Photo: Paul ZimmerRoger Federer (SUI) and Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Their route to the final has been very different but Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will both have the same goal in mind when they contest the men’s singles final at Wimbledon on Sunday.
No. 1 seed Djokovic will be hoping to win a sixth Grand Slam title to edge nearer some of the game’s all-time greats while Federer is aiming to pick up his 18th major crown and an eighth at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Throughout the tournament Djokovic has been made to work hard for his victories, including a tough second round encounter with Radek Stepanek and a five-set quarterfinal against Marin Cilic and that trend continued against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov on Friday.
The Serbian made it through 64 36 76(2) 76(7) and Dimitrov, who has received help from the Grand Slam Development Fund and was featuring in his first major semifinal, will be ruing the missed opportunities he had in the fourth set, where he squandered three set points.
"I was playing in the semifinal against a future star," said Djokovic. "Dimitrov is already a top player after beating Andy Murray and he deserves respect for that. For his first semifinal he was really fighting and it was tough.
"Like my last match against Marin Cilic, I allowed my opponent back into the match and I am just pleased to go through."
His opponent in Sunday’s showpiece looked every inch a seven-time Wimbledon champion as he overcame the big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic to win 64 64 64.
Looking ahead to his final against Djokovic, the Swiss superstar said: “We both like to be close to the baseline. We both like to take charge, especially on quicker courts. He has a wonderful way of either redirecting or taking the ball early, taking pace from the opponent, even generating some of his own.
“I think for me it's really important to stay aggressive against him. And especially here at Wimbledon it's more simple how we need to play against each other. It's not like on a slow court where you can maybe manoeuvre the other guy around so much.”
The ITF produces men's match notes at Wimbledon. For a full list of the notes please click here.