Two of the greatest tennis players to set foot on Centre Court will battle for the 2019 Wimbledon men’s singles title, as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer get set to face off in a final match-up that is almost too close to call.
Eight-time Wimbledon men’s singles champion Federer says all the preparation is done and he just has to turn up and perform if he wants to dethrone reigning champion Djokovic in Sunday’s final.
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Speaking to Reuters ahead of the eagerly-anticipated final at SW19, Federer likened the match to an important exam.
“This is like a school,” he said.
“The day of the test, you’re not going to read many books that day. You don’t have the time anyhow.
“It’s quite clear the work was done way before. It’s been a rock solid year… the stars are aligned right now. From that standpoint, I can go into the match very confident.”
Ice-cool operator Federer has proved time and time again that he has the temperament to get the job done on tennis’ biggest stage. His eight previous Wimbledon titles are a testament to that.
But standing on the opposite side of the net is a man looking to make some history of his own. Djokovic can equal Swedish legend Bjorn Borg’s mark of five Wimbledon singles titles by defeating the Swiss star in Sunday’s final.
And Djokovic will head into the final with the knowledge that two of his four previous Wimbledon titles –in 2014 and 2015– were secured with wins over Federer in the final.
“We all know how good he is anywhere, but especially here,” said Djokovic.
“This surface complements his game very much. He loves to play very fast. Takes away the time from his opponent. Just doesn’t give you any same looks.
“He just rushes you to everything. So for players maybe like Nadal or myself that like to have a little more time, it’s a constant pressure that you have to deal with.
“I’ve played with Roger in some epic finals here a couple of years in a row, so I know what to expect. Of course, I’m going to be excited and nervous and everything that you can think of.
“I’m going to do my best to control that in some way and be able to portray my best tennis in a balanced, hopefully, state throughout the match.”
Federer had to be at his best to defeat Rafael Nadal in Friday’s semi-final, while Djokovic had a much more straightforward path to the final with a routine win over Roberto Bautista Agut.
And the Swiss ace will have to be at the top of his game once again to defeat Djokovic and snap a four-match losing streak against the Serbian star.
Whoever claims the title, it promises to be another titanic clash between two of the sport’s all-time greats.