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'Stars are aligned right now' – Federer on reaching 12th Wimbledon final

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

Roger Federer says the “stars are aligned” after beating rival Rafael Nadal to reach the Wimbledon final.

The Swiss, chasing a ninth Wimbledon crown and 21st Grand Slam title, will face world number one Novak Djokovic after a 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 6-4 win.

He said his performance against Nadal in a match that “lived up to the hype” gave him confidence for the final.

“This is like a school: the day of the test you’re not going to read many books that day,” the 37-year-old said.

“I don’t think there’s much I need to do in terms of practice.

“It’s quite clear the work was done way before. I think that’s why I was able to produce a good result today. It’s been a rock solid year of mine, I won in Halle [for a record 10th time last month], the stars are aligned right now.

“From that standpoint I can go into that match very confident.”

  • Federer beats Nadal in Wimbledon thriller
  • Djokovic battles into Wimbledon final
  • ‘It was a masterclass’ – Federer wows Wimbledon… again
  • Live scores, schedule and results

‘Age kicks in’ – Federer

Federer, who turns 38 in less than four weeks’ time, will become the oldest finalist here since Ken Rosewall in 1974.

While his years on the clock have not stopped him reaching a record-extending 12th Wimbledon men’s singles final, they are keeping his celebrations in check after his victory over Nadal.

“Age kicks in. I know it’s not over yet,” said the Swiss, who is now into his fifth final at the All England Club since turning 30.

“There’s no point to start partying tonight or get too emotional, too happy about it, even though I am extremely happy.

“I think I can with experience really separate the two. If it was the end of the tournament, it would be very different right now. I’d be speaking very different, feeling very different. There is, unfortunately or fortunately, one more.”

He said Friday’s victory over Nadal, which was their first meeting at the grass-court Grand Slam since their epic 2008 final which the Spaniard won, would go down as one of his favourites to look back on.

“It lived up to the hype, especially from coming out of the gates, we were both playing very well,” he said. “Then the climax at the end with the crazy last game, some tough rallies there.

“It had everything at the end, which was great. I’m just relieved it’s all over at this point.”

‘We are not done’ – Nadal

Nadal said Federer had deserved the victory, adding he himself had not played as well as in previous rounds and by the time he started finding his game towards the end of the match it was too late.

“I think his return was better than my one this afternoon. I didn’t receive well today,” the 33-year-old said.

“I think today the backhand didn’t work as good as in the previous rounds. I was little bit too worried about my backhand, so I was not able to move with freedom to the forehand.”

Nadal managed a smile when asked – for what he sighed was the 1,000th time – about the rivalry between himself, Federer and Novak Djokovic, who between them hold 53 Grand Slam titles – and soon to be 54.

Between them, come Sunday, they will have won the past 11 major titles.

And, helped by the fact the next generation is still failing to break through in a meaningful way, they are not finished yet.

“It is great to be part of this rivalry, be in the middle of these three players that achieved that much in this sport in the same era,” he said.

“It is something that is going to be difficult to see it again. We are not done, so… things continue.”

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Roger & Novak: Every Match Ever Played

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2019

Roger & Novak: Every Match Ever Played

A recap of every match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer…

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will renew their rivalry on Sunday when they face off for the Wimbledon title. It will be the 48th meeting between the pair and their first since last November’s Rolex Paris Masters, a match Djokovic called, “one of the best matches we played” — also’s Best Match of 2018. 

The Serbian leads the pair’s electric FedEx ATP Head2Head series 25-22, with wins in five of their past six clashes. Their rivalry features the second-most matches played in the Open Era; only Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have faced off more often, with 54 battles.

Here’s a look at Djokovic and Federer’s 47 previous meetings…

2018 Rolex Paris Masters semi-finals, indoor hard, Djokovic d. Federer 76(6) 57 76(3)
“We had epic matches throughout our rivalry but this one definitely ranks as one of the best matches we played.”

You could say it’s the match of the year on the ATP World Tour in 2018. Djokovic and Federer turned in a classic on the indoor hard courts of Paris-Bercy, with the Serbian and the Swiss contesting the longest three-set match in their longtime rivalry.

