Wimbledon 2019 semifinal highlights: Federer defeats Nadal 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an edge of the seat thriller

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal, one of the most decorated and high profile rivalries in the history of the men's lawn tennis. The significance of the match has crossed the realm of tennis and attained the glory of immortality across every sport. Federer has dominated the grass court for long, making it his impregnable fortress. But it was breached by the Spaniard when Roger was in the peak of his powers, in the epic Wimbledon final of 2008 where the Swiss maestro was defeated in a five-set thriller. Their somewhat diminished prowess over the years has not reduced the aura of their rivalry, and the 2019 French Open semifinal was no exception, a match that Nadal won with ease. But Federer exacted revenge in his favourite grass court, beating Nadal 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Roger Federer will face Novak Djokovic in the men's final of Wimbledon 2019.
  • 00:17

  • 00:04

    Federer wins 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

    Just when you think this match can't get any better. Federer brings up another match point with an ace down the tee but can't do anything about a magnificent backhand cross-court winner.

    The Swiss brings up a fifth match point which he then takes when Nadal goes long. Two greats of the game.

  • 23:55

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 4-5

    Incredible. Federer challenges a serve at deuce only to see his serve had forced Nadal into making an error at the baseline. Pictures prove the ball had landed in and Nadal has a game point. The two players are still able to smile about it.

    A forehand winner gets him back to deuce before he brings up a match point with an excellent penetrating return of serve.

    Two big serves, including an ace, bring up a game point for the Spaniard but Federer wins it with a backhand winner.

    A forehand unforced error brings up a second match point but it is saved once again with a good first serve out wide.

    An exceptional forehand volley brings up a game point for Nadal and ace seals the hold. The Spaniard jogs to his chair. Federer will come out to serve for the match.

  • 23:50

    Federer holds, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 5-3

    Federer is closing in. A backhand volley winner to open up 30-0 on the serve was the highlight of another stellar service hold for the Swiss. Nadal just seems unable to find any answers.

  • 23:48

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 3-4

    Sometimes you wonder just how these two tennis players are able to produce what they do. Federer flicks a backhand winner right onto the side line to leave Nadal on the brink of a double break deficit and certain defeat at 30-30.

    But the Spaniard finds a couple of accurate and powerful serves to ensure he remains just the single break down.

  • 23:42

    Federer holds, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 4-2

    Nadal is livid with himself at his inability do more behind a Federer second serve when leading 30-15.

    A couple of unreturned first serves move the Swiss great a step closer to a record-extending 12th Wimbledon final.

  • 23:38

    Nadal holds. 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 3-2

    Nadal is sticking in there and despite serving a double fault at 40-0, seals a must-win service game with a forehand winner.

  • 23:34

    Federer holds. 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 3-1

    Federer can do no wrong. Having lost the second set 6-1 the momentum was with the Spaniard but he has seized command in the match.

    The eight-times championconsolidates the hold to love, doing so with an ace.

  • 23:29

    Federer breaks! 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 2-1

    Trouble spells for Rafael Nadal. After winning a point with a dead net cord at 0-30, the Spaniard is helpless to prevent Federer hit a forehand cross-court winner. Two break points.

    A courageous backhand winner saves the first opportunity. A forehand then goes long from Nadal and the scoreboard is looking great if you are a Federer fan.

  • 23:25

    Federer 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 1-1

    Federer swats away a forehand winner down the line to close out a service hold. Nadal hit a forehand winner of his own in the preceding point but such is the level from both players, a couple of backhand forced errors earlier in the game proved the difference.

  • 23:19

    Nadal holds, 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 1-0

    Nadal lets out some emotion in the direction of his box as he recovers from 15-30 to hold serve. The Spaniard produced an excellent kick serve at 30-30.

  • 23:15

    Federer holds! 7-6, 1-6, 6-3

    Federer holds to love to move ahead in the match once again. Two timely first serves helped him on his way.

    Put simply, Nadal has to win the next two sets to reach the final.

  • 23:10

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 6-1, 3-5

    A forehand unforced error bu Nadal is followed by a cut angle from the Swiss which the two-time champion can't do anything about other than hit his backhand into the net.

    A couple of accurate servers, including an ace out wide, get Nadal back to 30-30. A Federer forehand then sails long. A battling hold for Nadal is sealed when the second seed can't react quick enough to a dipping ball.

  • 23:08

    Federer holds 7-6, 1-6, 5-2

    First point of the game proves crucial for Federer. He wins a punishing 19-shot rally.

