Is SW19 set for another ‘clash of the titans’?

Richard Hazeldine Richard Hazeldine

The men’s singles is coming down to the crunch at Wimbledon with today’s quarter-finals and it looks like it could end up being another ‘clash of the titans’ on Sunday between veterans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Can the duo set up a Sunday meeting in what would be their first Wimbledon final since 2008?

Reigning champion Federer looks like he will be there. He has been in fine fettle so far and has once again defied his years to look the most likely. The Swiss maestro is yet to drop a set – in fact he’s yet to even look close to dropping a set.

Federer also has the less-challenging path to final, facing Kevin Anderson in the quarters before a semi-final against either Milos Raonic or John Isner. No disrespect to those three, but we all know that you need more than a huge serve to take out Federer on grass.

Raonic has the ability, and was the last man to beat Federer at Wimbledon in the 2016 semi-final, but he is still feeling his way back from yet another injury, so it would be a big surprise if he were to halt Federer’s run.

Anderson and Isner also pose a threat with their height and booming serves, but lack the all-round game to trouble Federer on his favourite surface, meaning Federer looks odds on to make the decider.

On the other side of the draw, Nadal faces a tougher task. First, he must deal with the booming forehand of the resurgent Juan Martin del Potro.

The Argentine is enjoying his best year on tour for a while after shaking off his horrendous wrist problems, although fatigue could be a factor for him following his delayed fourth-round win over Gilles Simon.

Should the Spaniard deal with del Potro, he could very likely face long-time rival Novak Djokovic, who must first beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

The Serb has looked back to his best at Wimbledon, with his legendary ability to chase down points back on show. Should it pan out, Djokovic will no doubt pose a threat to Nadal’s hopes of making the final.

With both Nadal and Djokovic seemingly in fine form, and a head-to-head record of 26-25 in the Serb’s favour, it promises to be an exciting match.

With a likely final against Federer a fitting prize for the winner.

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