Here we go again.
It’s Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic for 35th time in their careers and stakes are high when they meet on Sunday night (11:00 pm AEST) at the All England Club in the championship round of the men’s singles competition of the 2014 Wimbledon Championship in London, England.
Read the Federer vs. Djokovic Final Recap: 2014 Wimbledon Men's Final: Novak Djokovic Beats Roger Federer, Wins 7th Career Grand Slam
The match-up is as close as it can get too: Federer has won 18 while Djokovic has been the victor in 16 of those head-to-head matches setting up what could be another classic to end the London major in 2014.
The Swiss master, now at 32-year-old has the slight overall edge against his 27-year-old Serbian counterpart overall but Djokovic has the edge, 3-2 in the last two years.
Federer vs. Djokovic Last 5 meetings:
Federer def. Djokovic, 7-5, 6-2 (2014 ATP World Tour Masters Monte Carlo semifinals) Djokovic def. Federer, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), (2014 ATP World Tour Masters Indian Wells final) Federer def. Djokovic, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 (2014 Dubai Tennis Championships semifinals) Djokovic def. Federer, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-2 (2013 ATP World Tour Finals Great Britain round robin) Djokovic def. Federer, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 (2013 ATP World Tour Masters Paris semifinals)
The pair has never met in a big stage like during this period however. The last time they met in a Majors tournament was two years ago—twice and both times in the semifinal rounds—when Djokovic beat Federer, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 at the 2012 French Open and the Swiss returning the favor months after at the 2012 Wimbledon with a 6-3. 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.
All in all, their Majors meetings have been close as well with Federer holding the slight edge, 6-5 in the eleven meetings in Grand Slam tournaments.
Federer vs. Djokovic – Grand Slam head-to-head results:
2012 Federer def. Djokovic, 6-3. 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 (2012 Wimbledon Championships semifinals) Djokovic def. Federer, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 (2012 French Open semifinals)
2011 Djokovic def. Federer, 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 (2011 US Open semifinals) Federer def. Djokovic, 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) (2011 French Open semifinals) Djokovic def. Federer, 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-4 (2011 Australian Open semifinals)
2010 Djokovic def. Federer, 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 (2010 US Open semifinals)
2009 Federer def. Djokovic, 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5 (2009 US Open semifinals)
2008 Federer def. Djokovic, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 (2008 US Open semifinals) Djokovic def. Federer, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(5) (2008 Australian Open semifinals)
2007 Federer def. Djokovic, 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 6-4 (2007 US Open final) Federer def. Djokovic, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 (2007 Australian Open Round of 16)
Curiously, as great as these players are in this era, they have only met one time in the Major in London (2012 Wimbledon) and only once in the championship round in a Grand Slam (2007 US Open).
Both are expectedly in-form entering the final, their 10th meeting in a tournament championship overall, 5-4 in favor of Djokovic.
Federer has only lost a set so far in the 2014 Wimbledon defeating Paolo Lorenzi (Italy), 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round; Gullies Muller (Luxembourg), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the second round; Santiago Giraldo (Colombia), 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in the third round; Tommy Robredo (Spain), 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in the Round of 16 and then Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland), 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals; and Milos Raonic (Canada), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals.
Djokovic’s run to the finals has been expected but not a walk in the park by all means. The Serbian had an easy first round win over Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev, 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 before Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) pushed him to four sets in a tough 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 second round win.
He had another straight sets win in the third round (def. France's Gilles Simon, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4) and the fourth round (def. France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5)) before yet another being tested by Marin Cilic (Croatia) in full sets, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2.
The semis was another humdinger for Djokovic, who was well on his way to another five-setter versus upstart Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria). Down 3-6 in the fourth set tiebreaker, the Serbian would make the comeback by winning the next 6 of 7 points to finish the match, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7).
Federer, five years senior of Djokovic appears to be the fresher player entering the final while the latter have gone through tough matches to make the championship round.
With the disappointing finishes by Federer the last couple of years, the Swiss will look to add a title to further enhance his legacy as perhaps the greatest tennis player of all time. He is aiming for his 8th Wimbledon title and 18th Grand Slam title overall.
Djokovic wants no part of that however and wants to make his own history targeting a 7th Majors championship and his second Grand Slam in London.