Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will make it a combined 13 Wimbledon titles between them when the pair square off in Sunday’s final. Djokovic is seeking a fifth on the grass and sixteen overall as he aims to get closed to Federer’s overall count of 20. The defending champion goes into the match as the favourite, looking to add to his 25-22 lead in the head to head.
Federer had lost a couple of sets on his way to the sem-finals but rarely looked in danger throughout his first five matches. He went into his match with Rafael Nadal as the underdog and it felt like it was only going to go one way when Nadal secured the second set with ease but Federer showed great resolve and was fairly comfortable in the match from his break in the third set onwards, eventually taking the win 7-6 1-6 6-3 6-4. “It was a close match and he was able to take charge after I had a couple chances early on in that second set, so that was tough. I was able to stick to my game plan, stay aggressive, stay offensive. I guess I also started to serve a bit better maybe after that second set.” he said afterwards. “There were some brutal rallies in key moments that went my way. I think those might have made the difference today.”
Djokovic also won in four with his 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut sealing a sixth Wimbledon final for the Serbian. His level dipped into the second set of the win but he recovered to finally get a win over the Spaniard this year after twice losing in 2019. “It’s the final of Wimbledon. This is the kind of match that I always dreamed of being part of as a young boy with the tennis racquet. This is what I worked for. I wanted to be in this position,” said Djokovic. “I have a chance to fight for a trophy. Regardless of who’s across the net or what is happening, I’ll definitely give it my all.”
“We all know how good he is anywhere, but especially here. This surface complements his game very much. He loves to play very fast. Takes away the time from his opponent. Just doesn’t give you any of the same looks. He rushes you to everything. For players like Nadal or myself that like to have a little more time, it’s a constant pressure that you have to deal with.” Djokovic said. As Djokovic’s level increased over the past decade, his dominance over Federer has grown bigger. He is 9-6 over Federer at grand slams but has won 6 of the last 7, although the last match came in 2016.
Federer was excellent in taking advantage of Nadal’s dip in form over the last two sets and may require similar circumstances to have a good chance of earning the victory. Djokovic is 8-2 in his last 10 slam finals and will feel the slower conditions should work in his favour, dragging Federer into longer rallies which he will always expect to have the advantage in. “I think the moment you’ve played somebody more than 15 times, there’s not that much more left out there. You know where the players go when it really matters,” said Federer. “I don’t think there’s much I need to do in terms of practice. This is like school: You’re not going to read lots of books on the day of the test. You don’t have the time. It’s quite clear the work was done way before.”
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in four sets