This combination of file pictures created on July 11, 2019 shows Spain's Rafael Nadal (L) and Switzerland's Roger Federer returning the ball during the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, on July 4, 2019. - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet for the fourth time at Wimbledon on July 12, 2019 in the semi-finals, 11 years after their last clash at the All England Club. (Photos by Adrian DENNIS and GLYN KIRK / AFP)
From the moment Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were up against each other at the iconic French Open, also known as the Roland Garros, the desire to witness the legends of the game, fight it out against each other was inevitable.
And here we are in July with a blockbuster “Fedal” match at the Wimbledon Championship this year.
While Federer has entered the tournament on the back of his record tenth win at the Halle Open, Rafael Nadal has been a little out of shape, especially with his knee niggle.
It was probably unimaginable for some to see the veterans of the game fight it out against each other within a space of five weeks. But the rather optimistic ones are the ones who would believe that their prayers have been answered.
It was Nadal who defeated Federer on his way to claiming this year’s French Open but given Federer’s passion to perform and his form in his recent games, it would be a big mistake to count him out of this contest.
Federer will play Nadal in the semi-finals of the Wimbledon championship having beaten Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals.
Although Nishikori managed to win the first set and it looked like it would be difficult for Federer to make a comeback but post the first set, it went all Roger’s way as he won the match 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. It was like Roger wanted to prove why he is the eight-time Wimbledon Champion.
His victory in the quarterfinals marked his 100th win in Wimbledon and he became the first player ever to win 100 matches at a particular Grand Slam.
It is worth noting here that in the entire tournament, Roger Federer has lost only two sets so far. While his forehand shots are powerful, his service looks menacing.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal was not predicted to reach thus far in the tournament because of his poor form and his knee injury. Australian sensation Nick Kyrgios could not take advantage of Nadal’s injury who was still good enough to ease past his opponent.
Even when Rafa was broken in the first set of the quarterfinals, he came back to win in straight sets against Sam Querrey. Nadal’s win confirmed a mouth-watering of a semifinal encounter with Rafa up against his old rival Roger Federer.
One cannot help but remember the glorious history the duo share on grass courts. Although Federer has the better edge as he leads 2-1 in their encounters at Wimbledon, it needs to be admitted that Roger was all of 26 when he played a 22-year-old Nadal on grass last. Some 11 years have rolled by since then and we are once again going to witness history in the making.
Although the odds are in Roger’s favour this time around, Rafa has still the passion and desire in him to beat him.
However, irrespective of the results, this will be a historic clash, one that will add another chapter in arguably the greatest rivalry in tennis.
Tournament: Wimbledon Championships 2019 (Grand Slam)
Date: July 1-July 14, 2019
Location: All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, SW19, Wimbledon, London
Time: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal on Centre Court at 7:30 p.m (IST)
Where to watch?
India – Star Sports Select 1/Select 1 HD and Select 2/Select 2 HD
Live Stream details for Wimbledon 2019
Available on Tennis TV
To be streamed live on Hotstar