Fed, Rafa and Novak wind back Wimbledon clock

More than a decade after Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer combined to share one of the greatest matches in history, the grand slam titans have powered into a blockbuster Wimbledon semi-final.

The ageless titans will square off for the 40th time and the 14th occasion at grand slam level after progressing to the last four on a red-letter day for tennis.

The last four is rounded out by world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic, who will play Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut for a berth in Sunday's decider.

It the first time since 2007 the world's top-three men's players have reached the semis here.

Federer, 37, notched his 100th All England Club singles win with a 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-4 elimination of Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori to reach his 45 major semi.

He is chasing a ninth Wimbledon title and 21st major.

Federer said: "We have a lot of information on Rafa, as does he on us. So you can dive in to the tactics like mad for two days or you say it's grass court tennis so I'm going to come out and play my tennis.

"People always hype it up. It was a joy to play against Rafa on his court at the French Open … I'd be very excited to play him here."


Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates his straight sets quarter-final victory.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates his straight sets quarter-final victory.

Nadal, 33, swept into his 32nd semi with a 7-5 6-2 6-2 victory over unseeded American Sam Querrey.

The French Open king, like Federer, is excited at the prospect of doing battle at the home of tennis after such a long gap.

"It's great, difficult to imagine to be again in that situation but here we are," he said.

"I am excited about the victory for today, but excited to play Roger again at Wimbledon after such a long time."

Nadal is in pursuit of a third Wimbledon crown and 19th major.

Remarkably, the two most decorated men in tennis will clash at Wimbledon for the first time since the epic 2008 final, a match regarded by many as the finest match ever played.

Their most recent encounter was in last month's French Open semi-finals, where Nadal demolished Federer 6-1 6-1 6-3 to end a six-match losing streak to the Swiss.

Bidding to match Bjorn Borg's five titles, Djokovic booked his place in the last four for the ninth time with a 6-4 6-0 6-2 rout of Belgian David Goffin.

Bautista Agut, the 23rd seed, beat Argentine Guido Pella 7-5 6-4 3-6 6-3 in his quarter-final.






Roger Federer

Age: 37

Ranking: 3

Titles: 102

Grand slam titles: 20

Prizemoney: $179,154,339

Coach: Severin Luthi, Ivan Ljubicic


Rafael Nadal

Age: 33

Ranking: 2

Titles: 82

Grand slam titles: 18

Prizemoney: $157,262,932

Coaches: Carlos Moya, Francisco Roig

Head to head: Nadal leads 24-15. Federer leads 2-1 on grass. Nadal leads 10-3 at grand slams


Rafael Nadal celebrates his quarter-final win over American Sam Querrey.
Rafael Nadal celebrates his quarter-final win over American Sam Querrey.




Novak Djokovic

Age: 32

Ranking: 1

Titles: 74

Grand slam titles: 15

Prizemoney: $189,373,431

Coach: Marian Vajda

Roberto Bautista Agut

Age: 31

Ranking: 22

Titles: 9

Grand slam titles: 0

Prizemoney: $14,876,929

Coaches: Tomas Carbonell, Pepe Vendrell.

Djokovic leads 7-3. They have never played on grass.