Sports

Novak Djokovic overcomes plucky Bautista Agut to reach Wimbledon final

Novak Djokovic overcomes plucky Bautista Agut to reach Wimbledon final

In terms of head-to-head in Wimbledon, Nadal and Federer have faced each other thrice, with Federer keeping a 2-1 advantage.

Only five of their last 22 clashes has gone to a final set and very often the victor of these encounters has won it with a bit to spare, so if I were backing either man in match odds on Friday I'd be inclined to risk the -1.5 sets. The Serb is yet to play against an opponent seeded in the top 20. Federer has won two of their three previous encounters in this spot. There are a variety of other Wimbledon odds you can target like the game spread, where Nadal is favored by 1.5. Before locking in your Nadal vs. Federer picks, see the 2019 Wimbledon predictions for the men's semifinals from British grass-court tennis expert Sean Calvert. "He's not just a clay-court specialist, we know".

It has only been one month since tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played each other, when Nadal defeated Federer on clay in straight sets in the 2019 French Open semifinal on the way to a 12th title there. 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.

Over the past five years Federer has actually had his way with Nadal off the dirt.

Calvert knows Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champ, is in rare form. And the first time it happened, in 2008, he won the title after beating Federer in a five-set marathon. Nadal's return game has never been better too.

Actually, there have been 64 matches already that have featured at least one tie break, which will be down on last year's 77, but it's about the same as the 67 of 2017 and more than the 60 of 2016.

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But just because Nadal, 33, is four years younger than Federer and in better current form doesn't mean he'll get the best of the Swiss maestro.

Bautista Agut thought little of his chances of making it this far at Wimbledon, arranging his stag do for this week. Agut was also buoyed by the draw, which saw several higher ranked seeds drop out early in the tournament.

Much has changed since that epic Sunday night in 2008 when, as the last strands of daylight ebbed away, Nadal dethroned the king of Centre Court in a rain-hit final that will forever be part of Wimbledon folklore.

The victor of Federer-Nadal will face either Novak Djokovic or Roberto Bautista Agut and while the latter has won three of their last five meetings on all surfaces and their last three in a row on hard courts he seems unlikely to upset the odds.

Tignor expects Federer to up his game against Nadal, who has looked imperious so far in this tournament. Visit SportsLine now to see Sean Calvert's strong 2019 Wimbledon picks for the semis, all from the British tennis expert who's up almost $4,400 on grass-court events.


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