Wimbledon Men’s Semifinal Prediction: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal

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In a match so eagerly anticipated that it almost makes the other, also fascinating, semifinal between defending champion Novak Djokovic and the unheralded Roberto Bautista Agut look like a poor relation, Roger Federer will take on Rafael Nadal. It is the pair’s first match at Wimbledon since their epic 2008 clash and will present Federer with the chance to avenge that defeat, as well as his recent loss to Nadal in the last four at Roland Garros. Offering their predictions for which way this one is likely to go are Yesh Ginsburg, Tracey Essex, Harsh Bhoot, Steen Kirby and Jim Smith.

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal

Yesh: This should be a great match. You have to think that Querrey’s success on return will buoy Federer. But Federer has had some patches of poor play during this tournament and lost the first set to Kei Nishikori in the quarters. Nadal really hasn’t, at least since the Kyrgios match. This should be a great one.

Prediction: Federer in 5

Tracey; Federer may not have the speed he once did, but in its place is a wisdom earned through so many amazing matches. The Swiss’ backhand looks to be holding up well. Against Nishikori it did take a set to start finding its mark, but the Japanese superstar came out strong. Federer can adjust his game to take advantage of his opponents’ weaknesses. But, it will take a lot to figure out Nadal’s weaknesses and exploit them. That said, if Federer can continue his attacking style and not allow Nadal’s heavy topspin to wreak havoc on his single handed backhand, it’s really his match to win.

Prediction: Federer in five
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Harsh: The last time these two met at Wimbledon it produced a match for the ages. 11 years later they meet again albeit in a semifinal in a match that should be shorter than their last. Federer has to be smart attacking the net and it’s that which will decide his fate. Both men have been serving well so far and their ground strokes look potent as ever. However, after almost ten days the courts have worn out quite a bit making it a lot slower. That combined with the way Nadal’s been serving so far, should give him the edge.

Prediction: Nadal in 4

Steen: Surprisingly Nadal has dropped just a set at Wimbledon this year en route to the semis (against the erratic talent Kyrgios) while Federer has dropped two (against Nishikori in the quarters, and Harris in the opening round). With that said, I still don’t think Nadal is the favorite on grass despite his success in their rivalry overall (especially on other surfaces). Even at his age, this remains Federer’s best surface, and Wimbledon is his best chance to win at least one more Slam, Nadal will surely pick up a set, but the ageing legend is in good shape to reach at least one more Wimbledon final.

Prediction: Federer in 4

Jim: Both men have impressed so far, although Nadal rather more so. Equally, more is expected of Federer at Wimbledon than the Spaniard. And there is a reason for that. Federer’s serve is devastatingly effective against almost every player in the world on a grass court and provides him with the platform he needs to win. Take that away from him and he’s far less dangerous, but neutralising the Federer serve may well be a task beyond Nadal.

Prediction: Federer in 4

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