Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Wimbledon: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal set up blockbuster semi-final

Top seed Novak Djokovic also comfortably through and will meet Roberto Bautista Agut in the other semi-final

Roger Federer will face Rafael Nadal for a place in the Wimbledon final. Getty Images
Roger Federer will face Rafael Nadal for a place in the Wimbledon final. Getty Images

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will play out the 40th installment of their long and enduring rivalry in the Wimbledon semi-finals after both players won their respective last-eight matches on Wednesday.

Eight-time champion Federer recovered from losing the opening set to defeat Japan's Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court to claim his 100th Wimbledon win. Over on Court One, Nadal made light work of American Sam Querrey to progress 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.

"We have a lot of information on Rafa and so does he about us. I know people always hype it up in a big way," said Federer, who holds a 15-24 win-loss record against Nadal.

"They did that again in Paris this year [when Nadal won their French Open semi-final in straight sets]. I'd love to play against him here at Wimbledon. But I go about it like every other match."

Federer said he was unaware that he had become the first player ever to win 100 matches at the same grand slam. "A fan told me congratulations on your hundredth win and I thought, oh yes, you're right!"

Top seed Novak Djokovic kept alive his Wimbledon title defence after reaching the semi-finals with a clinical straight sets win over Belgium's David Goffin on Wednesday.

After a cagey start, Goffin took a shock lead by breaking first to claim a 4-3 lead, but the 21st seed's advantage didn't last as Djokovic broke back immediately to set up a ruthless run which concluded with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 victory.

It was a display of Djokovic at his clinical best as the Serb soaked up the early punches without panic then slowly but surely imposed himself in every aspect of the contest to such an extent that Goffin was left flailing.

"He started well and was dictating the play from the baseline," Djokovic said. "Things could have gone a different way - who knows what the match would have looked like if I had lost the first set?

"I think it was the turning point, it was a huge relief for me mentally. I started relaxing, going through the ball a bit more and I felt like I managed to dismantle his game and find the right shots."

Djokovic, who has lost only once at a grand slam in the last 12 months, is into his ninth Wimbledon semi-final – only Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer have been in more – where he will face Roberto Bautista Agut, who reached his first grand slam semi-final after beating Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

"It sounds amazing," Bautista Agut said about being a Wimbledon semi-finalist. "I really cannot be more happy. I had a really difficult match and had to manage a lot of emotions on court.

"I knew I had a good opportunity to play in the semi-final and I did very well."

Updated: July 10, 2019 10:07 PM

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