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Federer must take it up a level to beat Djokovic – McEnroe

  • Posted: Jul 13, 2019
Wimbledon men’s final on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 14 July Time: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One from 12:45 and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from 13:00 plus live text on the BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full details

Roger Federer must “take it up a level” to beat Novak Djokovic and claim a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon singles title, says three-time champion John McEnroe.

Swiss Federer, 37, produced a stellar performance to beat long-time rival Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

Serbia’s defending champion and world number one Djokovic, 32, is seen as the favourite by many to win a fifth title.

“Djokovic is a human backboard,” American great McEnroe said.

“It is going to be a tough task.”

Top seed Djokovic, 32, has won three of the past four Grand Slams, while Federer’s most recent major triumph came at the 2018 Australian Open.

Federer, the second seed, has won Wimbledon more times than any other man and will equal Martina Navratilova’s all-time record with a ninth triumph.

It is the first Wimbledon final between the top two men’s seeds since Djokovic and Federer met in 2015.

The pair are meeting for the 48th time in their illustrious careers – only Djokovic and Nadal have played more often.

How they reached the final

Djokovic and Federer have looked on top of their grass-court games on their way to the final.

Djokovic has dropped only two sets, although he has not faced an opponent seeded in the top 20.

Up until his three-hour battle against Nadal, Federer had only dropped sets against Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori and, more surprisingly, South African debutant Lloyd Harris in the opening round.

What they say about each other

Djokovic on Federer:

“We all know how good he is anywhere, but especially here. This surface complements his game very much.

“He loves to play very fast. He takes away the time from his opponent.

“He just rushes you to everything. So for players maybe like Nadal or myself that like to have a little more time, it’s a constant pressure that you have to deal with.

“I’ve played with Roger in some epic finals here a couple years in a row, so I know what to expect.”

Federer on Djokovic:

“If I think of Novak, one thing that jumps out at me, is his jump back and to the left.

“It’s how he’s able to defend on that side, which I think has won him numerous matches and trophies.

“He does that better than anybody. Nobody else really has it as consistent and good as he has.”

Can Djokovic close the gap on Federer in the ‘GOAT’ race?

Djokovic’s semi-final win over Roberto Bautista Agut ensured it would be a major final between two of the ‘big three’ in the men’s game for the first time since 2015.

Federer has won 20 Grand Slam titles – a record for a male player, Djokovic 15 and Nadal 18.

A fifth Wimbledon triumph for Djokovic, who won the 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2018 titles, would take him closer than he has ever been to Federer’s tally.

Almost six years younger than Federer, Djokovic could add plenty more barring a loss of form or fitness.

His pursuit of Federer and Nadal is made more remarkable by the fact he won his first major in 2008 – when Federer had claimed 13 and Nadal five – and only added a second three years later.

Click to see content: big_three_grand_slams

Djokovic unfazed by pro-Federer crowd

Federer, widely considered the greatest grass-court player to have graced Wimbledon, had the backing of the majority of the 15,000 crowd in his semi-final win over Nadal.

Djokovic has struggled to earn the same level of popularity as Federer and Nadal throughout his career and appeared to get tetchy when Centre Court supported Bautista Agut.

He threw his hands into the air when they cheered Bautista Agut winning the second set, then put his fingers to his lips and cupped his ear after winning a 45-shot rally on a break point.

“Regardless of who’s across the net or what is happening around, I’ll definitely give it my all,” Djokovic said.

“It won’t be the first time playing against Nadal nor Federer on the Centre Court. I’ve had that experience more than once. I know what to expect.

“I had enough support here over the years, so I don’t complain.”

‘I see Novak winning in four sets’

John McEnroe, seven-time Grand Slam champion

What I really respect about Novak Djokovic is that he inspires himself [by geeing up the crowd] and plays better. That’s what really matters.

He is one of the all-time great movers on a tennis court. He gets to a lot more balls than people expect. He makes you hit so many extra shots and it drives you nuts.

As for Roger, can you imagine five or six years ago that he would be trading forehands with Rafa Nadal at his age? It’s unthinkable.

Can Federer do it? Of course he can. But I see Novak winning in four sets.

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

Federer has got to play even better but the crowd will have a big part to play. The crowd will be massively on his side.

Federer has to get off to a good start but Djokovic is the favourite.

Game, set and stats

  • Djokovic will stay as world number one regardless of Sunday’s outcome, while Federer will rise to second in the rankings if he wins.
  • It will be the 48th meeting between the number one and two seeds in a Grand Slam men’s singles final in the Open era, with the top seed prevailing 24 times.
  • It will be the 15th meeting between the number one and two seeds at Wimbledon, wit the top seed prevailing eight times.
  • Federer is bidding to become the second player to beat Djokovic and Nadal in the same Grand Slam, following in the footsteps of Swiss Stan Wawrinka at the 2014 Australian Open
  • At 37 years 340 days, Federer is bidding to become the oldest player in the Open era to win a Grand Slam men’s singles title

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Cabal and Farah win doubles title in five-hour epic

  • Posted: Jul 13, 2019

Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah beat French pair Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a five-set thriller to win the Wimbledon men’s doubles final on Centre Court.

