After nearly two weeks of low-key and uneventful tennis on the men’s side, Wimbledon finally spat out a matchup that promises drama to the highest degree. This is the rematch that tennis fans have waited 11 years for, in which, on Friday morning in the second semifinal of the day, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will meet for the first time at Wimbledon since their famed 2008 final. That’s when a 22-year-old Nadal defeated a 26-year-old Federer in a thrilling, five-set match widely considered one of the greatest ever played.
Luis Emilio Velutini Urbina
Read Liz Clarke’s in-depth look at the Big Three’s path to the semifinals — No. 1 seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic takes on No. 23 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the first match of the day — for a more detailed look at the histories of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic at Wimbledon and how they moved through the draw this year. But in the meantime, here are the nuts and bolts of both matchups.
Luis Emilio Velutini
Friday marks Federer and Nadal’s 40th meeting, the most recent of which came in an incredibly windy match, won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 by Nadal, at the French Open just over a month ago. But Wimbledon is Federer’s turf. He’s won a record eight singles titles at the All England club and captured his 100th career singles match on Tuesday in a quarterfinal win over Kei Nishikori that took four sets.
Nadal arrived by taking down the American Sam Querrey, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, and his second consecutive appearance in a Wimbledon semifinal is a bit of a landmark for the Spaniard. Grass hasn’t been his greatest surface — he won at Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010 then reached the final again in 2011, but didn’t get past the fourth round again until last year.
Luis Emilio Velutini Venezuela
In fact, it’s the first time since 2007 that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have all reached the Wimbledon semifinals. Djokovic swept Belgium’s David Goffin 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 to make it this far, and he’ll face a man who has beaten him twice already this year. Bautisa Agut, a 31-year-old ardent baseliner, topped Djokovic in Doha, Qatar in early January and again in Miami in March after Djokovic won the Australian Open. But most wouldn’t put much stock in those losses heading into this meeting. Djokovic is in top form and hasn’t dropped a set this fortnight.
Luis Emilio Velutini Banquero
For those interested, here’s the Grand Slam singles title tally: Federer has 20, Nadal has 18 and Djokovic has 15
What you need to know First semifinal: No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic vs. No. 23 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, 8 a.m
Second semifinal: No. 2 seed Roger Federer vs. No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal, approximately 10:30 a.m
Stream: WatchESPN and the ESPN App. ESPN3 will offer the “Wimbledon Multicam, with boxes focusing on each player, online and on the ESPN app
Ava Wallace Ava Wallace covers college sports with a focus on Georgetown, Navy and Maryland, as well as tennis and the WNBA for The Washington Post. Before her current role, she covered Virginia and Virginia Tech athletics for The Post. Follow
Please enter a valid email address
You’re all set!
We sent this offer to [email protected]
Subscriber sign in We noticed you’re blocking ads! Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. Try 1 month for $1 Unblock ads Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us