Not only did Djokovic overcome 54 winners off Federer’s racquet, but his 0/12 break-point conversion rate proved to be the first time he has squandered double-digit break chances in his career. But the Belgrade native was too clutch in the big moments, digging deep in the critical stages in both tie-breaks, including a set point saved at 6/5 in the first.

Djokovic extended his win streak to 22 straight in 2018 and four in a row against Federer. The Swiss last prevailed at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2015.

You May Also Like: Novak Edges Roger In Paris Thriller

2018 Western & Southern Open final, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 64 64
More than two years removed from their most recent meeting, Djokovic etched his name in the history books with his first Cincinnati crown. The Serbian completed the full set of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, capturing the Career Golden Masters and his 70th tour-level trophy overall.

Djokovic was aggressive off the ground and efficient on serve throughout the final, while Federer struggled to find his rhythm, hitting 39 unforced errors, including 20 off his forehand wing. It was a breakthrough victory over Federer in Cincinnati, having lost three previous final encounters, in 2009, 2012 and 2015. The Swiss had entered the championship with a 7-1 record in Cincy finals and was seeking a 99th tour-level crown.

2016 Australian Open semi-final, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 61 62 36 63
World No. 1 Djokovic moved through to his sixth Australian Open final after producing a masterful display to defeat Federer in two hours and 19 minutes. 

The Serbian saved three of the four break points he faced, while breaking the Swiss five times. Incredibly, Djokovic won a higher rate of points on his second serve (66%) than Federer did on his first delivery (61%).

“I think against Roger, these first two sets have been probably the best two sets I’ve played against him overall I think throughout my career,” said Djokovic. “I’ve had some moments against him in sets where I’ve played on a high level, but this was a different level than from before. I’m just very, very pleased that I was able to perform the way I did from the very beginning till the end.”

2015 Nitto ATP World Tour Finals final, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 63 64
Djokovic completed his argument for one of the greatest seasons of all time on the ATP World Tour, capping a historic campaign with a record fourth consecutive Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crown. It was déjà vu with their second meeting of the week at The O2 in London, coming on the heels of Federer’s 7-5, 6-2 triumph in Group Stan Smith play.

Djokovic, who improved to 18-1 at the Final Showdown over the course of his four straight title runs, won his 11th title of 2015 and 59th overall at the tour-level.

In their previous meeting, Federer successfully controlled the baseline and found success on Djokovic’s first serve – winning 49 per cent of points. But the Serb was too steady in the final and Federer’s 31 unforced errors were too much to overcome. Djokovic secured a pair of breaks in the first set – in the third and ninth games – and claimed the lone break in the second set to seal the victory.

“I’m obviously very proud to have these achievements with my team,” said Djokovic during the trophy ceremony. “It’s been a long season, but the best of my life. Without their support and my family, I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m just trying to cherish every moment at this level. As a kid growing up, you dream to be at tournaments like this and fighting for the biggest trophies in sport.”

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2015 Nitto ATP World Tour Finals round robin, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 75 62
After four losses in six match-ups with the World No. 1 in 2015, six-time champion Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 in round-robin action at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals. Federer’s straight-sets victory, coupled with Kei Nishikori’s three-set 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 decision over Tomas Berdych, meant he qualified for the Group Stan Smith semi-finals. 

The Swiss broke their FedEx ATP Head2Head deadlock and moved ahead 22-21 with the victory. Djokovic, who tied the series with a four-set win in the 2015 US Open final, has never had more victories than Federer in their rivalry, which dates back to the ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo in 2006.

Both players looked sharp early on, especially on serve, but Federer seized the momentum, taking the opening set 7-5 in 44 minutes. He would keep rolling in the second set, totaling 19 winners and a like number of unforced errors in closing out the match in one hour and 17 minutes.

Federer won 75 per cent (27 of 36) of his first-serve points, and converted four of eight break-point opportunities. Djokovic had been riding a 23-match win streak since falling to Federer in the Cincinnati final.

2015 US Open final, hard, Djokovic d. Federer 64 57 64 64
A three-hour rain delay could not stop Djokovic from capping the 2015 Grand Slam season with his third such title of the year and 10th overall. Djokovic won his second US Open crown, overcoming Federer in four sets under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The World No. 1 Serb’s 10 major titles made him the eighth player to win double digit crowns.