    A comfortablehold to 15 is completed with a backhand overhead winner.

  • 23:01

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 1-6, 2-4

    Federer follows a forehand winner with a volley winner catches the top of the net and drops on Nadal's side of the court. The Spaniard had lost his footing earlier in the point.

    A forehand unforced error from the Spaniard brings up two break points. Credit where credit is due. He saves them both in style.

    A hurried backhand into the net brings up game point for the second seed and an unreturned first serve down the tee seals a vital hold.

  • 22:54

    Federer holds! 7-6, 1-6, 4-1

    Nadal isn't about to go away easy in this set. A forehand winner helps him to 0-30 on the Federer serve. A double fault then offers a couple of break points. The first is saved with a smash which just lands inside the baseline.

    The second is saved at the end of an absorbing baseline exchange. What a point that was. A brilliant service return deep at the feet of Federer brings up a third break point. Saved once again thanks to a first serve and the forehand down the line.

    Nadal then goes wide with a forehand at the end of a 25 shot rally. That's the sort of point he will feel he should be winning. A forehand into the net on the forehand from Nadal seals a big hold for the Swiss great. A fist pump in the direction of the box and he will feel pretty good at the change of ends.

  • 22:49

    Federer breaks, 7-6, 1-6, 3-1

    A crosscourt forehand winner from Federer brings up a break point and unlike in the second set the Swiss is able to take his opportunity.

    Nadal is out duelled at the net as Federer’s final volley is a winner.

  • 22:47

    Federer 7-6, 1-6, 2-1

    Make that a second consecutive love service hold for Federer. An ace down the tee keeps his nose in front on the scoreboard.

    TV pictures show the masses on Henman Hill. It's packed and everyone looks in great spirits.

  • 22:45

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 6-1, 1-1

    Just as was the case this third set is starting at the same pace as the first set did. Nadal holds comfortably.

  • 22:41

    Federer holds, 7-6, 1-6, 1-0

    The ideal start to the third set for Federer as he holds to love to break Nadal's five-game winning streak.

  • 22:37

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 6-1

    Nadal closes out the second set with a love service hold. That ran away very quickly.

    Long way to go in this one you sense.

  • 22:32

    Nadal breaks, 6-7, 5-1

    Federer opts for the serve and volley behind a serve but Nadal's service return off the backahnd proves too powerful as he can only push his volley into the top of the net.

    A backhand unforced error is followed by a forehand into the net and Nadal has a break point for the double break cushion. He takes it when Federer skies a mid court forehand, having made the move to the net.

  • 22:29

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 4-1

    Federer ends a 10-point winning streak for Nadal as he pushes the Spaniard onto the back foot with a powerful service return to get to 30-15.

    An uncharacteristic backhand volley into the net then brings up two game points and Federer then balloons a forehand long. Commanding lead for Nadal.

  • 22:28

    Nadal breaks, 6-7, 3-1

    Two unforced forehand errors and suddenly Nadal has three break points. A backhand slice into the net from Federer ends a sloppy game from the eight-times champion. Nadal has the advantage in the second set.

  • 22:19

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 2-1

    With Nadal retreating behind the baseline, Nadal plays a thoughtful and delicate drop shot for a winner to bring up 15-30 on the Nadal serve.

    The Spaniard then goes wide with a forehand having reached a short ball with plenty of time to spare. Nadal then redirects a forehand back behind Federer to save the first of two break points. Federer nets a backhand off a second serve and we are back at deuce.

    A punishing baseline exchange ends with a Federer backhand into the net to bring up game point. An ace down the tee seals the hold.Both players have saved two break points in the past two service games.

  • 22:11

    Federer holds, 7-6, 1-1

    With Federer making a tentative move to the net, Nadal whips a cross-court backhand winner to win the first point of the game. A couple of big points from the Nadal racket help bring up break point for the Spaniard. Even some excellent athleticism at the net can’t prevent the two-time champion hitting a passing shot. A second break point follows shortly afterwards as relentless deep hitting from Nadal eventually forces Federer to net a forehand. A volley winner saves it. The eight-time champion then steps into a midcourt ball to hit a forehand winner but he is then stretched from side to side by Nadal as we return to deuce. An out wide first serve seals a significant hold.
  • 22:06

    Nadal holds, 6-7, 1-0

    That was quite a lengthy break between the end of the first set and the start of the second set.

    Federer is standing ready at the baseline but Nadal, as is common, is in no rush to get in position.

