After all, it's not a rarity to see either Federer or Djokovic in a Slam final. But it hasn't been often that the two have actually been paired against one another. As ESPN Tennis points out, this will only be the second time that the two competitors have seen each other in a Grand Slam final:
That U.S. Open match back in 2007 turned out to be one to remember for Federer. The living legend took care of the up-and-coming Serbian in straight sets to earn his 12th career Grand Slam title and fourth straight U.S. Open.
Flash forward seven years and things have changed pretty drastically. At 32 years old, Federer no longer gets to Grand Slam finals with regularity. In fact, when he takes to the court at the All England Club on Sunday, he'll be the oldest player to make an appearance in the final match since 2005, per ESPN Stats & Info:
This trip to a Grand Slam final will be his first since Wimbledon 2012 and third in the last four years.
Djokovic—on the other hand—has seen his career go nowhere but up since that 2007 encounter with Federer. Since then, he's gone on to win six Grand Slam titles, including Wimbledon in 2011. And now it's Djokovic who seemingly has a ticket punched to every final of every major tournament, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:
So now the question remains: Can Federer continue to turn back the clock and capture No. 18?
If Federer's form on the way to the final is any indication, the answer could be yes. Though the Swiss legend didn't have to eliminate the other members of the "Big Four" to get here, his road wasn't exactly easy.
Fed-Ex's last three matches in the tournament came against top-25 seeds, and he didn't even break a sweat in beating them. Going against No. 23 Tommy Robredo, No. 5 Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 8 Milos Raonic, he lost only the opening set to Wawrinka.
Djokovic has seemed more human on his way to the final. While facing no one in the top 10 in his last three matches, he was pushed to a fifth set by No. 26 Marin Cilic and dropped a set to No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov in the semis.
However, recent momentum isn't the only thing that matters. Although these two haven't met in very many finals, they still have quite the history against one another. And once again, the slight advantage there goes to Mr. Federer.
For the entirety of the series between the two, Fed-Ex holds a 18-16 advantage stretching back to 2006. While Djokovic has certainly done a lot to close that gap over the last five years, his elder still holds a 2-1 advantage over him in 2014.
Federer pulled off wins against him in Dubai and Monte Carlo, while Djokovic bested his veteran counterpart once, at Indian Wells, in 2014.
The last time these two played on grass? You'd have to go back to Wimbledon 2012 when Federer won his last major in four sets.
Heading into Sunday's epic showdown, it would appear that history gives the slight nod to the Swiss magician. However, as Djokovic commented on the match, it's likely fans are going to be treated to a marathon, via ESPN:
We played many matches on different occasions. We played so many times in semifinals and finals of Grand Slams, different surfaces, big matches over the years. They were very exciting.
And, of course, most of the matches we play against each other went the distance. So I'm going to be, of course, physically ready and fit to go the distance this time.
Given Federer's age and Djokovic's recent struggles in Grand Slam finals (he's lost his last three straight), it's difficult to tell just who will come out on top on Sunday. But one thing is for sure: Tennis fans won't want to miss this one.
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