Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic and eight-time winner Roger Federer are set to square off for the third time in the Wimbledon final.
Both triumphed over their Spanish opponents in the semifinals at London’s All England Club on Friday.
Djokovic, who won his fourth Wimbledon championship last year, dispatched Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets on Centre Court to reach his sixth final.
Later in the day, Federer, who has won a record eight Wimbledon titles, defeated longtime rival Rafael Nadal in a similar fashion.
“[Djokovic] is the defending champion and he has shown why this week,” Federer said after his match with Nadal on Friday.
Roger Federer (right) serves during his match against Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon semifinals
Federer-Nadal Wimbledon rivalry resumes
Federer and Nadal squared off at Centre Court on Friday, their first Wimbledon match since Nadal beat Federer in an exhilarating five-set final in 2008.
The 37-year-old Swiss, who beat Nadal in the 2006 and 2007 Wimbledon finals, took the first set of their semifinal, overturning Spaniard’s 3-2 lead in the tiebreaker by winning five straight points. But Nadal charged back in the second set, breaking the Swiss twice in a row and serving it out at love.
Federer then took control of the match in the third set, finally breaking Nadal to take a 3-1 lead before before taking the third set 6-3. He broke serve again to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth set and held serve the rest of the way to seal the victory.
With the 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory, Federer extended his own all-time record with his 12th Wimbledon final appearance.
Only broken once
Though Bautista Agut put up a good fight in his first Grand Slam semifinal, Djokovic held off the 23rd seeded Spaniard 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The 32-year-old Serb was broken once in the second set, which allowed Bautista Agut to even the score at one set apiece. The match also featured a remarkable 45-shot rally in the seventh game of the third set, which Djokovic won to hold serve and stay a break up.
“I had to dig deep,” Djokovic said afterwards. “It’s the semifinals and Roberto was not overwhelmed.”
The defending champion then took the third set before cruising in the fourth, though he needed five match points in the final game to clinch the victory.
The win put Djokovic in his 25th career Grand Slam final — he has won 15 of his previous 24. He holds a 4-1 record in Wimbledon final, with his only loss coming against Scotland’s Andy Murray in 2013.
dv/msh (AP, Reuters)
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