Wimbledon Preview: Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic

WIMBLEDON, England — Once extra in males’s tennis, the wealthy will likely be getting richer.

It was solely 10 years in the past, at Wimbledon, that Roger Federer eclipsed Pete Sampras’s males’s singles report of 14 Grand Slam titles. Sampras now sits in fourth place, and the three gamers forward of him present no indicators of slowing.

On Sunday at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic will go for his 16th Grand Slam singles title, whereas Roger Federer will search his 21st.

It would be the 11th consecutive main males’s championship gained by one of many Big Three, which incorporates the 18-time winner Rafael Nadal, whom Federer beat within the semifinals on Friday.

[You can watch Sunday’s match on ESPN, beginning at 9 a.m. You can follow the live scoring here.]

Here are another key story strains:

Federer and Djokovic have performed one another so much.

The Wimbledon ultimate will likely be their 48th assembly, and a report 16th at a Grand Slam match. The familiarity breeds consolation. That is especially true for Djokovic, who beat Federer of their two earlier Wimbledon finals, in 2014 and 2015. Djokovic leads their head-to-head competitors, 25-22, together with 9 wins at majors.

During his late-career renaissance, Federer has rotated his rivalry with Nadal, profitable of six of their final seven matches. But he has not fairly solved Djokovic, has not misplaced to Federer in any match because the ATP Tour Finals in 2015.

“I believe the second you’ve performed anyone in all probability greater than 15 instances, particularly in recent times additionally a couple of instances, there’s not that rather more left on the market,” Federer mentioned. “Especially you already know the place the gamers go when it actually issues — how a lot can you continue to shock anyone?

“At the top of the day, it comes very a lot all the way down to who’s higher on the day, who’s in a greater psychological place, who’s received extra power left, who’s harder when it actually involves the crunch.”

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Federer has a few data in his sights.

Federer, who received his 100th Wimbledon match win within the quarterfinals, will flip 38 subsequent month, and he’s bidding to change into the oldest participant within the Open period to win a Grand Slam males’s singles title, surpassing the report of Ken Rosewall, who was 37 years 62 days previous when he gained the 1972 Australian Open.

With a victory, Federer would additionally tie Martina Navratilova’s Wimbledon report of 9 singles titles.

The ultimate is No. 1 vs. No. 2. Sort of.

Djokovic is the No. 1 seed and defending champion. The Wimbledon seeding components bumped third-ranked Federer as much as No. 2, forward of Nadal, due to his stronger report on grass in recent times. The ultimate will pit the highest two males’s singles seeds towards one another for the 48th time at a serious within the Open period. In these duels, No. 1 has gained 24 of the earlier 47 encounters. If Federer wins, he’ll rise to No. 2 within the rankings.

Roger Federer after defeating Rafael Nadal within the Wimbledon semifinals. On Sunday the 37-year-old Federer will attempt to change into the oldest Grand Slam males’s singles champion within the Open period.CreditPool photograph by Matthias Hangst

The crowd will likely be rooting for Federer, and Djokovic is aware of it.

Within the Big Three, the Federer-Djokovic matchup has delivered reliably dramatic matches. Federer’s attacking and Djokovic’s counterpunching mesh in a method that permits each to play their A video games concurrently. Their matches additionally are likely to have exceptionally raucous atmospheres, with crowds firmly in Federer’s favor.

Asked what he would do in a ultimate by which the gang was overwhelmingly in favor of his opponent, Djokovic mentioned he would “know what to anticipate.”

“Regardless of who’s throughout the web,” he continued, “or what is going on round, I’ll positively give all of it.”

The problem is psychological, not bodily.

The psychological place will likely be paramount for Djokovic, 32. He mentioned that visualization can be a “very, essential” a part of his preparation for the match.

“It is a fairly difficult battle inside your self,” Djokovic mentioned of taking part in in a Grand Slam ultimate. “I believe at this stage we play in probably the most vital stadiums and tournaments on this planet, taking part in semifinals, finals, preventing for a trophy with one of many largest rivals.

“I believe an important and doubtless the primary win that it’s a must to make is the one inside your self, then no matter occurs externally is, I suppose, a consequence or manifestation of that.”

Federer mentioned his preparation for his 12th Wimbledon ultimate, 5 greater than some other man has reached, would concentrate on the psychological greater than the bodily. He has by no means overwhelmed Nadal and Djokovic in the identical main match.

“I don’t have a lot power to go practice very a lot proper now,” Federer mentioned Friday. “Honestly, it’s about restoration, hitting some balls tomorrow, warming up the following day. But it’s extra within the techniques.

“I don’t suppose there’s a lot I must do when it comes to follow. This is sort of a faculty: The day of the check you’re not going to learn I-don’t-know-how-many books that day. You don’t have the time anyhow.”

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