After both players cruised into the semifinals, longtime rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will battle it out on the grass courts of the All England Club for the first time since they clashed in an epic five-set final in 2008.
Federer took down Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 for his 100th win at Wimbledon on Wednesday before Nadal beat American Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to set up the pair’s showdown on Friday morning (for those of us on the western edge of the pond, at least).
“We have a lot of information on Rafa, as does he on us,” Federer said after learning who his opponent would be, the BBC reported. “So you can dive into the tactics like mad for two days, or you say, ‘It’s grass court tennis so I’m going to come out and play my tennis.’”
“People always hype it up,” he added. “It was a joy to play against Rafa on his court at the French Open and [I’m] very excited to play him here.”
The last time they played here — 11 years ago, astonishingly — was an instant classic that went the distance. The match lasted nearly five hours on court along with an hour of rain delays before the then 22-year-old Spaniard hoisted his trophy. Between the two of them, Nadal and Federer now hold 10 Wimbledon titles — eight of which belong to the Swissman.
“It’s great,” Nadal said about his upcoming rematch with Federer. “It’s difficult to imagine again being in that situation. I’m excited to play against Roger again here at Wimbledon.”
Friday’s other semi will pair 23rd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut against a heavily favored Novak Djokovic.
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