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Ricky’s Tennis Pick For The Wimbledon Gentleman’s Finals: Djokovic vs. Federer

By Ricky Dimon


Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal may have produced more epics, instant classics, ones for the ages, call them what you will, throughout their legendary rivalry, but the “Big 3” or even “Big 4” matchup that delivers competitive and entertaining matches on the most consistent basis is Federer vs. Novak Djokovic.


There is also no matchup this sport has seen more frequently.


Federer and Djokovic will be squaring off other for the 48th time in their illustrious careers when they battle for the Wimbledon title on Sunday. Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 25-22, with an 8-2 record in their last 10 contests dating back to the spring of 2015. The Serb is 2-1 against Federer at Wimbledon, with victories in the 2014 and 2015 finals following a loss in the 2012 semifinals.


They most recently faced each other last fall on the indoor hard courts of the Paris Masters, and to say it did not disappoint would be a understatement. Djokovic got the best of a 7-6(6), 5-7, 7-6(3) semifinal thriller.


Based on current form in addition to their head-to-head history, another intriguing and competitive one should be in the cards. Federer has followed up an encouraging clay-court campaign with a perfect 11-0 record during the grass-court swing. On the heels of a 10th title in Halle, the Swiss booked a spot in his 12th Wimbledon final with defeats of Lloyd Harris, Jay Clarke, Lucas Pouille, Matteo Berrettini, Kei Nishikori, and Nadal. Although the 40th meeting between Federer and Nadal featured high-quality tennis, the 37-year-old finished it four and he has not yet played a five-setter.


“Federer, we all know how good he is anywhere–but especially here,” Djokovic assured. “This surface complements his game very much. He loves to play very fast; takes away the time from his opponent. (He) just doesn’t give you any same looks; he just rushes you to everything. So for players maybe like Nadal or myself that like to have a little more time, it’s a constant pressure that you have to deal with.


“I’ve played with Roger in some epic finals here a couple years in a row, so I know what to expect.”


Djokovic has surrendered just two sets along the way to Federer’s three, picking up victories over Philipp Kohlschreiber, Denis Kudla, Hubert Hurkacz (four), Ugo Humbert, David Goffin, and Roberto Bautista Agut (four).


As well as Nadal played in SW19, this is arguably the most fitting final in terms of both seeding and general Wimbledon success. Federer is 101-12 lifetime at this prestigious tournament and has won it eight times; Djokovic is 71-10 with four titles.


Following the Nadal match, Federer said that the “stars are aligned right now” and that “from that standpoint I can go into (this) match very confident.” For many reasons, the stars are most definitely aligned for a great one on Sunday. But for Federer? The world No. 3 admitted after the semifinals that he was “exhausted,” whereas a well-rested Djokovic has been coasting past people for the most part.


Federer can take this to five if he serves as well as he usually does at Wimbledon, but an edge goes to the top-seeded Serb.


Prediction: Djokovic in 5


Editor’s Note: Now that’s a surprise. We were sure Ricky was going with Federer. Ok. This old editor is taking Roger Federer and again not sure of sets. But it could be three. The reality is everything needs to align for Roger.

We noticed since the press laid off of Novak on the ATP board stuff the first week. He has played better. 
But it’s still Rogers house. And his court. And he is the one and only GOAT… Ever. (LJ)


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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