Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic – and some stats – on landmark 40th meeting
Marianne Bevis looks at what both players had to say before Sunday's Wimbledon final
Djokovic with five titles, Federer with four, top the list of title winners this year:
• Djokovic—Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome
• Federer—Brisbane, Dubai, Istanbul, Halle
• This will be their fourth final meeting this year—Federer won Dubai, Djokovic won Indian Wells and Rome.
Djokovic is bidding for this third Wimbledon title, Federer for his eighth.
Djokovic is aiming to win his 200th Grand Slam match, while Federer tops the all-time list of Grand Slam match-wins, currently 291.
Federer is aiming to become the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open era (33yrs 338days) the day after Serena Williams claimed the same accolade (33yrs, 289days) from Martina Navratilova.
Federer: “I always knew the reason why I was playing. I don’t need to explain a whole lot to you guys. I think the fans know why I’m playing. At the end of the day, I enjoy it.”
“I just feel overall that people are very happy for me, and at the same time I’m very pleased how well I’m playing. But knowing that this is just a semi-final match, it’s obviously a huge one, a big one against Andy here, [but] I need to keep it up for one more match to really make it the perfect couple of weeks.”
“It’s great to play Novak anywhere these days, you know, because he’s a great player. He’s had great success, unbelievable success actually, throughout his career. But especially now the last few years, he’s been unbelievably dominant, especially on the hard courts, then he improved on the grass… He’s become very match tough. He always shows up. It’s tough to beat him. He’s been good for the game.”
“For me, I don’t really think about the match we played against each other last year. I just remember it was unbelievably thrilling. The crowd really got into it. I’m just happy personally for myself to be back in a final. Whoever that’s going to be against, it’s always a big occasion. That it is Novak, the world No1, it obviously adds something extra.”
“Doesn’t matter whether it’s [title] No8 or No1. Wimbledon final is always a big occasion.”
Djokovic: “Well, it was very special moment, as it always is, in final of Grand Slams, but particularly here in London, the most famous tennis tournament in the world. This is the tournament that got me playing tennis and inspired me to become a professional athlete and to dream big. So when I actually achieved it for the first time in 2011, it was a dream come true.”
“But in 2014, it was even more special because I won against the greatest player of all time on grass courts, and maybe greatest player of all time overall, Roger, in five sets. It was very emotional because it was a match that could have finished in four sets. He came back and had to really be mentally strong, stay composed and kind of keep that self belief on the court.”
“Roger and I played many times. He’s one of my greatest rivals. He’s one of the people that actually made me a better player, as well. In the matches against him, I went through a lot of different emotions and things that allowed me to understand what I need to do to become a better player and to win against him and win Grand Slam trophies.”
“He’s so good and so consistent, we all know how good he is. He’s the greatest ever. This is where he loves to play. This is where he plays his best tennis, I think. The Centre Court of Wimbledon, seven titles, it’s his court. He loves it. He usually rises to the occasion. He’s always playing his toughest when it matters the most. That’s why he’s a big champion.”