Novak Djokovic Wins Longest Point Ever Recorded at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic Wins Longest Point Ever Recorded at Wimbledon

Unlike the 2008 final, widely regarded as the greatest ever at Wimbledon, when claycourt king Nadal snapped Federer's five-year reign in a five-set epic ending in near darkness and a blaze of flashbulbs, Friday's match was less damaging to the fingernails of those rooting for each man. Prior to Friday's semifinal, he had dropped just one set throughout the tournament (to Nick Kyrgios in the second round).

"I felt like I played good throughout the four sets".

"I'm exhausted", 38-year-old Federer said. "I thought the match was played at a very high level".

Remarkably the 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-2 success was the Serb's 12th victory in the last 13 Grand Slam semi-finals and he will be seeking his fifth title at Wimbledon and 16th Grand Slam singles crown in the latest installment of the Big Three showdown.

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory.

Djokovic - a four-time victor at the All England Club - beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-2 to book his spot in a sixth Wimbledon decider. He has won four Wimbledon titles in his career. Considered as one of the most iconic rivalries in sports, the Federer-Nadal (Fedal) clash enters chapter no 40 or XL as the match has come to be known in advance. After the match the Spaniard expressed his disappointment at failing to reach another Slam final.

Quickly, that greeting was justified. And, perhaps shockingly, this is the narrowest the gap has been between the two since July of 2004, when Federer had two and Nadal had none. Another was that he was able to withstand Nadal's serve, which has improved a ton over the years.

The effervescent Swiss turned the screw to break again early in the fourth and there was to be no way back for third seed Nadal as he lost a grand slam semi-final against Federer for the first time, having won the previous four. This time it was all about Federer who threw everything he had on the rival to keep the points on his racquet and unfold the rallies in the way he wanted.

Federer leads Rafael Nadal 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3 in the semifinals on Centre Court.

Nadal said defeat was tough but graciously congratulated Federer on being the better player on the day.

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Federer would kick up chalk with an ace to a corner, and Nadal would do the same in the next game.

"I got a bit tight, it was a close opening four/five games of the third set, it could have gone both ways but I'm glad it went my way".

Unable to sustain such extraordinary hitting, Federer had a mental dip in the second set, dropping serve to love in the fourth game with three sloppy unforced errors. And who else but Nadal could somehow retrieve an apparently untouchable ball and send up a lob that Federer would shank a leaping overhead, as happened in the last game? "Was maybe one of the best points of the match".

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is one set away from his sixth Wimbledon final. "He plays with such velocity and spins and everything, you're not always sure you're going to connect the right way".

Speaking after the match, Nadal admitted there were certain areas where Federer just outclassed him in the match. He went on to win the set 6-3.

Before the match started, many expected this to be a straightforward task for Djokovic; a case of get the job done, get the racquets strung up and watch Nadal-Federer.

Nadal fended off a fourth match point with another sublime victor but Federer sealed it at the fifth time of asking - holding his arms aloft as Nadal fired a backhand long.

This was the second major in a row where they've faced off: Nadal won their windy French Open semifinal last month en route to his 12th championship on the red clay there.

Wimbledon, however, is Federer's dominion. He's won 101 matches at the place - more than any other man at any other Slam, even Nadal at Roland Garros - and all of those trophies.

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