then beat Djokovic, a feat he’s never done before in consecutive matches. So could he possibly do that at almost 38 years of age? Why not! Anything seems to be possible in this extended era of the “Tennis Gods”.

Federer showed Friday that age is indeed just a number, doing something he was unable to do 11 years ago by beating Rafa on grass.

Rafa, though, hasn’t been as proficient on the lawn as he has been on hard courts and of course clay. Djokovic, however, has no issues on any surface.

The Serb has won his last 13 matches on grass and so far this week, has been in fine form. He’s also won four Wimbledon titles and the only guy to beat him a Slam final the last five years is Stan Wawrinka (0-2 v Stan, 9-0 v everyone else). And in that “Everyone Else” groupin, Novak has wins over Nadal, Juan Martin Del Potro, Kevin Anderson, two over Andy Murray and two over Federer.

That’s right, the last two times they met at Wimbledon, Djokovic beat Fed in four sets, winning the first set, dropping the second, then taking the last two to win the title. And I think we’ll see a similar pattern Sunday because Djokovic is just a tougher matchup for Roger on grass than Rafa is.

Djokovic’s return of serve, court positioning and speed is really going to neutralize Roger’s serve and attack game.

That said, Roger played really well against Rafa. And with the crowd now back to being fully on his side, if he can reproduce what he did against Nadal, he can absolutely pull the upset.

The problem is, I just don’t think Djokovic will allow it.

While Federer is chasing his own history, so too is Djokovic. Novak lost a chance in a bad match to Dominic Thiem at the French, and now he’s got to be focused on getting another Wimbledon and getting that much closer to Federer, and beating him in the process!

Novak’s No. 1, he’s won three of the last four Slams and he’s hasn’t lost to Federer in 4.5 years since the 2014 ATP Finals and in a Slam in 7 years. So…
The Pick: Djokovic in 4

And that will put an end to yet another Grand Slam.

While the women’s tour is doing away with Serena, Venus and Maria, the men’s tour is still fully and totally dominated by the Big 3 of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. And it continues this week and it probably will this summer and at the US Open, and who knows how much longer…

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57 Comments for Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer For the Wimbledon Title, Who’s The Pick?

Daniel Says:

I will stick to my bracket choice and pick Federer in 4.

Something smells destiny from the get go here.
21st Wimbledon appearance, 21st major. Beating Nadal and Djoko back to back for hos greatest Slam win at 37 and 11 months. Maybe AO 2017 qas the biggest. But this one ahould he win can cement his legacy for good.

Daniel Says:

Also Djoko didn’t face anybody with pedigree to actually beat him in a Slam.

And there were path in Hurc and Agut matches he seems low and not focused. Agaisnt a confident Federer, who likes to play fast and is a great frint runner it could be tricky.

Expect a very even match. Maybe 1 or 2 tiebreaks.

Giles Says:

Did Fed meet any players with pedigree apart from Rafa??
This question for Daniel who knows everything! NOT!

FedExpress Says:

Federer beat Nole last time at the WTF 2015, not 2014.

Please correct it.

czarlazar Says:

Sean has it about right. The difference between Nadal and Novak on grass is Novak’s shots are flatter and deeper, skid lower and thus will put more, constant pressure on Federer as he tries to hold his own from the baseline. Which he won’t be able to do. Therefore, for Federer to win, he’ll have to be in constant attack mode, finish points under 10 shots, serve well and go to the net a lot more than he did against a Nadal who was no better than average in the semis.

skeezer Says:

Pouille(beat Rafa), Berrettini (won a recent Grass title), and Nishikori(ranked#8). What you got? Burned out Tsonga, Nick K who is just here now for entertainment, and who? Lol.
Hey Giles, how about just once a hearty congratulations to Fed for beating Rafa yet again in his senior years of tennis?

Dave Says:

Djokovic in 4 sets is my pick. If you want to go back and look at where this happened in the past only to see the opposite happen in the final, go back to Wimbledon 2015 and U.S. Open 2015. Federer was playing amazing. Beat Murray in the Semi-finals in straight sets and was in peak form. DJokovic apparently not. Same with the US Open against Wawrinka and others, Federer was moving better than ever. So when we look at perceived form going into the finals, that doesn’t always work. The actual match-up is more important than this form. And actually, Federer has lost 3 sets going into the final, and Nole 2. Also, Nole would have beaten Nishikori in straights, as he seems to do everytime they play now. So I wouldn’t exactly say Federer is in peak form. Federer was good against NAdal. But even Nadal admitted he played better in all of his matches leading up to the Federer match, which isn’t Federer’s fault. It’s just how it happened. And Bautista Agut has been playing really good tennis this year and is a match-up issue for Djokovic and was one of his biggest tests because of that.

