Third set | FEDERER 5, Djokovic 5
Djokovic registers a set point.
The first point of the third set was also a set point for Federer, deserved by a forehand followed by a half-volley winner.
In 30-30, Djokovic hit a powerful and deep service that opened the service line and forced Federer to make a setback error. Another important service allowed Djokovic to score a point and a backhand for Federer to score his reply to tie the score of the third set at 5-5.
Third set | FEDERER 5, Djokovic 4
The third series advances at the moment of serving.
Neither player reached a breaking point in the first nine games. Federer makes many more comebacks than Djokovic in the match. He made 83% of the returns, against only 59% for Djokovic, and gained five break points at the Djokovic zero.
Third set | FEDERER 2, Djokovic 2
Djokovic is back on track.
After a second fragile run, Djokovic kept the procedure at 2-2. Djokovic won Friday the longest rally (45 shots) at Wimbledon since the start of the race in 2005. He also won the longest rally of the match so far, 21 shots or 40-15 in the fourth game.
Djokovic is a category where his service is less important: his five aces are canceled by five double faults.
SECOND set | FEDERER WINS 6-1
Djokovic's game slides off the rails.
After losing a hotly contested first set, Federer won the second set with considerable ease, winning 6-1 in just 25 minutes. He broke Djokovic's service three times. Djokovic recorded 14 impressive wins against 6 unforced errors in the first set, but imploded in the second, only 2 winners against 10 non-forced errors. He finished the set by dropping his love service, including a double foul.
Federer however knows that a 6-1 second does not necessarily indicate a winner. He lost the second set against Nadal in his semifinal Friday by the same score, only to come back and win the next two sets.
SECOND set | FEDERER 5, Djokovic 1
Federer had control.
Federer won 15 of the first 19 points in the second set, although Djokovic was retained on the board with a 1-4 win. There had been only one 6-0 bagel between the two in their previous 47 games: the first set of the 2012 Cincinnati Masters, won by Federer.
SECOND set | FEDERER 3, Djokovic 0
Federer takes advance in the second set.
After a mediocre end of play in the decisive game of the first set, Federer took the lead to score the second goal, breaking Djokovic's serve for the first time.
Djokovic helped a lot, scoring two unforced errors and losing ground on another point. Federer consolidated on the gift, holding for 2-0, and then broke Djokovic again at the next match.
First set | Djokovic wins, 7-6
Djokovic rallies to win the tiebreak, 7-5.
Federer seemed to have won the third point of the tie-break. After Djokovic made sure of a shot from the pass with a recaptured ball, Federer was found with a forehand, but he sent it long. Djokovic carried this momentum to the next point, going back 3-1 on a Federer backhand also sent for a long time.
Federer tied the tiebreaker at 3-3 with a setback that he managed to cross to draw the lines. He then took a 4-3 lead by winning a second straight point on Djokovic's serve, hitting a shot in front right on the line.
A wide service at 123 m.p.h. extended Federer's lead to 5-3, but a misdirected forehand made him lose his mini-freak advantage, bringing Djokovic back to 5-4. Another error by Federer equalized at 5-5.
Djokovic controlled the next point with his setback to earn his first point at 6-5, then attacked Federer's backhand again to close the set, making a mistake and finishing it two minutes from the first minute. The crowd was obviously disappointed.
First set | Federer 6, Djokovic 6
The first set goes to a tie-break.
After 49 minutes and a single point of stoppage, Federer and Djokovic are heading for a decisive start.
Their last final at Wimbledon, in 2015, opened with two tiebreakers: Djokovic won the first, 7-1, and then Federer took the second, 12-10.
First set | Federer 4, Djokovic 4
The crowd is strongly in favor of Federer.
Federer and Djokovic traded four shots each, and tied at 4-4 in the first set. As is usually the case in matches between these two teams, the crowd is strongly in favor of Federer.
The most noisy Pro-Federer crowd that the two played in front was in the 2015 US Open final, when a delay of several hours left fans all the time to be more enthusiastic before the start of the match.
First set | Federer 3, Djokovic 2
Federer sees his first chance to serve.
Federer got his first break point of the match in the fourth game, a 14-point fight that marked the first battle of this final.
