Published On: Thu, Jul 11th, 2019

How ‘interesting’ Novak Djokovic dynamic could have Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal impact | Tennis | Sport

That’s the belief of Brad Gilbert.

The World No 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic stormed past David Goffin, losing just six games, to set up a semi-final showdown with Spanish 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

But all eyes will be on the other final-four clash as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal renew their long-standing rivalry for a 40th time.

The pair – who share 38 combined Grand Slam titles – will enjoy their first SW19 meeting since the 2008 final, a match widely regarded as one of the best in tennis history as Nadal came out on top in four hours and 48 minutes.

It has yet to be determined which match will grace the iconic Wimbledon Centre Court surface first.

But former tennis player and current coach Gilbert – most famous for his successful partnership with Andre Agassi having also coached Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori – thinks the order of play could have a significant impact on the day’s events.

Reflecting back on that 2008 final, former World No 4 Gilbert told ESPN: “I think they’re both playing better tennis. 

“I think the fact that Rafa, who hadn’t beaten Fed in quite some time, got a win against him last time will really help him. 

“I actually think there’s an interesting dynamic that will change this match just a little bit. 

“If Djokovic steamrolls first and all of a sudden, now the winner of this is to play Djoker, he’s already awaiting in the final. 

“I do think that’s a little bit of an element if they’re playing first. 

“To potentially play Djokovic, it’s such a tougher task for one of these guys to beat two of them. 

“The guy on the other side of the draw, if he’s playing at the level that he can play at – good luck!”

Sam Querrey – beaten 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 by Nadal in the semis – meanwhile thinks Federer will come out victorious this year.

The Swiss icon is chasing his 21st Grand Slam title and his ninth triumph at the All England Club.

And while American Querrey fell to an in-form Nadal, who has not been successful here since 2010, it is the 37-year-old who he believes will reign supreme.

“Federer,” Querrey said when asked of his predicted Wimbledon winner.

“He’s just really good. He’s confident. He’s won it eight times here.

“I just give him just the slightest edge over the other two guys.

“I’m not going to be surprised if one of the other guys wins it.

“I’m very excited [to watch Federer play Nadal]. I know they haven’t played here in a long time.

“It seems a little more exciting, more special they are playing at Wimbledon maybe rather than outside of a Grand Slam. I’ll be watching on Friday.”

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