Roger Federer against Novak Djokovic is a fitting Men's final at the 2014 edition of the Wimbledon championships. Despite his age, Federer maintains a brisk serve and volley style, compared with Djokovic's patient approach.
The Serb is a still a model of efficiency. Djokovic is a player who rarely chooses the wrong shot. His natural guile is as valuable as any player's striking power.
Both of these veteran stars survived gruelling semi-final clashes. Federer managed to always stay in front of a game Milos Raonic. His measure of control and authority was exceptional in the face of such a gusty performance from his opponent.
By contrast, Djokovic was pushed to his limits by dynamic youngster Grigor Dimitrov. It was an epic match that could be a precursor to a changing of the guard at the summit of men's tennis.
For now, though, Djokovic and Federer remain very near the top of the pack. Here's the relevant TV and live stream information, letting you know where you can watch this tantalising final:
|July, 6 2014||All England Club, Centre Court||2 p.m. (BST) / 9 a.m. (EST)||BBC One / ESPN||Wimbledon.com / WatchESPN|
Wimbledon.com and ESPN.com
It would be fantastic to see Federer claim his eighth Wimbledon title. That would be a fitting way for the 32-year-old to cap a remarkable career.
However, this just feels like Djokovic's tournament. He froze on the big day last year. The tide of emotion for Andy Murray to become the first British champion for 77 years, clearly unnerved the Serb.
The result was a tame performance, full of uncharacteristic individual errors. BBC Sport reporter Piers Newbery detailed some of Djokovic's many gaffes on the day:
The home supporters were brought down to earth immediately when Djokovic recovered the break to love, but the Serb was leaking errors and his 13th in just seven games saw Murray move clear again at 4-3.
Having struggled to defend his own second serve, Murray now turned the tables and put the pressure on Djokovic, and the Serb succumbed with a double fault to give up his advantage in game seven.
However, with that nightmarish performance confined to history, Djokovic has delivered his trademark brand of ruthless efficiency at this year's finals. His shot selection has been brilliant.
Only Dimitrov has managed to break his cold and impassive mode of play. But while that semi-final was a titanic struggle for Djokovic, it proved that he can play with some stylish daring when the situation demands it.
Federer is sure to try and shift Djokovic out of his comfort zone early and often. He'll likely do it by trying to draw Djokovic away from the baseline.
Djokovic's penchant for manufacturing passing shots from the confines of the baseline, is something Federer has identified, according to Hugh Muir of The Guardian:
We both like to be at the baseline and to take charge, especially on the quicker courts. He has wonderful way of redirecting or taking the ball early; taking pace from his opponent and generating some of his own. Novak can hurt you down the line or cross court on both sides. He’s really improved through the years. It’s really important for me to stay aggressive against him.
Expect Federer to try and draw Djokovic off the baseline from the start. But Djokovic is a master of that tactic as well. He'll know that Federer has come to favour the baseline more often as he has gotten older, as a way of conserving his energy.
Federer may want to play an aggressive game, but if the match descends into a battle of attrition, that will suit Djokovic perfectly.
Predicted Winner: Novak Djokovic
Federer is hard to beat on the big occasions, but Djokovic has perfected a wear-down style that will eventually see off the old master. It might not be the final farewell to Wimbledon for Federer, but it will push him one step closer to leaving the game he has dominated behind.