Djokovic was forced to battle against the Swiss second seed as well as the pro-Federer crowd that included a bevy of celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper. Under the watchful eye of Eva Asderaki-Moore, the first female chair umpire to preside over a US Open men’s singles final, the World No. 1 took a tumble in the opening set. Playing on with a scraped knee and elbow, the Serb prevailed to win the opening set, snapping Federer’s winning streak of 28 sets, the third-best of his career.

Read: How The Final Was Won

Djokovic entered the match with a 13-1 record against Federer when winning the first set, while Federer was 0-3 against top-ranked players in major finals. In the end, neither trend would change. After splitting the second and third sets, the Serb secured an immediate break in the first game of the fourth set and appeared to have the match in hand after snatching a second break for 5-2. But like he has done his entire career, Federer would not go down without a fight.

The second seed got one of the breaks back with an aggressive return game, capped by a slick drop shot approach after pushing Djokovic well behind the baseline with deep forehands. Federer would consolidate for 5-4 and had a sniff at completing the stunning comeback with two break points at 15/40 to draw level. Djokovic was too clutch when it mattered most, surviving three break chances in the final game to emerge victorious and hoist his second US Open trophy and 10th at the Grand Slam stage.

Djokovic gave credit to the 34-year-old Federer, stating that “he’s still improving and keeps on going.” “I have tremendous respect for Roger and what his game [presents] to me and any other player,” said the World No. 1, who has bagged three majors in the same season for the first time since 2011. “It’s been an incredible season. Next to [the] 2011 season, probably the best of all my life,” said the Serb, adding that he’s enjoying it more now because he’s a husband and a father. “[It] makes it even more sweeter.”

Video From US Open Tennis Championships

2015 Western & Southern Open final, hard, Federer d. Djokovic 76(1) 63
The top two seeds were locked at 20-20 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series going into the final as Djokovic was bidding to win his first title in Cincinnati and complete a Career Golden Masters. The Serb had won their three previous meetings, but Federer’s aggressive mentality in cruising through the main draw saw him full of confidence for Sunday’s final against the World No. 1.

The Swiss won 40 per cent of return points entering the encounter and pressed for an early break immediately. Djokovic saved a trio of break points in the third game and another after a six-minute fifth game. The opener would proceed to a tie-break, where Federer would snatch an early mini-break and power through to take the first set, 7/1 in the tie-break. Federer would continue applying pressure on the Djokovic serve as the match progressed, surging to a 3-0 lead in the second set after the top seed double faulted to hand the initial break to the Swiss. He would hold serve to the finish line, striking 32 winners and seven aces in total to win his seventh ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.

“I tried to really mix it up on his second serve and I was hoping to serve good enough myself to keep me out of trouble,” Federer said during an interview with ESPN following the match. “He had that one bad game at the beginning of the second set, which made the difference in the match.

“I’ve seen Novak adapt to my play over the years and he’s also improved a lot. His movement and his backhand and forehand are always so solid. There aren’t many errors coming out of his forehand wing now. Our rivalry has definitely evolved.”

Novak & Roger: Matches 31-40 | Matches 21-30 | Matches 11-20 | Matches 1-10 

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'It was a masterclass' – Federer wows Wimbledon… again

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

This was the match Wimbledon had been waiting so long for.

Eleven years on from their last meeting on the Centre Court grass – that remarkable 2008 final – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with 38 Grand Slam titles between them, were back.

Their semi-final had its own hashtag, #FEDAL40, celebrating their 40th meeting. Henman Hill was so full that cordons were put in place to help ease overcrowding.

The queue for the resale ticket office was hundreds long yet there was little chance of any of the near 15,000 people on Centre Court budging from their seats.

David Beckham was back in the Royal Box for a second successive day to see his fellow sporting legends, Sir David Attenborough was on the edge of his seat and actors Jude Law and Hugh Grant were mesmerised by the unfolding drama.

This, as it proved and always was going to be, was one of those “I was there” moments.

It may not have been as dramatic as the 2008 final but the final stages were full of tension, with Nadal saving four match points. But it was Federer who clinched a 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 6-4 victory and the chance to take on defending champion Novak Djokovic on Sunday.