Dave Says:

And I forgot to add one very important thing that Djokovic does that Nadal can’t do anymore because of the Federer adjustment. Djokovic can pin Federer in his backhand corner with using his forehand because he hits it flatter and with his backhand that he also hits flat. And Djokovic can do this at will. And he does in this match-up. This is something Federer hasn’t found an answer for the same way he has with Nadal hitting the heavy topspin forehand to it. Also, Djokovic hits with a consistent depth that Federer ends up having to half volley back just to stay in the point and the next shot Djokovic takes control in the rally. Djokovic hits with more consistent depth than anyone. And that is hard for any player to deal with. Goffin commented on it after their match.

skeezer Says:

Obviously, looking at the numbers Sean wrote, Djoker is the hands down favorite by far. Just hoping Fed has the energy left to produce an entertaining match.

AR Says:

Djokovic has not faced post 2017 fed on grass. With a much improved backhand I believe fed will win. Even hard court matches have been very close lately

Daniel Says:


Fed beat Nishikori (who beat Djoko in USO before and is a Slam finalist), 2 back to back top 10. He had the hardest path compared to Djoko.

And I don’t know it all, just mentioned my pick and state the obivious, Agut was only “competition” for Djoko due to the 2 wins this year, otherwise he is a R16 type of player in a regular Masters draw. Not a usual Wimbledon semifinalist.

Daniel Says:

Btw Giles.

What do you prefer: Fed reaching 21 and distance himself from Nadal?
Or Djoko winning 16 and entering USO with a shot of finishing the year just 1 slam behind Nadal? Further cementing that he actually has the better GOAT claim than Nadal ever had, which was something I always mention since 2015.

Kind of a conumdrum for Nadal fans!😜

Andy Mira Says: a neutral fan,i will go with Novak in 4..

Novak is not Rafa…Roger will have a hard time dealing with him today…esp. when the crowd turned against Novak & cheered their darling non stop…i think like usual when these 2 meet,the crowd will be an xtra weapon for Novak…Tho i will not be surprise too if Roger win today…He’s a great champion after all & keep producing unbelievable results over & over again…

@Daniel…No prob!…if Roger will be good for him & his fans…if Novak win,it will be good for him & his fans too…whoever win,it’s already meant for them to win okay?

About GOAT claim,personally i just wait for Novak to reach 18 @ 19 slams..i will declare him THE GOAT…Right now,for me,he’s the GOAT in the making…

Best of luck to both champions!!

Michael Says:

Nobody is invincible or unbeatable. If a Theim or Wawarinka or Berdych are able to beat Novak in a Slam, why not Roger who is a far far better player than those above. Moreover, Novak lately is not so consistent and losing even to lower ranked players. I am sure if Roger produces the magical Tennis he displayed against Rafa, he can win it in 4 sets. The question is will Roger reprise his form ? The match is in his racquet literally and he should be conscious of the fact that Novak always is troubled by one handed backhanders like Haas, Wawarinka etc. So this should fact must galvanise him to trsnscend to another level. That said, as both are my favourite players, I am in a cornelian dilemma !?

Michael Says:

Beating Rafa and Novak back-to-back at 38 to win Wimbledon !? If it were to happen that will be the crowning moment for Roger in his amazing and remarkable career. What he couldn’t achieve at his prime, can he make it possible now ? That is the million dollar question for which answer would be known shortly. And if Roger does that then it will be an utter insult and ignominious shame to the competition and new generation of players that a man at 38 is able to conquer them.

autoFilter Says:

As historically significant as the Federer vs Nadal rivalry has been, some of the highest quality tennis I’ve ever seen has been in matches between Novak and Roger. In my estimation, those two have brought out the best in each other like no others. I’m not saying it’s always gone that way; In fact, each has handed the other a straight up beatdown on more than one occasion. But when they are both in full flight, it’s an extravaganza of unparalleled proportion… Here’s hoping that tomorrow’s final will bring transcendental play from both contestants. I am rooting for Roger, but I have the utmost respect for Novak and loads of appreciation for his game.

