Eleven years since they produced one of the greatest matches in history, the paths of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal cross once again at Wimbledon. "And, of course, I'd love to play against him here at Wimbledon".
For the sixth time in a row at Majors, Nadal is through to the semi-final (his career-best streak) at Wimbledon following a victory over Sam Querrey and it was enough to earn enough points and qualify for the ATP Finals for the record-breaking 15th straight year!
If it's hard to believe more than a decade has passed since these two rivals last shared a court at Wimbledon, it's also tough to fathom how it is that they have dominated their sport as long as they have. Nadal is next with 18.
The pair are set to get underway on Centre Court at 3:00pm United Kingdom time, with live coverage on the BBC in the United Kingdom and ESPN in the USA, though the start time may be pushed back depending on events in the first semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Roberto Bautista Agut.
To play an elite ATP tournament once in a career, you have to beat nearly all other rivals on the Tour in particular season, which is never easy, but to do that for 15 years in a row is something remarkable that only Nadal has managed to achieve in every season since 2005!
"Going to try to use my experience in being in these kind of matches, get myself tactically prepared", Djokovic said.
However, it is eight-time champion Federer who just edges their Wimbledon head-to-head 2-1 after winning the 2006 and 2007 finals before Nadal famously broke the spell in 2008.
"Hopefully I can execute everything I intend to do". Federer has won two of their three previous encounters in this spot.
Not to mention keep working on aspects of their game.
However, the unheralded Spaniard, who had to cancel plans for his stag party in Ibiza as a effect of his run to the semi-finals, has defeated Djokovic twice in 2019, in Doha and Miami.
The 33-year-old has dropped just one set in the whole tournament-against Nick Kyrgios in the second round-and has looked utterly dominant in every aspect of the game. As a youngster, Bautista Agut was a player at Villarreal's youth academy and played for them until the age of fourteen, following which he took up tennis full time.
"He's serving way different". Rafa really can hurt anybody on any surface.
For me, I expect Nadal to win it on current form, but it doesn't feel like good value taking him at 1.68 against Federer on grass, so just a small wager on no tie breaks for me. The Libema Open is a grass-court event like Wimbledon, a surface Calvert knows better than anyone.