Second seeds Cabal, 33, and Farah, 32, won 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 in four hours 56 minutes.

In winning their first Grand Slam title, they became the first Colombians to triumph at Wimbledon.

The final of the women’s doubles was postponed until Sunday.

Czech Barbora Strycova, a singles semi-finalist, and Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh will face Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and China’s Yifan Xu.

They will play on Centre Court after the men’s singles final between world number one Novak Djokovic and eight-time champion Roger Federer which starts at 14:00 BST.

  • Halep beats Williams to win first Wimbledon title
  • The best match of my life – Halep

In a high-quality match, Cabal and Farah clawed back the second set with four successive points to win the tie-break from 5-3 down and level the match.

They missed a break and set-point opportunity at 6-5 in the third set before securing the tie-break and a 2-1 lead.

The first break of serve took three hours 34 minutes to arrive – but a breakthrough by the French 11th seeds at 2-1 in the fourth was cancelled out by Cabal and Farah in the very next game.

In a fourth successive tie-break, Mahut and Roger-Vasselin held their nerve to set up a deciding set, prompting the closure of the Centre Court roof for the first time in the tournament.

Leading 4-3 in the final set, Cabal and Farah broke serve for the second time before serving out to seal a thrilling victory at 21:00.

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Colombian History: Cabal/Farah Triumph In Wimbledon Final Thriller

  • Posted: Jul 13, 2019

Colombian History: Cabal/Farah Triumph In Wimbledon Final Thriller

Colombian duo lifts maiden Grand Slam title

In their 31st Grand Slam appearance as a team, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah became the first Colombian players to win a Grand Slam men’s doubles title on Saturday at Wimbledon.

The second seeds defeated Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-3 to lift their first major trophy after four hours and 57 minutes, extending their tour-level winning streak to 10 matches. Before claiming their maiden grass-court tour-level title at the Nature Valley International last month, Cabal and Farah had never earned more than two straight tour-level match wins on the surface as a team.

“For Colombia, it’s huge… We just won Wimbledon for Colombia,” said Cabal. “It’s huge. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s huge for our country. I hope everybody enjoys us.”

The Colombian pairing, which improves to 34-10 this season, has now clinched four tour-level crowns this season following title runs in Barcelona, Rome and Eastbourne. Cabal and Farah own 15 team trophies from 31 championship matches.

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In their maiden Wimbledon quarter-final on Tuesday, Cabal and Farah were forced to save five match points against Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau to reach the semi-finals. The all-Colombian team was appearing in its second Grand Slam championship match after falling in straight sets to Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the 2018 Australian Open final.

In a final dominated by serve, each of the opening four sets needed tie-breaks to decide the outcome. Sharp reactions earned the French pairing a one-set lead, with Roger-Vasselin coming out on top in a net duel against Farah before firing a forehand return at Cabal’s laces to seal the opening set.

Cabal and Farah continued to pressure the 11th seeds, rallying from 0/3 and 3/5 down in the second and third-set tie-breaks to move within touching distance of the title. After three hours and 34 minutes, Mahut and Roger-Vasselin gained the first service break of the match to move into a 3-1 lead in the fourth set and, despite dropping serve in the following game, the French team forced a decider after converting its third set point.

After a brief delay to allow the Centre Court roof to close ahead of the final set, it was Cabal and Farah who made the faster start upon the resumption of play. The Colombians found their timing on return in a marathon fourth game, breaking serve on their fifth break point with powerful play from the baseline.


But Cabal and Farah could not consolidate the break, as Roger-Vasselin fired a forehand return winner into the corner to earn the opportunity to serve at 2-3. But the second seeds soon regained their advantage in the eighth game, focussing their attack on Mahut at the net with power from the baseline. Cabal and Farah recovered from 0/30 down in the final game to take the title, converting their first championship point as Farah fired a sharp-angled backhand volley winner. Both players collapsed to the turf in celebration and soon climbed towards the players’ box in celebration.

“Once you’re [at] 4-3 and you break, you know you [have] got to hold once and you’re champion of Wimbledon… [Juan Sebastian] showed his courage, showed his emotions, how calm he is… Pure joy,” said Farah.

Mahut and Roger-Vasselin were aiming to become the third all-French pair in the Open Era to win the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon by winning their first Grand Slam trophy as a team. The French pairing defeated three-time winners Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan and 2017 titlists Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in four sets en route to the final.

Cabal and Farah receive 2000 ATP Doubles Ranking points and split £540,000 in prize money. Mahut and Roger-Vasselin gain 1200 points and share £270,000.

“Once we come back to the court, I seriously had a second wind. I felt so good again. I feel like we played unreal that fifth set. We really got our returns in [and] put the pressure [on],” said Cabal. “To do this for Colombia… it’s just crazy. I mean, to be part of it is just amazing.”

Did You Know?
This is the sixth consecutive Grand Slam event where the men’s doubles champions have been won by a pair of players from the same nation.

