Federer aims for record sixth title
Roger Federer can eclipse Bjorn Borg and set a modern era record of six consecutive Wimbledon titles if he beats Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final, the third in a row for the world’s top two players.
The 26-year-old Swiss world number one can also take revenge for his biggest defeat against Nadal when he was allowed only four games in a mauling at the French Open final last month.
Nadal, for whom that was a fourth title in a row on the clay of Roland Garros, is looking for his first Wimbledon crown — his first grand slam title outside Paris — after edging very close in last year’s brilliant five-set final.
So, the question is can the 22-year-old Spaniard break down the ramparts of Federer’s grasscourt domain before the Swiss, winner of 12 grand slam crowns to Nadal’s four, finds that elusive success in Paris? It is hard to imagine the players serving up a better match than the 2007 final but not impossible given their form throughout Wimbledon fortnight.
Theirs is a complete contrast in styles, the elegant Federer a master of the backhand, seldom caught out of position, strolling the court unflustered in complete control of his metier on Centre Court without dropping a set so far.
The muscular Nadal is a powerful player with a more direct style, banging whipped forehands into the corners, ever more comfortable on grass after putting in countless hours of work on his game closer to the net.
Surprise unseeded semi-finalist German Rainer Schuettler, whom Nadal beat in straight sets on Friday, put it perfectly when he compared the players.
“For me it’s amazing how easy Roger always makes it look. I mean, I practised with him here. He just seems that he’s not even trying,” Schuettler said.
“And Rafa is the opposite. He’s like so pumped and always there…I hope it will be a great final.
“I would like Roger to make the six in a row. We are friends, so it would be really nice. Rafa also, the way he played, would deserve it. For me, whoever wins will be a great champion.”
Russian former world number one Marat Safin, who lost to Federer in the semi-finals, said the Swiss would have to be at his very best to beat Nadal.
“The way he’s is playing right now, it’s just amazing because also the grass became slower, so it gives an advantage to Nadal,” he said.
“So I think it’s going to be a tough, really tough one. And Roger, he has to play his best tennis to be able to beat him.”© Reuters 2013
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