Federer and Nadal at Wimbledon: Beyond Borders - Sport
- Roger Federer reaches the final of Wimbledon for the twelfth time by defeating Rafael Nadal.
- To win the tournament for the ninth time, he now has to beat defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The game of games was announced. A slugfest, as the All England Club experienced only every eleven years, and correspondingly large was the crowd. Movie stars Hugh Grant and Jude Law had snatched a seat in the Royal Box; Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United retired coach and a friend of well-groomed ball entertainment, had arrived; Rod Laver had his usual observation post, the only tennis player who could win all four Grand Slam tournaments twice in a single season. Not far away sat the naturalist Sir David Attenborough, 93 years old, who also admired the giants of the tennis game.
Roger Federer, 37, and Rafael Nadal, 33, played for the finals of this year's Wimbledon tournament. But at the same time there was the continuation of a lawn classic with which they had already captivated the audience eleven years ago. Unlike 2008, it was Federer, the eight-time champion in the All England Club, who was triumphantly raised on Center Court. And after another tennis gala in the semifinals against his permanent rivals with 7: 6 (3), 1: 6, 6: 3, 6: 4 received the homage of the audience.
But before it was so far on Friday, the overture came. At first, the stage was set for Novak Djokovic, 32, the defending champion at Wimbledon, who played the first match of the day on Center Court. The world number one beat Roberto Bautista Agut, number 22, from Spain and secured for the sixth time in his career a place in the finals of the grass tournament. But he had more trouble with the tenacious opponent who had beaten him twice that year than he could have liked. Bautista Agut secured the second set, curiously by net-scooter. Only the fifth match point in the fourth set brought Djokovic the 6: 2, 4: 6, 6: 3, 6: 2 victory.
They both got older, had injuries
The 15,000 spectators in the wide circle were already in high spirits when, in the late afternoon, the leading actors entered the scene: Roger Federer, who will turn 38 in four weeks, and Rafael Nadal. Eleven years earlier, on July 6, 2008, they had played their last match on the sacred pitch at this stadium: Nadal secured his first ever Wimbledon title in the longest finale in club history, a 4:48-hour tackle in the final twilight. Cup. This is "the best tennis game" he has ever seen, old master John McEnroe, formerly the furious opponent of Björn Borg, today TV commentator, only raved about these days again.
They both got older, had injuries, injuries and health time out. Federer was suffering from knee problems, Nadal's ligaments and joints showed signs of wear repeatedly. His hair, too, became lighter. But their class, determination and precision have left little to the two most successful players of the present day. Their rivalry has defined an era of tennis. And the battle for supremacy in the realm of white lines, which showed up on Friday, is not over yet.