  • Djokovic battles into Wimbledon final
  • Federer beats Nadal in Wimbledon thriller
  • Stars are aligned right now – Federer
  • Relive the action as Federer beats Nadal

‘It was a masterclass from Federer’

Eight-time champion Federer is just four weeks shy of his 38th birthday but his performance against Nadal demonstrated just why, if not yet confirmed, he is considered the greatest tennis player to ever step foot on a court.

Swiss great Federer’s backhand has often been considered his weakness, as he has previously said himself, yet his work to improve this area of his game was evident with several sublime winners.

His movement, his resilience, his shot selection – they all point to a player at the peak of his powers, albeit one who is inevitably nearing the end of his career. But Spaniard Nadal – four years his junior – still came unstuck.

“Nadal dug his toes in, he knew he had to make Federer serve it out. We know they’re both very resilient players,” said former British number one Tim Henman on BBC Two.

“What surprised me was when the rallies extended out, it was Federer who was coming out on top. He was driving in, looking to finish the points at the net, and for three of four sets it was a masterclass from Federer.

“Historically we’ve seen Nadal dominate when he extends the rallies. At 37, Federer – you felt – might get tired but it was just phenomenal.

“Nadal was always playing catch up. Federer on his serve was always up 15-love you felt, Nadal was never really up love-15 and able to get the crowd on side.”

Federer’s eight Wimbledon titles are more than any other man in history and if he beats Djokovic he will match Martina Navratilova’s success in women’s singles.

His performance against Nadal perhaps set a precedent for what is to come on Sunday, but in Djokovic he faces a defending champion eager not to relinquish his title.

“It was surprising how aggressive and how consistent Federer was,” added Henman.

“On the back of that performance, it’s going to be very interesting to start thinking about the dynamics of the final.”

The stats

  • Roger Federer has an 11-1 win-loss record in Wimbledon semi-finals. His only defeat in the semi-finals here came against Canada’s Milos Raonic in 2016
  • At 37 years 340 days, Federer becomes the third oldest man to reach a Grand Slam final in the open era
  • Federer is making his 21st consecutive Wimbledon appearance and his 77th Grand Slam
  • Federer holds the open era record for the most career grass-court titles with 19 titles on the surface

What they said

Pat Cash: A near flawless #Federer defeats #Nadal to get into yet another #Wimbledon final! Godlike tennis from the 37-year-old. Unreal stuff!

Greg Rusedski: Roger Federer was absolutely brilliant today. His second serve stat for points won and his backhand were incredible today. What a champion performance. Credit to Nadal as well who gave everything.

Katie Boulter: What a privilege to still be watching these two men. Incredible.

What you said

KayK: That backhand of Federer should be declared as the eighth wonder of the world

Tom Brown: I do love Roger Federer. For me, he is the greatest sportsman of all time.

Marc Nash: The tennis world will never ever be the same when these guys are not around anymore. Two of the best sportsmen I’ve ever seen and they are now relatively old and still nobody can get near them.

Karl Bristow: Sometimes it feels like the game needs young stars to come through. But when you watch a high-quality match like that, you want Federer vs Nadal at Wimbledon forever.

Philip West: Federer has just laid the ghosts of 2008 to rest, and if that’s the final time he and Nadal play each other at #Wimbledon, what a match to close it out.

Now for Djokovic…

Federer and Djokovic’s last meeting came at the Paris Masters last year but not since the 2015 Wimbledon final have they gone head-to-head on grass. Their last two meetings on this surface have resulted in Djokovic victories.

In fact on all surfaces, eight of their last 10 meetings have gone the Serb’s way. But Federer is someone who can never be written off.

“It’s just staggering. Nobody has really shown this sort of longevity – not at this level anyway,” said BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller.

But are there chinks in Federer’s armour?

“The only thing that slightly concerns me was that he admitted he was exhausted at the beginning of his interview,” added Fuller. “That must have delighted Novak Djokovic.”

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For Nadal, More Winners Than Errors Isn't Good Enough

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2019

For Nadal, More Winners Than Errors Isn’t Good Enough

Spaniard falls to Federer in thrilling Wimbledon semi-final

Rafael Nadal finished his Wimbledon semi-final loss against Roger Federer with 10 aces and more winners than unforced errors (32 to 25). But despite the impressive stats, the Spaniard felt his performance on Friday didn’t match the lofty standards he set in previous rounds.