At the time of the break, Federer successfully contested a first Djokovic service that had landed, then a slice back and several other installments. But he could not corrode his forehand when he tried to assert himself in the rally. Djokovic then held, leveling the match at 2-2. Federer was found in a hole to himself, down from 0 to 30 in his next service match, but he dug the gap with four points scored to serve the set at 3-2. .
First set | Federer 1, Djokovic 1
Both players start with easy service games.
Roger Federer opened his 12th final at Wimbledon and went smoothly, losing only one point. Novak Djokovic returned the favor by doing better, without losing points.
Among those who are in the royal box to see them are: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon; actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Edward Norton; and former Wimbledon champions Stefan Edberg, Chris Evert, Jan Kodes, Rod Laver, John Newcombe and Stan Smith.
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The chair umpire is Damian Steiner of Argentina.
The Big Three are accumulating Grand Slam titles.
Once again in men's tennis, the rich will become richer.
Only 10 years ago, in Wimbledon, Roger Federer eclipsed Pete Sampras' men's singles record with 14 Grand Slam titles. Sampras is now in fourth place and the three players in front of him show no signs of slowing down.
On Sunday at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic will be looking to win his 16th Grand Slam singles title, while Roger Federer will be looking for his 21st.
This will be the eleventh consecutive major men's championship won by one of the Big Three, which includes the 18-time winner Rafael Nadal, whom Federer beat in semifinal on Friday.
Federer and Djokovic fought a lot.
The Wimbledon final will be their 48th meeting and a 16th place finish at a Grand Slam tournament. Familiarity generates comfort. This is especially true for Djokovic, who beat Federer in his previous two finals at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015. Djokovic leads the competition 25-22, including nine majors.
During his late-career revival, Federer reversed his rivalry with Nadal, winning six of their last seven games. Djokovic, who has not lost to Federer in any tournament since the ATP Tour final in 2015, has yet to solve his problem yet.
"I think that by the time you've played at someone probably over 15 times, especially in recent years, a few times, there's not much left over," Federer said. "You know where the players go when it really counts. How far can you still surprise someone?
"At the end of the day, you have to know who's better on the day, who's in a better mental place, who has more energy, who's harder in mind."
Federer has some records in sight.
Federer, who won his 100th quarterfinal game at Wimbledon, will turn 38 next month. He wants to become the oldest player of the Open era to win the title of the Grand Slam singles, surpassing the record of Ken Rosewall. 37 years, 62 days when he won the Australian Open in 1972.
With a win, Federer could equal Martim Navratilova's record at Wimbledon with nine singles titles.
The final is No. 1 against No. 2. Somehow.
Djokovic is the # 1 favorite and reigning champion. The Wimbledon seedling formula helped Federer, ranked third, to take second place, ahead of Nadal, because of his best grass record in recent years. The final will oppose for the 48th time the two best men's selections in Open league. In these duels, No. 1 has won 24 of the previous 47 games. If Federer wins, he will move to No. 2 in the standings.
The crowd will go for Federer, and Djokovic knows it.
In the Big Three, the match between Federer and Djokovic has resulted in reliable and dramatic matches. Federer's attacks and Djokovic's backlash allowed both players to play their A games at the same time. Their matches also tend to be unusually boisterous atmospheres, with crowds firmly in favor of Federer.
Asked what he would do in a final in which the crowd was extremely supportive of his opponent, Djokovic said he "would know what to expect".
"No matter who's on the net," he continued, "or what's going on around me, I'll give it all."
The challenge is mental, not physical.
The mental place will be crucial for Djokovic, 32 years old. He said the visualization would be a "very, very important" part of his preparation for the game.
"It's a pretty tough battle in yourself," said Djokovic about his participation in a Grand Slam final. "I think at this point we play in one of the most important stadiums and tournaments in the world, in the semifinals, in the final, fighting for a trophy with one of the most great rivals.
"I think the most important and probably the first victory you have to win is the one in you, so everything that happens on the outside is, I suppose, a consequence or a manifestation of that."
Federer said his preparation for his 12th finals at Wimbledon, five more than any other man, focused on the mental rather than the physical. He has never beaten Nadal and Djokovic in the same major tournament.
"I do not have a lot of energy to train a lot now," Federer said Friday. "Honestly, it's all about recovering, hitting the balls tomorrow and getting warm the next day. But it's more in the tactics.
"I do not think I have much to do in terms of practice. It's like a school: on test day, you will not read a lot of books that day. In any case, you do not have the time. "