"I want my trophy back." Those are the words that will be on both Novak Djokovic's and Roger Federer’s minds come Sunday’s Wimbledon final.
Top seed Djokovic will feature in his third final in four years at the All England Tennis Club, claiming one title in 2011, while Federer is looking for trophy No. 8 in west London.
Down the years, the pair have featured in some blockbuster finals, but Sunday will mark the first time that these two tennis heavyweights have faced off for the trophy and nothing but fireworks are expected.
Federer Ready to Go
Fourth seed Federer is just one victory away from etching his name into the history books forever. With seven Wimbledon titles to his name, the joint-highest total with Pete Sampras in the Open era, lifting his eighth Wimbledon title will see Federer take the outright lead—an accolade he truly deserves.
The 32-year-old is a behemoth of the tennis world, and the fact that he’s only ever lost one Wimbledon final speaks volumes. That defeat came in the final of all finals back in 2008, when he lost to Rafael Nadal in a thrilling five-setter.
The Swiss star isn’t used to not being the favourite in a Wimbledon final, but Djokovic’s class means that Federer comes into Sunday’s clash as the underdog. However, legendary coach Nick Bollettieri believes that he could produce a shock win:
Bollettieri isn’t wrong, either, as Federer has been phenomenal on the grass this year, summed up by his semi-final victory over Milos Raonic.
The Canadian Raonic came into his match with Federer in astounding form, having dropped just two service games all tournament but was broken on the very first game as the Swiss went on to win 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Needing just one hour and 42 minutes to book his place in the final, Federer said that he’s now full of energy ahead of Sunday’s final but was quick to recognise just how big a threat Djokovic poses, as reported by Sam Sheringham of BBC Sport:
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 him, and especially here at Wimbledon.
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.
Despite Federer’s praise, his Serbian counterpart has looked a little shaky at times throughout the tournament, but the fact that he’s made it through to the final tells you all that you need to know.
Djokovic is a quite incredible match player and seems to produce his best tennis when on the brink of failure.
His semi-final victory over Grigor Dimitrov demonstrated such a point, as the 27-year-old emerged through two tie breaks to claim his 3-1 set victory.
There’ll undoubtedly be times on Sunday where Federer has Djokovic on the ropes, but the way that he responds on the back foot will decide the winner of this year’s title.
That, and whether or not the Serbian can stay on his feet on Centre Court. Djokovic has struggled to keep himself up in his last few matches on Wimbledon’s drying surface, and Erik Gudris was one of many who remarked upon his lack of stability:
The surface just about favours Federer due to his expert positioning and ability to read a game, but Djokovic won’t go down easily.
Sunday’s final has all the makings of another five-setter, and let’s hope from a neutral perspective that we’re treated to more outstanding tennis.
That being said, Federer will look to use his experience and winning mentality to cross the line when it comes to the midnight hour, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him reunited with his trophy come Sunday.
Prediction: Federer to win a five-set thriller.