You May Also Like: Federer Beats Nadal, Sets Sights On Ninth Wimbledon Title

“Honestly, I didn’t have the great feelings that I had the other days,” said Nadal. “When I was hitting the ball with the forehand, especially with the backhand, I was not able to open up the court like the other days.

“You need to make him miss because you put him out of position. I probably didn’t hit the ball clean enough to make that happen this afternoon. Then you are in a situation where he plays in his comfort zone and it’s difficult from there – for me and for everybody, I think.”

Nadal, Federer

The Spaniard tipped his hat to Federer for an outstanding display of tennis that produced 51 winners to only 27 unforced errors. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 24-16 and beat the Swiss last month en route to his 12th Roland Garros title (d. Thiem), but Federer has won six of their past seven matches. On grass, a surface where Federer has won three of their four matches, the eight-time champion’s strengths are amplified even further.

“He is always able to do the most difficult things easily,” said Nadal. “He’s able to move inside the court quicker than anyone. He puts pressure on the opponent all the time because he has the ability to take the ball earlier than anybody else. That’s probably the most difficult thing to make happen and he is able to do it so well.”

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15 Essential Federer-Nadal Stats
Federer & Nadal: Their SW19 History
Roger & Rafa: Every Match Ever Played

Despite the loss, Nadal has plenty to build on for the American hard-court season. The World No. 2 hit more winners than errors in all of his matches this fortnight and recorded a meaningful second-round win over Nick Kyrgios, who defeated him earlier this year in Acapulco. The Spaniard also become the first player to qualify for this year’s Nitto ATP Finals, held in London at The O2 from 10-17 November.

Federer will bump Nadal to No. 3 in the ATP Rankings if he takes the title on Sunday, but Nadal has plenty of room to make another push upwards. Injuries limited the Spaniard to just two tournaments in the last four months of the 2018 season, so he’s only defending 1,720 ATP Rankings points for the rest of this year, compared to 2,400 for Federer and 5,690 for Djokovic.

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Although Nadal was disappointed to not win his third Wimbledon title, he will leave The Championships focused on the positives of his two weeks here.

“It’s not the day to find any excuse,” said Nadal. “My energy was there. I have been playing with the right energy and with the right intensity the whole tournament. Today, too. He played a great match and well done to him.”


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Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to reach Wimbledon 2019 final

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

Roger Federer moved to within one win of a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon singles title as he beat long-time rival Rafael Nadal to set up a final against another old foe Novak Djokovic.

Swiss second seed Federer won 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 6-4 against the Spanish third seed before an enthralled Centre Court.

Federer took his fifth match point for a shot at a 21st Grand Slam, while denying Nadal the chance of a 19th.

Federer, 37, will meet Serbia’s top seed Djokovic at 14:00 BST on Sunday.

Federer’s eight Wimbledon titles are more than any other man in history and if he beats Djokovic he will match Martina Navratilova’s success in women’s singles.

“I’m exhausted. It was tough – at the end Rafa played some unbelievable shots to stay in the match,” Federer told BBC Sport.

“I had spells where I was serving very well and probably the biggest points in the match went my way.

“That first set was huge, to get the lead and try to protect it. It was a joy to play.”

Defending champion Djokovic, 32, goes for his 16th Grand Slam triumph after beating Spain’s 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets earlier on Friday.

Djokovic’s win ensured it would be a major final between two of the ‘Big Three’ in the men’s game for the first time since the Serb beat Federer in the 2015 showpiece at the All England Club.

  • Djokovic battles into Wimbledon final
  • Relive the action as Federer beats Nadal

‘Fedal’ produce another memorable Wimbledon evening

Anticipation was high for the meeting between two of the men widely considered among the greatest – if not the greatest – to have played the game, particularly because it was their first Wimbledon showdown since an epic 2008 final.

The names of Federer and Nadal, along with #Fedal40, dominating social media sites signified how the match had captured the attention of fans across the world, while a Royal box featuring stellar names such as Sir David Attenborough, David Beckham and Hugh Grant brought an added sprinkling of stardust.

That 2008 match, played over almost seven hours because of rain delays and ending in virtual darkness in front of a mesmerised Centre Court, is regarded as one of the sport’s all-time great matches and it would have taken something extraordinary for the pair to recreate another occasion of such reverence.

Nevertheless, the pair – with a combined age of 70 – did produce a match which will live long in the memory.

