Federer Slams Court Rival Nadal In Huge Semi Final Win

Bautista Agut wins 2nd set against Djokovic at Wimbledon

And Nadal and Federer play each other at Wimbledon for the first time since that fateful day. Along with defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, who faces Roberto Bautista Agut in Friday's other semifinal, the trio have combined to win 53 of the past 64 major championships.

The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion capitalized on his serve throughout the match against Nadal, finishing with 14 aces and landing 69% of his first serves.

When Bautista Agut's shot hit the net tape, popped in the air and slid over for a victor that tied their semifinal at a set apiece, Djokovic motioned to the roaring fans, sarcastically encouraging folks to get louder.

Nadal had been irked by being seeded lower than Federer despite his higher ranking and he screamed at himself when another chance to apply real pressure went begging in the sixth game.

With the victory, Djokovic has reached his 25th Grand Slam final. But Nadal wouldn't fold easily-has he ever folded easily?-and saved two match points on his own serve at 3-5.

That has led Federer to believe both men know everything there is about one another.

Continuing his relentless attacking onslaught, Federer forced Nadal into errors to break the Spaniard again in the fourth game of the fourth set to take a stranglehold on proceedings. Federer struggled against Nadal's vastly upgraded first serve, but he won more than half of points on Nadal's second serve.

Djokovic and Nadal hold arguably the greatest rivalry, having met 54 times (with the former leading 28-26) including some of the most gruelling and intense finals in history - namely the 2012 Australian Open final.

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"It's always very, very cool to play against Rafa here, especially [as we] haven't played in so long", Federer said.

But he hit back swiftly in the third set, breaking Nadal for the first time after winning the point of the match with a breathtaking backhand volley in the fourth game. Nadal admitted after the match that Federer capitalized on all of his best opportunities in London.

"He played a bit better than me, I had a few small chances but didn't convert them."

Federer is the third oldest to play in a Grand Slam final after 39-year-old Ken Rosewall featured in the 1974 Wimbledon and US Open finals. (That's nearly certainly true.) They insist they want to win Wimbledon for the sake of winning Wimbledon, not as a matter of comparison.

Asked if he felt "a lack of love and respect" from the Centre Court crowd, Djokovic responded: "No, I mean, look, I focused on what I need to do".

This was the second major in a row where they've faced off: Nadal won their French Open semifinal last month en route to his 12th championship on the red clay there.

The party was postponed, and his buddies flew to England to join Bautista Agut's fiancee in cheering him on. They have met 47 times, with Djokovic also ahead in that 25-22, facing one another in 15 Grand Slam matches, of which four have been finals. He came up bigger in the longest points, eventually holding a 29-17 edge when they lasted at least 10 strokes.

The third-seeded pair will play No. 4 Yifan Xu and Gabriela Dabrowski, who beat Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

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