Djokovic Stands between Federer and Ninth Wimbledon Title

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Novak-Djokovic

Roger Federer moved to within one win of a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon singles title as he beat long-time rival Rafael Nadal to set up a final against another old foe Novak Djokovic.

Swiss second seed Federer won 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 6-4 against the Spanish third seed before an enthralled Centre Court.

Federer’s win gives him a shot at a record-extending 21st Grand Slam, while denying Nadal the chance of a 19th.

Federer, 37, will meet Serbia’s top seed Djokovic on Sunday.

Federer’s eight Wimbledon titles are more than any other man in history and if he beats Djokovic he will match Martina Navratilova’s success in women’s singles.

Defending champion Djokovic, 32, goes for his 16th Grand Slam triumph after beating Spain’s 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets earlier on Friday.

Djokovic’s win ensured it would be a major final between two of the ‘Big Three’ in the men’s game for the first time since the Serb beat Federer in the 2015 showpiece at the All England Club.

Djokovic defied a mid-match slump to reach the Wimbledon final with a four-set victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.

In an agitated display, the Serb beat Spain’s Bautista Agut 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-2 to reach his 25th Grand Slam final.

Djokovic, chasing his fifth Wimbledon title, will face Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday.

“This has been the dream tournament for me since I was a child,” said 32-year-old Djokovic.

“So to be in another final is a dream come true. Regardless of the history and many finals I’ve played, playing finals at Wimbledon is something different so I’ll definitely enjoy that experience.

“I had to dig deep. It’s the semi-finals and Roberto was playing his first Grand Slam semi-final. He was not overwhelmed.

“He played really well. He was managing his nerves in the first set but later on he established himself and started to play better.

“I got a bit tight. It was a close opening four or five games of the third set – that’s where the match could have gone a different way. I’m glad it went my way.”