Lengthy baseline rallies featuring flawless groundstrokes, supreme athleticism belying their advancing years and scintillating winners – particularly from Federer’s backhand – left the 15,000 crowd captivated.

Federer was locked into the match from the moment he delivered an ace with the first ball and, apart from that dip in the second set, neutralised Nadal’s weapons throughout.

After missing four match points, a dramatic ending saw Federer clinch victory in three hours and three minutes when Nadal whacked a backhand long.

Federer’s emotion was clear as a manic celebration – at least by his composed standards – greeted the math-winning point, raising both hands to the sky before wildly punching the air.

‘Surprising how aggressive and consistent Federer was’ – analysis

Tim Henman, former British number one and two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist:

Historically we’ve seen Nadal dominate when he extends the rallies. At 37, Federer – you felt – might get tired but it was just phenomenal.

Nadal was always playing catch up. Federer on his serve was always up 15-love you felt, Nadal was never really up love-15 and able to get the crowd on side.

It was surprising how aggressive and how consistent Federer was.

On the back of that performance, it’s going to be very interesting to start thinking about the dynamics of the final.

More to follow.

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Bautista Agut's Wimbledon Ends, But His Bachelor Party Begins

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2019

Bautista Agut’s Wimbledon Ends, But His Bachelor Party Begins

Spaniard finishes fortnight with first Grand Slam semi-final

The story of Roberto Bautista Agut’s bachelor party delay won him plenty of new fans this fortnight, but the Spaniard can finally relax with the boys after his Wimbledon came to a close on Friday.

Bautista Agut was scheduled to be in Ibiza this week with six friends, but his maiden Wimbledon quarter-final hampered the festivities. Most bachelor parties don’t span two countries, but his friends relocated to London after the No. 23 seed beat Guido Pella on Wednesday for his first Grand Slam semi-final.

After his competitive four-set loss to Novak Djokovic, Bautista Agut intends to at least get some use out of his Ibiza reservations.

You May Also Like: Djokovic Moves Into Sixth Wimbledon Final

“We had everything reserved from Wednesday or Thursday until Sunday. They all knew before there was a small chance for me to be here, playing in the quarter-finals,” said Bautista Agut. “I think they really had a good plan. They spent Wednesday in Ibiza. They came to watch a good match, the semi-final of Wimbledon. They came yesterday as a surprise. It was really nice to have them in the crowd. They support me so much.

“Maybe tomorrow we come back [to Ibiza]. I think I deserve some vacation. We will have some time off after that.”

Bautista Agut lamented that the scoreline in the last two sets against Djokovic didn’t reflect his performance. The Spaniard hit 18 winners to 14 errors and won 49 points overall (compared to 63 for Djokovic), but the quality was so high from the Serbian that Bautista Agut still only managed to win five games.

“I think I deserved a little bit more in the third set,” said Bautista Agut. “The third set for me was the best set of the match. We both played very good tennis.”

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Despite the loss, Bautista Agut is on track to make 2019 his best season yet. The 31-year-old opened the year with a title in Doha (d. Berdych) and his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open. He’s projected to re-enter the Top 15 of the ATP Rankings on Monday and will be just shy of his career-high standing of No. 13. The Spaniard will also jump to No. 7 in the ATP Race To London and be in contention to make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, held in London at The O2 from 10-17 November.

Read More: Bautista Agut’s Persistence Pays Off At SW19

But Bautista Agut doesn’t intends for this fortnight to be his pinnacle moment. He hopes to build on the experience and put himself in position for more memorable moments in the world’s biggest events.

“Every experience I had in my tennis career made me a better player, made me do things better the next time,” said Bautista Agut. “A lot of experiences today in the match. A lot of new situations. A lot of new emotions. I’m happy for the way I played, happy with the result I had here in Wimbledon.”


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Updates: Nadal Level With Federer At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2019

Updates: Nadal Level With Federer At Wimbledon

Djokovic awaits in Sunday’s final

Eight-time former champion Roger Federer is level with his long-time rival Rafael Nadal, the two-time former winner, 7-6(3), 1-6 on Friday in their semi-final on Centre Court at The Championships, Wimbledon.

It is the pair’s 40th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting and their first on a grass-court encounter since their legendary 2008 Wimbledon final that Nadal won 9-7 in the fifth set.

