First set was tight like a stretched rubber band as they played their way into a first set tiebreaker without a break of serve. Nadal had his moments early in the tiebreaker getting two mini-breaks, but Federer reeled off the final five points of the first set to lay the gauntlet down. In their previous 39 meetings, the winner of the first set had gone on to win 32 times… a good start has proven critical in this rivalry.
After dropping the first set, Nadal had his back up against the wall. Early in the 2nd set though it appeared he was in deep trouble. Nadal was forced to fight off two break points in an early service game and in doing so it seem to light a spark that carried him to a pair of service breaks of Federer and a dominate 6-1 win in the set.
Dropping the 2nd set seemed to give a lift to Federer as losing the 1st set had done for Nadal. Federer was much more patient with his shots from the baseline in the 3rd and 4th sets and driving a vicious backhand deep into the corner kept Nadal just enough at bay for Federer to secure service holds.
As the combatants reach neared the end of the Friday drama… it was apparent that Federer, even getting ancient by tennis standards, still has enough in the tank especially on the grass service to make even the best players on the planet work hard for every point. Federer appears in yet another final with the 4-set victory but having Joker lying in wait will push Grass God even further as they look to put on a show for the Centre Court patrons on Sunday.