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Posted at: Jul 12, 2019, 8:17 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2019, 8:17 AM (IST)

Federer, Nadal renew Wimbledon rivalry

LONDON, July 11

It has been a long wait but the most captivating modern rivalry in men’s tennis returns to the scene of its most dramatic episode on Friday when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet for a place in the Wimbledon final.

Much has changed since that epic Sunday night in 2008 when, as the last strands of daylight ebbed away, Nadal dethroned the king of Centre Court in a rain-hit final that will forever be part of Wimbledon folklore.

Centre Court now has a retractable roof as does Court One, for a start, and Federer has two sets of twins.

Nadal’s knees are creakier, his hair thinner and the sleeveless tops and pirate pants he wore as a 22-year-old tyro have been replaced by regular tennis attire.

They have both had dips and comebacks and both have been written off at times. But form is temporary. Class endures.

Federer is approaching his 38th birthday and Nadal is 33, yet they remain the two central pillars of men’s tennis with 20 and 18 Grand Slam titles, respectively.

They have met 22 times since that epic five-setter when Nadal became the first Spaniard since Manolo Santana in 1966 to win the men’s title, proving he was not just a claycourt bully but had evolved his topspin game after losing consecutive Wimbledon finals to Federer in 2006 and 2007. — Reuters

Live on Star Sports, 5:30PM

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