Federer relishes meeting Nadal at Wimbledon after 11 years

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal last played against each other at Wimbledon during the 2008 final, in which the latter came out on top in five sets.

Published : Jul 11, 2019 00:28 IST , London

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal contested the 2006-08 Wimbledon finals.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal contested the 2006-08 Wimbledon finals.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal contested the 2006-08 Wimbledon finals.

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.

ALSO READ| Wimbledon: Nadal sets up dream Federer semi after downing Querrey

“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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