Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet for the fourth time at Wimbledon on Friday in the semi-finals, 11 years after their last clash at the All England Club.
Here’s a look at their three previous matches, all played in finals:
2006 Final – Federer won 6-0, 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (2/7), 6-3
Federer won his fourth successive Wimbledon title, finally breaking free of Nadal’s stranglehold.
The top seed wrapped up his eighth career Grand Slam crown in a pulsating final to register only his second win in eight meetings with the Spaniard.
Federer’s four defeats in 2006 had all come at the hands of the double French Open champion, but he was always the favourite to win at Wimbledon having not lost here since 2002. The victory was his 48th in a row on grass. “It’s an incredible feeling because I doubted myself at the start of the tournament,” said the Swiss.
Nadal was bidding to become the first Spaniard since Manuel Santana in 1966 to win the men’s title.
“Roger is unbelievable,” said Nadal, who at least prevented Federer from becoming the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to go through the whole tournament without dropping a set.
2007 Final – Federer won 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-2
Federer wrapped up his fifth successive Wimbledon title when he beat Nadal in the third longest final of all time. It also meant he equalled Borg’s mark of five successive Wimbledon crowns.
“I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up, but I definitely feel like I’m mentally and physically still fit to go on for many more years to come,” said the Swiss.
Nadal, who for the second successive year lost to Federer at Wimbledon four weeks after beating his rival at the French Open, had no doubt that the world number one is the best player of all time. “His tennis level is the best in history,” he Nadal.
2008 Final – Nadal won 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (8/10), 9-7
Nadal dethroned five-time champion Federer with an epic win in one of the greatest Grand Slam finals of all time.
The Spaniard, who had squandered two match points in a nerve-shredding fourth set tie-breaker and a third in the decider of the longest final in Wimbledon history, added a first All England Club title to his four French Opens.
He also shattered Federer’s dreams of an historic sixth successive Wimbledon trophy “I never thought I could win but to do so is a dream,” said Nadal. “I had match points but Roger is very tough. He’s still the number one, he’s still the best.”
Federer admitted he had been beaten by the better man on the day. “I tried everything,” he said. “Rafa is a deserving champion, he just played fantastic.”
Federer had his opportunities but could only convert one of 13 break points while commiting 52 unforced errors.
Victory made the 22-year-old Nadal only the third man to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same season, and the first since Borg in 1980. He was Spain’s first men’s champion since Manolo Santana in 1966.
The win ended Federer’s six-year, 65-match winning streak on grass. At four hours and 48 minutes, it was the longest final in Wimbledon history beating the 4:16 it took Jimmy Connors to beat John McEnroe in 1982 and ended in murky Centre Court darkness at 21:16 local time.
Due to constant rain interruptions, the final actually spanned seven hours. “The greatest match ever played,” said US legend John McEnroe at the time.