Of course Novak is the favorite, but surely anyone who’s been paying attention for the past two decades would know better than to count Roger out any time he chooses to take the court with racquet in hand.

May the best man win.

El_matador Says:

Rooting for Roger in this one…bcuz if Roger gets to 21,it will ignite the fire even more on nole (& Rafa) to catch Roger…& Maybe it’s the last chance for Roger to win a slam…on the other hand,Rafa can still win a few more french even if he’s 70 years old & plays with one knee…but Nole is far from finished & surely a lot more to come from the end of the day,I want all of these 3 to finish on 21…it will ensure that the GOAT debate will never end till Armageddon ahahahah

senthilv Says:

Simple Stat – Federer Won all GS where he beat Nadal. Tomorrow Number 9 for Fedex

FedExpress Says:

I get the impression whenever the crowd is against Nole (especially vs Fed) this fuels Nole with more energy, focus and confidence and makes him even more dangerous. He thrives to prove people wrong.

j-kath Says:

Today, I think it will be as tight as all heck.

Didn’t see all Novak vs RBA match but did see the challenging 43 stroke point. And yes, RBA is not normally in the same category as the big 3, but at times he can surpass his level and did present a problem. The fact that Novak was seriously challenged indicated he was not at his supreme best.

But that was 2 days ago and the same applies to Roger who met a Rafa (who did not manage to play his A game). Roger has done a lot to keep vibrant and athletic (fighting his father’s genes and losing weight- e.g. folds of skin on his chest)all of which helps to prime his skills.

It should be an exciting match. Roger will get massive support from the crowd but I’m betting Novak will squeak through.

Van Persie Says:

Nole and Roger are not better than they were in 2015,rhey are playing smarter though, given the age.
Nole was not very convincing during this tournament, but neither was Fed.
They both showds weaknesses, I give Nole the mental edge.
Nole in 4

No smoking Says:

Look at therir head to head tallies below fascinating how it is balanced. Djokovic slightly leading in almost every department, but not in number of sets won.

Anyhow it is hard to predict who will win today based on the statistics. Anyhow, one thing is sure the first set is crucial for Fed since Nole wining 7 of 8 marches when book the opener. Also, if it goes to decider chances for Nole growing (13-5).

Nole by winning today will narrow the gap in majors opposite Fed will increase the distance and have safe margin to him and Rafa. Regarding this year, Fed’s win returns him in the fight for no. 1 spot, otherwise Djoko will be closer to year-end no. 1 and overtake Fed and equal Sampras (6 times). Also Djoko if winning Wimbledon will have good chances to pass Fed in total weeks at no. 1 spot.

Anyhow stakes are high for both of them. Hopefully they will be able to give their best and let’s better player wins.

All matches: Djokovic, 25–22
Grand Slam matches: Djokovic, 9–6
ATP World Tour Finals matches: Djokovic, 3–2
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 matches: Djokovic, 11–9
Best of three set matches: Djokovic, 16–15
Best of five set matches: Djokovic, 9–7
Matches lasting five sets: Djokovic, 3–0
Winning the match after losing 1st set: Djokovic, 7–1
All finals: Djokovic, 12–6
Grand Slam finals: Djokovic, 3–1
ATP World Tour Finals finals: Djokovic, 2–0
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals: Djokovic, 5–3
ATP World Tour 500 series finals: Tied, 2–2
All sets: Federer, 70–67
Deciding sets: Djokovic, 13–5
Tiebreak sets: Tied, 12–12
Deciding Tiebreaks: Djokovic, 3–0
Results on each court surface
Clay courts: Tied, 4–4
Hard courts: Djokovic, 19–17
Outdoor: Tied, 13–13
Indoor: Djokovic, 6–4
Grass courts: Djokovic, 2–1

Van Persie Says:

P.S. just to say, I have no problem with crowds having a fave and cheering clearly more for one of them, fans are buying tickets after all.
What is more frustrating for me is to read unprofessional and biased articles in the media from journos, who consider themselves professional.

Now see you all after the match!

squirrel0209 Says:

Hi Andy Mira! How you’ve been??? Congrats again for Rafa’s 12th FO!

Thanks for your input.