    Federer hits a backhand winner to get to 15-15 but a couple of errors help Nadal open up two game points.

    A miscued forehand sails long from the Swiss great on the second of those points.

  • 21:55

    Federer wins the tie-breaker 7-3

    Incredible court speed from Nadal and racket control as he reaches a drop volley before hitting the ball with enough precision for it to land on the back of the baseline for a winner. Early mini-break lead for the Spaniard.

    Federer responds immediately as he puts Nadal on the back foot with a powerful service return.

    Another point goes against serve when Federer hits a backhand slice into the net after great defence from Nadal. We are back on serve at the change of ends when Nadal pushes a backhand lob beyond the baseline.

    Federer takes the lead in the tiebreak for the first time. The Swiss targets the backhand before dismissing a short ball with a hefty forehand winner.

    Back-to-back points on serve for Federer bring up three set points. A forehand winner down the line from the eight-time champion concludes a fascinating first set in 51 minutes.

  • 21:50

    Nadal holds, 6-6

    Federer lets loose on a forehand and whips his racket around his neck, almost like Nadal, to prevent the Spaniard from holding to love.

    A good service return down the line forces Nadal to into a rushed forehand which finds the net. Federer then steps into a short ball and fires a forehand winner down the line. Back to deuce.

    The eight-time champion then gets the shot he wants - an inside-out forehand - but can't make the desired contact. A backhand error from the Swiss sees us go to a tiebreak. Small fist pump from the second seed.

  • 21:48

    Federer holds, 6-5

    Federer breezes through another love service hold and at the very least has the tiebreak to fall back on. He has lost just five points behind his serve.

    Nadal is unable to make any inroads thus far.

  • 21:43

    Nadal holds, 5-5

    First double of the match for Nadal and just his 11thof the tournament. A first serve down the tee wins the Spaniard a cheap point.

    A 40-15, Nadal decides to not challenge a first serve, which is proven by TV pictures to have landed in.

    No bother though as his second serve catches the line and Federer can’t make the return.

  • 21:39

    Federer holds 5-4

    Small look at the chair umpire James Keothavong from Federer as he questions a forehand which is called long. He opts to not challenge.

    Slight pressure moment at 30-30 but the second seed responds with a pair of aces down the tee and moves a game away from winning the first set.Will scoreboard pressure tell?

  • 21:33

    Nadal holds, 4-4

    Audible gasps from the Centre Court as Nadal is the first player to save a break point. On a few occasions it appeared as if his forehand would sail beyond the baseline but the topspin he generates behind his shots helped the ball land inside the baseline.

    After struggling to find his first serve earlier in the game, a good delivery helps bring up a short ball which he dispatches with a forehand winner.

  • 21:31

    Federer holds, 4-3

    Clinical start from both players on serve. After winning the first three points by quickly getting on the front foot, the eight-times champion concludes another love service hold with a smash winner.

    Can they maintain this excellent level as we move towards the crunch stage of this first set?

  • 21:27

    Nadal holds, 3-3

    Nadal, having come into the tournament without any competitive match practice on grass, has looked very impressive throughout the tournament.

    The Spaniard, who beat Federer for the first time in over five years at the French Open, fires an ace down the tee to hold to love.

  • 21:25

    Federer holds, 3-2

    Plenty of cheap points for Federer behind his first serve. He is using the out wide serve to good effect to open the court up. A quarter of an hour in and we are yet to see a break point created for either player.

  • 21:18

    Nadal holds, 2-2

    4,023 days, 11 years, three Prime Ministers since the 2008 final and these two are back playing each other at Wimbledon – still at the top of the sport.

    Nadal steps into a midcourt ball to hit a crosscourt forehand winner to bring up a couple of break points. A backhand sails long from Federer and another service hold on the scoreboard.

  • 21:17

    Federer holds, 2-1

    Just like clockwork such is the graceful service motion that Federer holds. An ace down the tee closes out a love service hold of his own.

  • 21:14

    Nadal holds, 1-1

    You could almost hear a pin drop inside Centre Court. Federer nets a couple of service returns before the Spaniard fires an ace down the tee to bring up three game points. The Swiss can't make a backhand down the line and that's a second regulation hold of serve.
  • 21:10

    Federer holds, 1-0

    We are up and running. Federer works his way through a comfortable service hold. Early days for any fireworks.

  • 21:04

    Time for action!

    Both the players warming up before the battle begins!

  • 21:03