Rafa Roundup: Are you ready for the biggest match of the year? Fedal, Chapter XL

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No matter what happens on Friday, their latest meeting is a testament to the longevity and staying power of both men. Their first match took place more than 15 years ago at the Miami Open presented by Itau. Many of their peers in the draw that year have long since retired, but Federer and Nadal have not only continued to remain elite players on the ATP Tour, but keep putting themselves in position to win Grand Slam titles.

“Before the tournament, I tipped Federer to win the whole thing, but the way Rafa has been playing, I just think Rafa might do it. It’s going to be very close, but I would give a marginal edge to Rafa.

“People talk about Federer as the great grass court specialist, but Rafa has got a very good record on grass as well. Playing on grass suits him physically – he could well have won the title last year, he was desperately close against Djokovic.”

Newman believes Nadal’s win last month over Federer on the clay of Roland-Garros “might just give Nadal a little bit of a boost. Rafa has won quite a few more matches against Federer than he has lost.”

Rafa’s doing everything right. His serve, his return, his rhythm, his defence … I’m watching from home, breaking down plays as I see them and thinking in my head how I’d be handling every situation, playing every point… I can honestly say he’s doing exactly what I’d be doing or wanting him to be doing. That doesn’t mean I’m right, but the results prove he’s performing at a spectacular level.

“Often we see matches being overhyped but you can’t overhype this one – and rightly so,” three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker told BBC Sport.

“It is the biggest match of the year because you’re talking about two greats of the game. I thought it was the best Wimbledon final of all time. So we’re very lucky to have this opportunity again on Friday. It’s the one match that every tennis player alive will tune in for.”

“Probably is better to have that [Roland Garros] victory than to have defeat, of course. But on the other hand, it’s a completely different situation. [To] play on grass or play on clay is probably the biggest change in the world of tennis,” Nadal said. “I think the player who will have the chance to play better… will be the player who has more chances to be through. That’s all. These kinds of matches are like this.”

Sue Barker, BBC Wimbledon presenter: “When I think of that match, what I remember the most is going out on the court to do the interview after the match, and feeling the most unbelievably powerful energy going round the Centre Court crowd, because everyone knew they’d seen something incredibly special – an historic match. I’ve been at finals for years and years doing that interview on the court, but that buzz and electricity that was sparking round the Centre Court is something I’ve never witnessed before, or since.”

56-19 The combined record of Nadal (26-5) and Federer (30-14) in Grand Slam semi-finals.

47 – aces struck by Nadal so far this Fortnight – the most among the four semi-finalists – compared with 42 from Federer.

92 – hours and 53 minutes, the time Federer and Nadal have spent in matches against one another throughout their careers.

Immediately after Federer and Nadal won their quarterfinals matches to set up yet another titanic showdown, ticket prices on Stubhub started — started — at about £7000, the equivalent of nearly $9,000 in U.S. dollars.

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98 comments

  1. In every aspect right now, Federer is playing much better than our champ. Rafa seems to be barely hanging on in this 4th set, and still a break down.

    Create some chances Rafa!!

  2. Oh dear! That backhand of Roger’s is hurting Rafa. It’ll need a monumental effort for Rafa to change things around now. Praying that Roger gets nervous and starts spraying the ball but he looks calm and confident. HOLD ON TO YOUR SERVE RAFA! PLEASE!

  3. Roger is hurting Rafa more than Rafa is hurting Roger.

    Where is the fire that Rafa had against Kyrgios??? Find it quick champ!

    15-40.

  4. I often feel that the intensity is lacking especially compared to roger and Novak. Or is it mental and is he so nervous and that’s why so tight? He’s not playing at all like in the rest of the tournament and even though his opponent is tough h still can compete. He’s capable of beating everybody but he doesn’t seem to believe it.

    Maybe he didn’t analyse Roger’s present game correctly.

    How many chances is he going to get. The clock is ticking.

  5. Don’t let him into your head. New set, new start. Come on champ. U can do it. We r with u

  6. Very disappointing set from Rafa. It’s as if he does not want this match as much as Federer wants it. Rafa needs to wake up in the 4th set or Wimbledon 2019 is over for him.

    Federer’s game right now seems to be just waiting for errors and short balls from Rafa and capitalizing on them.

    Wake up Rafa, you can do this!!!

  7. Oh dear! Rafa please increase your intensity level. Sending u support and positive vibes. U can do it champ. Stay calm. Vamos💪💪💪

  8. Not watching! Don’t know what happens to Rafa when he plays roger or Novak in recent years. I hope this is not a repeat of the AO – even though this is a semi final not final. Playing excellently in previous matches and then ……. . At least if he plays well close to his best or best then …. .

    Well…… hope things change

  9. Oh come on Rafa! He’s not doing himself any favours out there. He’s his own biggest enemy right now.

    Get it together Rafa!! Stop with the freebies!!

