Roger Federer brought up a century of wins at Wimbledon on Wednesday afternoon to set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal.
The eight-time champion, who won his first game at SW19 as a 19-year-old in 2001, beat Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-final on Centre Court.
He set up the 40th instalment of one of tennis’ great rivalries and their first at this Grand Slam since the epic 2008 final.
And Federer is looking forward to ending the wait for a rematch.
“He has improved so much over the years on this surface,” Federer said. “He’s playing also very different than he used to.
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“We haven’t played each other in a long, long time on this surface. He’s serving way different.
“I remember back in the day how he used to serve, and now how much bigger he’s serving, how much faster he finishes points.
“It’s impressive to see how sort of healthy he’s stayed. A lot of them are saying, ‘Oh, it’s the end’, by 2008. Similar to me in 2009. We’re still here. So it’s nice to play each other again.”
It is the semi-final that everyone wanted and Nadal did his bit by beating Sam Querrey shortly after the Swiss had booked his spot.
The third seed’s 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win was not entirely straightforward, but Nadal was more than good enough to continue the big three’s domination by following Federer and Novak Djokovic into the last four.
This is the first time since 2007 that the trio have all made the semi-finals here together, while before last month’s French Open, it had not happened at any Grand Slam for seven years.
Nadal said: “First of all, it is a great feeling to be back in the semi-finals, to be able to be playing at this level of tennis is great news. Very happy the way that we managed to be in that round.
“Playing against Roger always is a unique situation. I am excited to be back on this court against him after 11 years.”
The bad news with the semi-final being Federer vs Nadal is the ticket prices for said match.
Millions will be watching the game tomorrow afternoon from the comfort of their own homes, but if you are wanting a ticket on Centre Court, then you could be looking at paying a remarkable £7,000.
Immediately after the two giants won their quarter-final matches, ticket prices on Stubhub started at about £7,000, which is the equivalent of nearly $9,000
To put that in perspective, Super Bowl tickets this year were going for $3,500 on the day of the game, and that is widely known as one of the biggest sporting events in the world.