Frustration for Nadal as Wimbledon mission falls short

Novak Djokovic in action on Friday against Roberto Bautista Agut

Djokovic, however, has got more business to attend to as he prepares to face 37-year-old eight-times Wimbledon champion and number two seed Federer in Sunday's showpiece. Federer will be chasing his 21st major in Sunday's final, while Djokovic will be after No. 16.

Twitter was overawed by the level of play both the veterans produced on Friday and could not stop gushing over Federer's ability to push the limits at the All England Club.

He took the set, missed out on three break points at the start of the fourth but struck in Bautista Agut's next service game, again in the fifth game, and it was all downhill from there.

The Spaniard's form had led American great John McEnroe to declare: "You play against a guy like Nadal, he wants to tear your heart out".

"It was a really close opening four to five games of the third set that could have gone either way - thankfully it went mine".

Djokovic went on to win in four sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

From then on he took total control as the Spaniard, who had looked calm and confident in his first grand slam semi-final, was eventually brushed aside.

One key for Federer, however, was that his rebuilt backhand, hit strong and flat more frequently than it used to be, held steady against Nadal's bullwhip of a lefty forehand. However, a six-Slam gap sounds far more daunting than four.

"It's definitely, definitely going to go down as one of my favourite matches to look back at because it's Rafa, it's at Wimbledon, the crowds were into it, great weather".

"He played great against Bautista Agut, who I thought played a phenomenal tournament", Federer said of his rival. The fact that Djokovic has already won the Australian Open this year and his dominance on centre court last year means that despite Federer's prowess and pedigree, he'll have to put up a real fight to put the brakes on Djokovic. When Federer and Nadal strode out into the sunshine at 4:30 p.m. Friday, they were welcomed by a standing ovation before ever swinging a racket.

"I'm very, very excited, to say the least".

"At the end of the day, it comes very much down to who's better on the day, who's in a better mental place, who's got more energy left, " Federer said, "who's tougher when it really comes to the crunch".

"I won a lot of important points in the third and fourth set", said Federer. Djokovic won 14 of the next 18 points while pulling out to a 3-0 lead - and he didn't need to produce much magic to do so.

Once his volley victor found the net tape and trickled over to cap the third set, the outcome seemed inevitable.

The Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal tennis rivalry had another chapter added on Friday when the two legends faced-off in the Wimbledon semi-finals at the All England club.

Nadal won that match 9-7 in the fifth set.

Soon enough, the defending champion was bellowing and shaking his fist after putting away an overhead to go up a break in the third set.

The Wimbledon semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Roberto Bautista Agut was briefly interrupted after a fan became ill on Centre Court.

The rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer continues on Sunday as the defending Wimbledon champion takes on the eight-time All England Club victor in the 2019 final.

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