The Serb is highly experienced in Grand Slam finals, winning six of them during his illustrious career; however, he's struggled recently in these situations, losing five of his last six.
To make matters worse for Djokovic, he's set to face a version of Federer that we haven't seen in quite some time.
This is the best the No. 4 seed has looked since well before his injury-plagued 2013 season. Federer has disposed of his opponents quickly at the All England Club, dropping just one set and spending slightly more than 10 hours on the court.
Liz Clarke of The Washington Post reminds us just how good Federer is on grass:
Federer may be a father of 4 who’s abt to turn 33, but he’s 9-0 on grass this yr & 131-18 on grass in career. Djokovic faces tall order Sun— Liz Clarke (@lizclarketweet) July 5, 2014
Putting that into perspective, Djokovic has dropped four sets, 26 more games than his upcoming opponent and has spent more than 15 hours in action this year.
It sure does seem Federer has the advantage. Adam Zagoria of NBA.com reflected on the duo's all-time record:
Who you got in the Men's final tomorrow? Federer leads Djokovic 18-16 overall and 1-0 on grass. Fed has won 2 of last 3.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) July 5, 2014
But there is one thing Djokovic has in his favor above Federer. That would be resilience.
While Federer hasn't faced a great deal of adversity at Wimbledon this year, Djokovic proved to have the physical and mental game to come back from a deficit—possibly something he can rely upon in the finals.
Djokovic's quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic spoke volumes about his competitive spirit.
After blazing to a 6-1 victory in the first set, the No. 1 seed quickly fell behind after losing the following two sets only to rally in the final two sets to take the match.
Djokovic spoke with the media about his recent matches, and his ability to bounce back, at Wimbledon, via ATPWorldTour.com:
I have been going through some tough matches during this tournament. But there is a reason for me going through these experiences and fighting through it. I'm going to try to use that experience in a positive way and encourage myself to get a title.
It's important when you lose a set or two sets to be able to bounce back and recover from that. I've done that, and that's a positive that I'm taking from these matches.
Not only is Djokovic taking his recent matches to heart when he faces Federer in the finals, but he also recalled past failures as well:
There is plenty of motivation from my side to win this Grand Slam final. It would mean a lot mentally for me.
I don't want to sound like I'm not appreciating playing the finals of a Grand Slam. It's already a huge result. We cannot take that for granted. I know that I can win the title. I should have won a few of the matches that I lost in the finals of Grand Slams in the past couple of years.
Here's what he had to say in his press conference before the finals:
Even though Djokovic has taken his fair share of lumps during his Wimbledon matches, he's still put together some impressive numbers. Here's a good look at his comparison against Federer to this point at the All England Club:
|Player||Aces||1st-Serve Points||1st-Return Points||Winners||Unforced Errors||Net Points Won|
|Djokovic||73||77%||29%||240||130||132 of 186|
|Federer||69||83%||31%||230||84||137 of 192|
This begs the question: Will Federer simply continue to roll past Djokovic to claim his improbable eighth Wimbledon title, or will Djokovic show his resilience once more to earn his seventh Grand Slam?
It's all a matter of Djokovic using his recent experiences to his advantage. We'll know soon enough.