As for me, I’ll say Fed in 4! 😊

chrisford1 Says:

VP – “What is more frustrating for me is to read unprofessional and biased articles in the media from journos, who consider themselves professional.”

It’s like that in all media today, Van Persie, not just sports coverage. No more “objective news 1st”, now it’s about agendas and loading up on Kardashian fodder to boost ratings.

As the Big 4 get older and they know time is going to limit opportunities and there are huge records up for grabs by the Big 4,(some of which they care about) at stake.
Clearly, Roger is supremely motivated. 21 at nearly 38 going through Rafa AND Novak could be his career capstone match.
But Djokovic says his tennis goals are in priority, (1)being a good and happy person, (2) Getting more Slams as the time is limited, (3) Becoming the historical #1, which he needs to win Wimbledon or the USO plus 2-3 masters or both remaining Slams to keep him at #1 while he passes Connors and Lendl and oes for Sampras 286 and Federer’s 310 weeks at #1.. So he is also supremely motivated.

Another wild Djokovic thing is he could het his second career ATP and ATP Chamionship sweep if he wins in Cincinnati. And in the years left, if he wins another Monte Carlo and a 3rd Cincinnati title he gets a triple sweep.

Andy Mira Says:

Hey hey hey Squirrel,my bro!!…hahaha…long time no hear brother!!

I’m the one who should ask u “where have u been!?”…it’s been so long since u came here….Miss u!!hehe…as for me,well…still ugly!!…hehehehe…

And thanks for the congrats buddy!…I wish u & Fed all the best today k?I certainly will feel very happy for u & Fed if he win today!Just imagine if he be able to beat Nole & Rafa b2b!!…oh wow!…That must be incredible!!

squirrel0209 Says:

Andy Mira my sis!! Miss you too!!

Sorry I went missing for a long time, had a transition period in my life where i needed a break from everything including tennis! But Im good now and am very ready to follow tennis with all you wonderful people again!

How are u tho?? Is Willow still here? I miss her as well!

Will u be watching the final today??

Tennis Lover Says:

Another Wimbledon loss at almost 38 years of age by the hand of notorious Djoker would be seismic disaster for Federer since we all know Federer will not have the opportunity to win more than 1-2 Grand Slams before he ends his illustrious career possibly at the end of 2020. So, if he loses today he would not find that golden chance to add 1-2 more slams to his inimitable repertoire. Overall, it will be sad day for tennis. Federer is the embodiment of Tennis at its aesthetic best so him being prime contender for GOAT will be more deserving prize for tennis.

squirrel0209 Says:

Well said Tennis Lover!

But don’t worry too much, I think he’ll get it done today :)

Michael Says:

Novak definitely enjoys the edge, but what should inspire Roger with some degree of confidence is that Novak is not even faintly near the incredible form he was able to produce right from 2011 to 2016 and he is looking a little wobbly and vulnerable with more off days on court. Even in this year, he has lost to players outside the top 5. This is the opportunity Roger should pounce upon and hope his opponent succumbs to pressure of the occasion. Novak is widely expected to win and this should take pressure of expectations from Roger who can afford to go all out aggressive and hope such an adventurism pays.

Tennis Lover Says:

This is for Nadal and Djokovic Fans:

The reason I want Federer to be the GOAT is not because of his matchless statistics but because of that aesthetic element in his game. Sports is a form of entertainment, so if a sport person can not provide that aesthetic element along with athletic supremacy, he/she should not be considered in the discussion of being THE GOAT of that sport. Ofcourse, statistics, overall slam haul/championship trophies, win percentage, all surface expertize (in tennis), world number 1 ranking for the most number of times and even H2H matters in finding a GOAT in any sports, but to be considered as THE GOAT in any sports, one has to provide that ultra legendary elements in game which is being the most aesthetically pleasing performer of the sport along with the best statistics of the sports that one has played in his/her career.

Kimberly Says:

Djokovics not going to let this one slide.
But I expect Federer to put it all out there. Djokovoc In 4 or 5.

Madmax Says:

FedExpress Says:
Federer beat Nole last time at the WTF 2015, not 2014.

Please correct it.

July 13th, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Way to go FedExpress!

Game on Everyone1

Let’s go Roger! Daniel and Dave, relying on you for excellent commentary today. FedExpress, remember, Fed beat Rafa in the SF, he is going to be taking that mindset in with him in today’s final – so whatever happens, we are proud. Proud to be a Federer fan!

