Federer gunning for unprecedented eighth Wimbledon title
Record Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, with 17, hopes he can move one clear of Pete Sampras and William Renshaw in terms of Wimbledon title wins. The trio have all gained seven SW19 victories each and, with the Swiss superstar now at the age of 32, it may be the last chance he gets to lift the trophy at the All England Club.
This will be the 35th meeting between the sporting greats, with Federer (11/8 to win) holding a slight 18-16 advantage over Novak Djokovic. He even beat the Serb in their last encounter in Monte Carlo this year in straight sets, and is 6/1 to do so again.
The duo have only played each other on grass once before, in 2012 at the Wimbledon semi-finals, and Federer also won that battle in four sets. You can take odds of 9/2 for him to get a 3-1 victory once more.
Surprisingly, they have only met in a Grand Slam final once, at the 2007 US Open, where the Swiss legend also beat the Serb in straight sets.
It is top seed Djokovic, however, who is odds-on favourite for this match, at 4/7, even though the 27-year-old has found it more difficult to get to the final. He had to come back from 2-1 down in the quarters against Marin Cilic, while he managed to save three set points 2-1 up in a tie-break against Grigor Dimitrov in the semis, before winning 3-1.
Federer, on the other hand, has dropped just one set this SW19 – in the last eight against compatriot Stan Wawrinka – and is a man in top form, after also lifting his seventh Halle trophy in June.
The Swiss fourth seed came through his semi-final in straightforward fashion, seeing off Canadian rising star Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Following the victory, Federer said: “It was a perfect result before a big match in the final. I feel energised and eager to play.”
“It’s really important for me to stay aggressive against [Djokovic], and especially here at Wimbledon,” he added.
“Novak can hurt you down the line or cross-court on both sides. His forehand, his serve, his movement clearly is what stands out the most at the moment. He’s really been able to improve that and make it rock solid.”
Six-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic, who has lost five of his last six Grand Slam finals, meanwhile, said: “Most of the matches we played against each other went the distance, so I am going to be physically ready and fit to go the distance.
“Against Federer, the key will be to try not to allow him to dictate too much because he likes to be very aggressive.
“He likes to come to the net and I’m going to have to be able to get as many returns back in the court as possible and stay close to the lines.
“It’s a good chance for me to try to win against him on his favourite surface, on his favourite court.”