Underappreciated Djokovic shows why Wimbledon title path runs through him


Switzerland's Roger Federer returns against Spain's Rafael Nadal during their men's singles semi-final match at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships in London July 12, 2019.

World number one and four-time Wimbledon victor Djokovic booked his 25th Grand Slam final appearance with a nervy 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Spain´s 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut. The argument for Federer as the greatest ever leans heavily on his superior Grand Slam trophy count, and a loss would guarantee that either Nadal or Djokovic-who beat Roberto Bautista Agut in Friday's earlier semifinal, giving him a shot to win his 16th Slam-would win another major title. While they were obviously up against formidable foes, Mladenovic and Babos jut won the French Open for their second Grand Slam title together. 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. Federer was seeded number one, while Nadal was number two at the time of the 2008final.

"He's an unbelievable player, he's a champion of the sport; one of the greatest we'll ever see".

"It's sad because for me I know chances are not forever".

However, Federer said he won´t be over-awed by the challenge as he chases a 21st major and Djokovic targets a 16th. (That's nearly certainly true.) They insist they want to win Wimbledon for the sake of winning Wimbledon, not as a matter of comparison.

Nadal and Federer will meet each other after Bautista Agut's match in the second semi-final of the day. But the 31-year-old Bautista Agut held his nerve to eventually level the semi-final at 6-4 off a fortuitous net cord.

Nadal dug deep to hold, and in the tie-break that followed the Spaniard found the corner to win a remarkable opening point and go the mini-break up. "It's the semi-finals and Roberto was not overwhelmed - he's a very under-rated player", Djokovic, 32, said.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands broke the 23-year-old women's mile world record on Friday when she clocked four minutes 12.33 seconds, beating the 4:12.56 set by Russia's Svetlana Masterkova in Zurich in 1996. But it came after Novak Djokovic had fallen, howled, cupped his hand to his ear and shown all manner of frustration, both with himself and the world on the way to his sixth Wimbledon final. Even like this, I had, yeah, the early break in the third.

Federer meanwhile will have to play more of a complete match against Djokovic than Nadal. "There were some tight ones and long rallies", Federer said.

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion at Wimbledon, has the edge overall, leading his great rival and friend 24-15 and 10-3 at the Slams.

Strangely, Federer and Nadal have taken contrasting paths to get to the last our, with the eight-time champion having to work harder than the two-time victor.

"I thought probably the biggest points in the match went my way".

Bautista Agut definitely made a match of it and made Djokovic work, but he just doesn't have the sustained firepower needed in best-of-5.

"It won't be the first time playing against Nadal nor Federer on the Centre Court".