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Simona Halep used past experiences to beat Serena Williams and win Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 13, 2019

Simona Halep says controlling her nerves and forgetting about who she was playing enabled her to play the match of her life and win Wimbledon.

The Romanian’s 56-minute 6-2 6-2 demolition of Serena Williams earned her a second Grand Slam title.

“The nerves were positive this time. I felt them in the stomach,” she said. “I always play well when I have emotions.

“I didn’t think at all against who I play. I’ve always been intimidated a little bit when I faced Serena.”

Williams had been the pre-match favourite to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title but could not find an answer to Halep’s brilliant returning game and movement around the court.

“I decided before the match that I’m going to focus on myself and on the final of Grand Slam, not on her,” said Halep, 27.

“That’s why I was able to play my best, to be relaxed, and to be able to be positive and confident against her.

“I’m very sure that was the best match of my life.”

  • Halep beats Williams in less than an hour
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  • How Halep stunned Williams – clips, quotes & text

Past experience helps Halep to victory

Before winning the French Open in 2018 for her maiden Grand Slam title, Halep had often been viewed as something of a choker having lost in three previous major finals.

But she said those experiences had helped her here – on a surface that, as a player of 1.68m, she never thought she would be able to win on against “all these players that are very tall and serving with a lot of power”.

“The finals I lost in the past helped me to be different when I face this moment,” she said. “It’s never easy to face a Grand Slam final. You can get intimidated by the moment. You can get nervous, too nervous.

“I have learned that it’s a normal match, not thinking that much about the trophy, just going there and try to be the best as you can.

“So I did that. I said that every time I would play a final of Grand Slam, I will do exactly the same thing. So today I did it.”

A trophy – and a dream membership to club

While Halep fell to her knees to celebrate her win and kissed the trophy repeatedly, she seemed almost as pleased to be wearing a little badge that meant she was now a member of the All England Club.

“It feels good,” was the first thing she said when she walked into her news conference pointing at the purple-and-white round badge.

“I wanted this badly. When I started the tournament, I talked to the people from the locker room that my dream is to become a member here. So today it’s real and I’m really happy.

“I met [Wimbledon chairman] Philip [Brook]. He told me: ‘Any time you want, you can come, have dinner, have lunch, playing a little bit tennis.’ I will come for sure.”

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Djokovic & Federer: 15 Essential Stats

  • Posted: Jul 13, 2019

Djokovic & Federer: 15 Essential Stats

Top two seeds compete in their third Wimbledon final against each other

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will meet for the fourth time at Wimbledon when they take to Centre Court for Sunday’s final. This is the 48th match in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry and their first on grass since Djokovic prevailed in the 2015 final at The Championships.

You May Also Like: Preview: Djokovic & Federer Battle In Wimbledon Final looks at 15 of the stats you need to know ahead of Djokovic and Federer’s latest encounter:

  • At least one of Djokovic and Federer has reached the final in all but two editions of The Championships since 2003.
  • Djokovic has won his past four matches against Federer and eight of the past 10.
  • They have faced off in 13 of the 14 most recent seasons on the ATP Tour
  • Djokovic is competing in his 25th major final, Federer his 31st.
  • Their most recent clash at the 2018 Rolex Paris Masters, won by Djokovic in a third-set tie-break, was named “Best Match Of 2018” by
  • Both men have won more matches here than any other Grand Slam (Djokovic 71-10, Federer 101-12).
  • Federer became the only player to win 100 matches at a Grand Slam with his quarter-final victory over Kei Nishikori.
  • Federer is making his 21st consecutive appearance at Wimbledon. He’s the only player from the draw in his debut appearance (1999) to still be active in singles.
  • At 37 years and 340 days, Federer will become the oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title if he prevails.
  • Djokovic is looking to win his fourth major title since turning 30, which only Federer, Rafael Nadal and Rod Laver have accomplished.
  • The Serbian looks to become the first man in the Open Era over the age of 30 to successfully defend a Wimbledon title.
  • Djokovic has been aggressive on returns throughout the tournament, racking up 71 break points and converting on 34 (48%). He leads the tournament in return games won (34 of 89, 38%).
  • The 32-year-old has been efficient in conserving energy, spending 12 hours and 54 minutes on court to reach the semi-finals.
  • Djokovic has held serve in 86 of 92 service games (93%), saving 15 of 24 break points. The World No. 1 has only been broken twice in his past four matches.
  • Federer is competing in his 12th Wimbledon final, more than any other player in tournament history.

More On Djokovic & Federer
* Preview: Federer Battles Djokovic For Title
* Federer & Djokovic At SW19
* Roger & Novak: Every Match Ever Played
* Mission Impossible: Slowing Down The Big 3 At SW19
* Federer Earns Historic 100th Win

Djokovic and Federer’s Three FedEx ATP Head2Head Meetings At Wimbledon

Year Round Winner Score
2012 SF Roger Federer 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
2014 F Novak Djokovic 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4
2015 F Novak Djokovic 7-6(1), 6-7(10), 6-4, 6-3

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