Getting ready to watch now, so see you all for commentary very soon.

Madmax Says:

Tennis Lover Says:
Another Wimbledon loss at almost 38 years of age by the hand of notorious Djoker would be seismic disaster for Federer since we all know Federer will not have the opportunity to win more than 1-2 Grand Slams before he ends his illustrious career possibly at the end of 2020.


It won’t be a disaster! Come on! Let’s just watch the clash of the titans. So proud of Federer, he has been here before, and he will be here again.

Come on!

Tennis Lover Says:


Show me a single reason not be proud of Roger Federer, I was only speaking hypothetically. His tennis is poetic and that alone make me adore his tennis more than Djokovic’s or Nadal’s. Just remember, If someone brings GOAT issue, he or she must prove how aesthetically pleasing his/her favorite is!

Madmax Says:

Relax TL.

There is not one single reason, as you say. Each to their own. Potay to Po tat o.

More to GOAT than meets the eye. Right? But that is another debate.

Everyone is backing Novak today, to win.

Federer has a lot to put out on court today, and I know that he will. We know that he will.

See you later TL. Enjoy the match!

Come on Fed!

Madmax Says:

Hope the game plan is in place for attacking agressive tennis.

Madmax Says:

Hope the game plan is in place for attacking aggressive tennis.

j-kath Says:

Madmax: A whisper in your ear – Kimberly is posting – here’s your chance to ask re. the “missing” poster?????????

Tennis Lover Says:

Key will be

1. High first serve percentage; big second serve, djokovic is a great returner, he won 2014 and 2015 here in wimbledon by nullifying Fed’s Serve with his return.
2. Fearless return game driving the ball from the backhand side.
3. Winners unforced error ratio (3:1) (Let’s say Fed fires down 50 winners which means he can not commit more than 16-17 UE)
4. The Neo backhand of 2017.

Andy Mira Says:

Hey back Squirrel my bro!…of coz i will be watching these 2 greats playing brother!…There’s no way i’m gonna miss it!

Hey!…u’re still in Belgium?

Madmax Says:

Kimberley, do you know where Margot is these days? I miss that woman! She should not disappear because Murray is not playing, her comments are valuable. Put a word in her ear please!

Thanks J-kath.

Madmax Says:

All this hype! Goodness, let’s get on with the game!

J-Kath, are you here?

Jatin? Skeezer? Dave? Daniel? CF!? I’m ready.

squirrel0209 Says:

@Andy Mira

Yeah still! Hehe

Madmax Says:


Andrew Castle back again. One question.


Andy Mira Says:

Squirrel…still??Hehehe…Uhh…i thought if u’re at home,i wanna invite u to my daughter’s wedding in november…but,alas!…’s a shame!

Ohh…here’s Fed & Novak!…

Madmax Says:

Way to go Fed!

Bring it home!

Battle of serves right now. Seems to be the serves which are the magic piece of machinery right now.

Madmax Says:

Tennis Lover Says:
Key will be

1. High first serve percentage; big second serve, djokovic is a great returner, he won 2014 and 2015 here in wimbledon by nullifying Fed’s Serve with his return.
2. Fearless return game driving the ball from the backhand side.
3. Winners unforced error ratio (3:1) (Let’s say Fed fires down 50 winners which means he can not commit more than 16-17 UE)
4. The Neo backhand of 2017.

July 14th, 2019 at 8:37 am

Yes TL.
It’s going to happen. Not sure I respect the fact that Becker is sharing all of the Novak secrets, just because he can. Remember this is the guy who lied about having a child. So, really, he needs to stick to the match and not get personal.

It’s about equal right now, Novak with the possible edge.

Madmax Says:

Beautfiul game there by Roger.

Really beginning to mix it up, more of that please!

Madmax Says:

Great serving by Fed to hold there.

Well done Maestro. It’s very close and this is a long game, already.

Come on Fed!

j-kath Says:

Madmax: Re Andrew Castle – ye gods and little fishes – no show without the MOUTH. Let’s be grateful for small mercies…at least we’ve got Tim and Boris – they at least know when not to speak.

jatin Says:

Hope Fed can continue this level in 3rd set as well. Comon Fed.

RZ Says:

That game (and set) was a huge missed opportunity for Federer. He needs this 3rd set if he’s going to win the match.

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