LONDON: Roger Federer can win a record eighth Wimbledon title and become the oldest champion of the modern era on Sunday if he can find a way past world number one Novak Djokovic.
The 33-year-old Swiss has defied those who dared to write him off when he lost last year’s final to the Serb in five gruelling sets.
His breathtaking demolition of Andy Murray in Friday’s semi-finals was a throwback to his years of Grand Slam dominance when he captured 16 of his 17 majors in a seven-year spell between 2003 and 2010.
Now he has reached a 10th Wimbledon final, the oldest man to do so since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974, and his 26th Grand Slam final overall.
A win on Sunday would break the tie of seven Wimbledon titles he shares with Pete Sampras and which he levelled with his most recent Slam, the 2012 All England Club crown.
Ahead of their 40th career meeting, Federer and defending champion Djokovic are equally-matched.
Federer has a 20-19 career edge in their head-to-heads but they are locked at 6-6 in Grand Slams.
In finals at the majors they are 1-1 with Djokovic’s Wimbledon triumph of 12 months ago following Federer’s straight sets victory in the 2007 US Open.
“It’s great to play Novak anywhere these days because he’s a great player. He’s had unbelievable success throughout his career,” said Federer.
The two have already met three times in 2015 — Djokovic winning the finals at Indian Wells and Rome after Federer had come out on top in the Dubai final.
That loss in the UAE was just one of three for Djokovic all year with the third coming at the worst possible time at the hands of an inspired Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final, the only Slam still to elude him.
Djokovic said last year’s win over Federer also helped put his career back on track after he had gone five majors without adding to his tally which stood at six at the time.
“To win that match in five sets against Roger on grass was definitely something that gave me a lot of confidence,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2015.
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