We’re down to the semifinals at Wimbledon and, wouldn’t you know it, all of the Big Three are still in action. That includes top seed Novak Djokovic, second seed Roger Federer and third seed Rafael Nadal. You won’t want to miss the semifinals on Friday, given it will be yet another chapter in the Nadal vs. Federer rivalry, while Djokovic will try and maintain his top form against No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut.
The action is set for Friday at 1 p.m. local time, which means 8 a.m. ET. Djokovic and Agut will be up first on Centre Court, followed by Nadal and Federer. ESPN will have live television and streaming coverage, either through your cable/satellite provider or through a subscription to ESPN+.
Djokovic vs. Agut
Djokovic’s path to the semifinals included wins over Philipp Kohlschreiber (6-3, 7-5, 6-3), Denis Kudla (6-3, 6-2, 6-2), Hubert Hurkacz (7-5, 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4), Ugo Humbert (6-3, 6-2, 6-4), and most recently, No. 21 David Goffin. Djokovic was projected to face NO. 19 Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round, but Humbert scored the upset.
Looking at the list of names, Djokovic has had a pretty lucky draw thus far, though he did drop a set to Hurkacz.
Agut’s path included wins over Peter Gojowczyk (6-3, 6-3, 6-3), Steve Darcis (6-3, 6-2, 4-2 ret.), No. 10 Karen Khachanov (6-3, 7-6(3), 6-1), No. 28 Benoît Paire (6-3, 7-5, 6-2) and, most recently, Guido Pella, the 26th seed (7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3).
Neither have run into particularly heavy hitters thus far, though Agut dispatching Khachanov in straight sets is an impressive feat. Still, it’s going to be hard for him to overcome Djokovic,
Agut is currently the No. 13 player in the world, which ties his highest career ranking in men’s singles play. This semifinal appearance comes on the heels of making it to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier in the year, having previously never made it past the fourth round.
Djokovic, on the other hand, has 15 Grand Slam titles, including four at Wimbledon, one of which came last year. He’s playing extremely well, is the top-ranked player in the world, and is surely the favorite to win it all again this year.
Our Pick: Agut is playing some great tennis, but we cannot pick against Djokovic.
Nadal vs. Federer
The Nadal-Federer rivalry doesn’t need much introduction — it’s spanned over a decade and has included some of the greatest tennis matches in history. Most notably, the 2008 Wimbledon final — also the last time the two played each other at Wimbledon — is widely considered the best tennis match of all time.
Nadal leads Federer, 24-15, though 12 of those Nadal wins came on clay courts, his specialty. Federer holds a 2-3 edge at Wimbledon. Federer has 20 Grand Slam singles titles, including eight at Wimbledon, while Nadal has 18, including 12 at the French Open (and two at Wimbledon). Yeah, it doesn’t get much bigger than this.
Federer made it to the semifinals by beating Lloyd Harris (3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2), Jay Clarke (6-1, 7-6(3), 6-2), No. 27 Lucas Pouille (7-5, 6-2, 7-6(4), No. 17 Matteo Berrettini (6-1, 6-2, 6-2), and No. 8 Kei Nishikori (4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4).
On his way to the semifinals, Nadal bested Yūichi Sugita (6-3, 6-1, 6-3), Nick Kyrgios (6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(3)), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6-2, 6-3, 6-2), João Sousa (6-2, 6-2, 6-2), and Sam Querrey (7-5, 6-2, 6-2).
While Nadal’s path did not include any seeded opponents, it did include two very strong servers, which are always more dangerous on the grass courts of Wimbledon, in Querrey and Kyrgios. He dropped a set to Kyrgios, but handled Querrey with ease.
Our Pick: Federer