Federer, who is bidding to reach his 12th Wimbledon final, could not convert one break point at 4-3 in the first set, but played at his attacking best in the tie-break, before Nadal fought back after a tense start to the second set. Nadal is attempting to capture his second Roland Garros/Wimbledon title double.

The winner will play World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the four-time titlist, who knocked out No. 23 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets earlier on Friday. Djokovic leads Federer 25-22 and Nadal 28-26 in their career series.

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Nadal became the first player to qualify for the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, after his quarter-final win over Sam Querrey at The Championships on Wednesday.

Federer, first set

Nadal stood deep behind the baseline on return of serve and Federer soon picked up on the ploy, exposing the angles of the court and serve and volleying with great frequency. The match, played in breezy conditions at the All England Club, went with serve to the tie-break, but Federer did have a break point on Nadal’s serve at 3-4, 30/40, when the Spaniard’s footwork got him out of trouble. Nadal got himself in trouble at 5-6, 40/0, losing three straight points, but in the tie-break raised his game to lead 3/2. From that point, Federer went on the attack, stepping into the court and rushing the net to win five of the next six points to clinch the 52-minute opener. Federer completed the set with a forehand, his 16th winner.

Having won 27 of his 34 service points in the first set, Federer came under pressure in his opening service game of the second set, but continued to back himself at the net. The Swiss saved Nadal’s first break point with a smash and a backhand volley on the second opportunity. One game later, it was Nadal’s turn to feel the heat as he recovered from 15/40, but Federer was still able to step inside the baseline. While Nadal’s return positioning, deep behind the baseline, was questioned, he soon won 10 points in a row, capitalising on a lapse in concentration from Federer, who lost his serve to love after a backhand error.

Nadal carried the momentum, with Federer’s level dropping slightly in a 10-minute period. Federer mis-timed a forehand on approach to the net to give Nadal a 5-1 lead and the Spaniard then calmly closed out the second set with a hold to love — ending with an unreturned serve. Nadal won 30 of 45 points in the net, with 17 of 23 service points won.

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Preview: Cabal/Farah Battle Mahut/Roger-Vasselin For Wimbledon Doubles Title

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2019

Preview: Cabal/Farah Battle Mahut/Roger-Vasselin For Wimbledon Doubles Title

Cabal/Farah seek to make history for Colombia

Second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah seek to etch their place in tennis history on Saturday when they face No. 11 seeds Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the men’s doubles final. The Colombians beat Mahut/Roger-Vasselin in their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting six years ago in Nice.

Cabal/Farah look to become the first Colombians to win a men’s doubles Grand Slam title and any title at The All England Club. The pair finished runner-up at the 2018 Australian Open (l. Marach/Pavic), while Cabal (w/Schwank) was also a finalist at 2011 Roland Garros (l. Mirnyi/Nestor).

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They hadn’t reached the quarter-finals before at The Championships, but broke that barrier and then outlasted fifth seeds Jean Julien-Rojer and Horia Tecau, the 2015 champions, in an 11-9 deciding set to reach the last four. Cabal/Farah followed that up with a semi-final win over third seeds and 2018 finalists Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus.

The Colombian duo have been outstanding on all surfaces in 2019. They took the title two weeks ago at the Nature Valley International (d. Gonzalez/Zeballos), prevailed on clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (d. Klaasen/Venus) and Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Murray/Soares), and finished runner-up on hard at the Sydney International (l. Murray/Soares).

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Mahut/Roger-Vasselin first teamed up in 2007 and have played together sporadically over the years, winning six ATP Tour doubles titles together. They were on opposite sides of the net in the 2016 Wimbledon doubles final, with Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert defeating Roger-Vasselin and Julien Benneteau.

The No. 11 seeds look to become the third all-French pair to in the Open Era to take the doubles title at The Championships. They had a challenging draw that included a third-round win over seventh seeds and three-time champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, followed by a victory over top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo. Mahut/Roger-Vasselin booked their place in the final over Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek.

Mahut won the Australian Open this year (w/Herbert) to complete their career Grand Slam. Roger-Vasselin teamed up with Dodig to prevail this season in Montpellier (d. Bonzi/Hoang) and Lyon (d. Skupski/Skupski).


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