Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Sad Nadal sees chances of third Wimbledon title slipping from his grasp

Sad Nadal sees chances of third Wimbledon title slipping from his grasp

Federer's serve served him well against his Spanish rival, who won their last meeting at Wimbledon in the 2008 final - taking the epic fifth set 9-7 as darkness descended.

After over three hours, and staving off four match points, Rafael Nadal finally made one mistake too many. Add in the third-place count of 15 trophies belonging to Novak Djokovic, who is seeded No. 1 and plays No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut in Friday's other semifinal, and this terrific trio has won 53 of the last 64 major championships.

Partly cloudy. High of 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius).

Nadal dug deep to hold, and in the tie-break that followed the Spaniard found the corner to win a remarkable opening point and go the mini-break up.

"He played a bit better than me, I had a few small chances but didn't convert them."

Djokovic was broken once in the second set, allowing Bautista Agut to even the score. He dropped the first set against Nishikori, but then dropped just nine total games over the next three sets on his way to a dominant victory.

Federer broke Nadal early in the third set, then fended off a powerful response from the Spaniard to restore his one-set lead. Bautisa Agut, a 31-year-old ardent baseliner, topped Djokovic in Doha, Qatar in early January and again in Miami in March after Djokovic won the Australian Open.

The players then smashed out their 45-shot rally, much of it a mesmerizing exchange of identical crosscourt backhands that had the crowd gasping before Djokovic blinked first to switch the angle of attack and take the point with a devastating victor. "I'm excited to be back on Centre Court against him after 11 years", he says. Federer will be chasing his 21st major in Sunday's final, while Djokovic will be after No. 16.

Federer is an eight-time Wimbledon champion, while Nadal has won two titles at the All England Club. "Is something that is going to be hard to see it again".

Djokovic, increasingly irritated by a restless crowd, broke for 4-2 in the third set and held for 5-2 off the back of a lung-busting 45-shot rally.

If he doesn't it could be another one-sided affair for an elite player this Wimbledon. He was managing his nerves in the first set but later on he established himself and started to play better. I'm just relieved it's all over at this point.

Roger gave the second set away, preparing for the third where he had the advantage and continuing in the same style in the fourth to cross the finish line and stay on the course for the ninth Wimbledon crown just a few weeks before turning 38.

But Djokovic was relentless and tightened his grip, breaking twice for a 4-1 lead, and eventually claimed victory on a fifth match point. You can find the Novak Djokovic v Roberto Bautista Agut live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here for a match that will begin at 1 pm local time (12 noon GMT). He double-faulted on his first set point but converted the second with a volley victor that clipped the net cord.

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