More than a decade after their momentous Wimbledon final in 2008 – a match for the ages that ended under semi-darkness – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will lock horns again, this time a round earlier.
The two won their respective quarterfinal matches on Wednesday against Kei Nishikori and Sam Querrey, to set up their 40th head-to-head meeting on Friday. While Federer came through a tense four-setter 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 for his 100th win at SW19, Nadal doused a spirited challenge from the service-heavy American 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
READ| Semifinal bound Federer makes history with 100th Wimbledon win
“Well, we have a lot of information on Rafa and so do they about us,” said a smiling Federer about facing Nadal. “We can all talk tactics for the next two days or just say it’s grass court tennis and I am going to attack. If he can defend, it’s good for him or it’s good for me. I mean, people hype it up, just like in the French Open. It was a joy to play on his court. Now, I’d love to play on grass. Let’s see what happens.”
The eight-time Wimbledon champion though had to tough it out against Nishikori. The Japanese broke early in the first set forcing the Swiss to play catch-up. Federer pounced in the second right at the beginning, just when Nishikori appeared to switch off, and maintained the lead throughout. He broke open the contest at 3-3 in the third set and never looked back.
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“The beginning was brutal,” Federer said later. “Kei was smashing returns and I had to make adjustments and stay with him. I had to get the lead and protect it in the second and then start a normal match at one set all. I served well from there. It was a good serving performance against a great returning player.”
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