Rodger Federer beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Wednesday, July 10th. The victory sets him up for a clash with long-term rival Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals on Friday, July 12th.
Nishikori, who won the first set, gave Federer a tough battle. The 20-time Grand Slam winner soon recovered to win the second set and eventually won the tie with scores of 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in his 100th Wimbledon game.
The AFP reported that the Swiss star admitted that Nishikori had given a solid battle. “It was difficult. The beginning was brutal. Kei came out and was smashing return winners”, said Federer.
“I had to definitely make some adjustments and stay with him. It was really important for me to get the lead in the second set and protect it.”
At 37 years old, Federer has now become the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Jimmy Connors in the 1991 US Open. Federer and Nadal will meet in Wimbledon for the first time since their classic encounter in the 2008 final, which is regarded by many as the greatest Grand Slam final ever.
The two have played each other 39 times during the careers, and Federer said he was excited about facing his arch-rival for the 40th time. “We have a lot of information on Rafael and so does he about us. I know people always hype it up in a big way”, said Federer.
“They did that again in Paris this year (when Nadal won their semi-final in straight sets). I’d love to play against him here at Wimbledon. “But I go about it like every other match.”