  10. r is ready for his walker and looks wishing for his nap!!!!
    VAMOS SWEETHEART…..JUST BROKE HIM LEADING 5:1 !!!!!:)
    YOU ARE BY FAR THE STRONGER , MORE SKILLED AND BETTER TOP TOP TOP TOP PLAYER!!!!!!!:) WE LOVE YOU SWEETHEART!!!!!!! YEH…. LEADING WITH YOUR FEISTY MAGIC 6:1!!!!!!!!!!:) KEEP GOING PRECIOUS RAFA NADAL!!!!!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!:) YOU ARE BRILLIANT PLAYING BRILLIANT TENNIS!!!!!!:) STRIDING PASSIONATELY FORWARD POINT BY POINT GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!:) VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!:) NOTHING HAPPENING IS IMPORTANT EXCEPT YOUR NEXT PRECIOUS POINT!!!!!!!!!!!:) LOVE HOW YOU FOUND A SHARP TURN AND GOT YOUR TWO AGGRESSIVE BEAUTIFUL BREAKS!!!!!!!!!!:):) :):):) THE CROWD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) BEAUTIFUL SOLID BRIGHT TENNIS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!:)

  11. PRECIOUS FEISTY BREAK 3:1 LEAD…….VAMOS GORGEOUS EFFECTIVE SERVING SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO!!!!!:) LOVE ALL YOUR BEAUTIFUL TIMELY PRECIOUS ACES!!!!!!!!!!:) AND EVERYTHING YOU DO!!!!!!!!!:) CI….CI….CI…….

  12. May be not important but I am really scared from Wimbledon because from 2011 onwards I am having nightmares from Rafa results here… But I still believe he will win today and the championship

  13. Fed punishing Rafa’s short balls and errors… and on the other side, not giving Rafa much to work with.

    WAKE UP RAFA!!

  14. Small margins for error here… Rafa needs to up his level and stop leaking some points. You can do it champ!

  15. Rafa didn’t do much wrong in the first set. It came down to a few important points which he lost.

    Get it together champ! Come back strong in the 2nd set!

  16. Jeez! That was tight. Come on Rafa. Get your mojo working and step it up. You’ve got to!

  17. KEEP GOING SWEETHEART!!!!!!:) YOU ARE PLAYING GREAT…….THERE ARE PLENTY MORE SETS:) LOVE YOU!:) GO RAFA GO!!!!!:)

  18. So far Federer is attacking more on Rafa’s backhand side… Few points separate them in first set. What an atmosphere though
    Come on Rafa attack His weaknesses

  19. Come on Rafa!! Raise the intensity and smother him. But those Federer serves though:) Both players doing their best to keep the points short.

    Take this tie break champ!!

  20. UMPIRE GIVES R MINI BREATHING BREAKS BETWEEN POINTS BY MAKING LATE SCORE CALLS OR PRETENDS TO QUIET THE CROWD…. LINE PEOPLE CALL TOO LOUDLY TO DISTRACT…..BEAUTIFUL SERVE SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!÷:) IGNORE IT SWEETHEART….NOTHING NEW…..KEEP GOING……NO BS SEEMS TO HELP R HE ALREADY LOOKS TIRED……GO RAFA GO……YOU ARE THE BEST PLAYER AND LOOKING SOLID AND BRIGHT!!!!!:) VAMOS SWEETHEART……TIRE HIM SIDE TO SIDE…….HE IS NOT HALF YOUR LEVEL……GO AND SEND HIM TO THE CLEANERS………WE LOVE YOU DEAR RAFA BECAUSE YOU ARE PRECIOUS AND BLESSED AND WI….WI…WI…..JUST PUT ANOTHER STRIKING SERVE!!!!!!!:) AND…..ANOTHER ONE….CI…..CI…..CI…….LOVE YOU PRECIOUS GOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!:)XOXOXOXOXOXO

  21. YOU LOOK GORGEOUS AND STRONG OUT THERE!!!!!!:)
    BEAUTIFUL SWEETHEART!!!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) WE LOVE YOU…..KEEP SMILING SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) YOU ARE SERVING BEAUTIFULLY….YEH….1ST ACE SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!! KEEP SLIDING AND GLIDING AND REACHING AND NETTING AND HAVING FUN!!!!!!:) GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART!!!!!:) GO RAFA GO!!!!!!!!!!!:) YOU LOOK MUCH STRONGER AND THE BETTER PLAYER……..WE LOVE YOUR PRECIOUS ENERGY AND ENJOY EACH POINT WITH YOU !!!!!!!!!!
    XOXOXOXOXOXOXO
    IGNORE THE NOISES…….KEEP PLAYING YOUR BLESSED PRECIOUS NEXT POINT!!!!! PATHETIC BIAS UMPIRE ……UMPIRE SAID NOTHING TO LOUD BURSTING NOISES….. HE MUST CONDUCT THE MATCH IN A NONE BIAS PROFESSIONAL MANNER. WE ARE HERE TAKING NOTES OF THE MATCH . VAMOS SWEETHEART!:) WE TRUST YOU KNOW HOW TO IGNORE THE BIAS AND KEEP GOING WITH YOUR MAGICAL POWER AND DRIVE PLAYING YOUR BRILLIANT TENNIS!!!!!!!:) XOXOXOXOXO

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