'Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal, and I cried,' Ivan Ljubicic admits

“Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal and I cried,” admits Ivan Ljubicic

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer played their last matches on the tour on the big stage within a few weeks in 2019. Rafa defeated Roger in his kingdom at Roland Garros and the Swiss avenged that defeat by triumphing in the Wimbledon semifinals.

It was their last game and Ivan Ljubicic couldn’t help but cry as his student clinched a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in three hours and two minutes. Roger ousted Rafa for the 16th time and claimed his seventh win in his last eight games since Basel 2015!

With that, Federer advanced to his 12th Wimbledon final and last at majors. For the first time in eleven years, two legends met at Wimbledon and Federer threw everything he had at his great rival. The Swiss kept the points on his racquet and unfolded the rallies the way he wanted.

Roger defended his backhand correctly, avoiding slices and long shots to hit full throttle. He tamed his shots well and overpowered Nadal in sets three and four to earn the title shot against Novak Djokovic. Eager to go at least a step further than a year ago and advance to the first Wimbledon final since 2011, Rafa gave his best in sets one and two.

He dropped a tight opener and had the upper hand in the second to level the overall score and increase his chances. Still, Federer proved too strong in the third and fourth to stay on the title course. The Swiss had 51 winners and 27 unforced errors, leaving Rafa on a 32-25 ratio and earning the crucial advantage on the return.

Both players converted two break chances and Federer delivered those in the more critical moments to celebrate the 101st All England Club victory. Federer had an advantage in midfield at the start. There was only one break chance in the entire set and Rafa saved it when the score was 3-4 to set up a tie break.

Roger won five points in a row to win it 7-3 and extend the advantage.

Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal in the 2019 Wimbledon semifinals.

They saved break points in the second and third games of the second set to stay neck and neck.

Nadal took charge thereafter, winning five straight games to seal the set in style and level the overall score. The Spaniard returned nearly every serve from Roger, claiming 60% of return points to earn breaks in games four and six and gain huge momentum ahead of set number three.

Federer thundered again from the start. Hitting 15 winners and two unforced errors, he broke Rafa in game four to give himself the advantage. The Swiss carried it home with a hold at love in game nine that pushed him closer to the finish line.

Roger broke in the third game of the fourth set to give himself an early advantage. Nadal served 3-5 and faced a match point. He saved, brought the game home and earned his chance on the return to make it 4-5. Roger stayed calm and denied it before ending the game and the match.

“The 2019 Wimbledon semi-final win over Rafael Nadal is one of Roger’s triumphs that I cherish the most. Roger was worried and under pressure. He felt inferior and we had to reassure him that he could win. I’m after that Match cried and that was it.” a very emotional moment,” said Ivan Ljubicic.

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