Wimbledon 2019: Tennis’ titanic triumvirate to slog it out in the men’s semi-finals

Novak Djokovic smiling

This article was produced in association with bet-at-home as part of our coverage during Wimbledon. Bet £10 on any semi-finalist and get a £5 sports betting voucher for every set they win!


Sometimes, such is the dominance of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal over the ATP, you feel like you could just start every tournament at the semi-final stage. And, sure enough, that triumvirate of titans will be in action at Wimbledon with places in the final up for grabs.

Novak Djokovic v Roberto Bautista Agut

The players in profile

Novak Djokovic

Age: 32
World ranking: 1
Career high ranking: 1 (Multiple)
Career singles titles: 74
Grand Slam titles: 15

Roberto Bautista Agut

Age: 31
World ranking: 22
Career high ranking: 13 (October, 2017)
Career singles titles: 9
Grand Slam titles: 0

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These two players have met a total of 10 times before in their careers, and it will surprise no one to know that Djokovic has won seven of them.

what is interesting, though, is that they have met in semi-finals twice before – and Bautista Agut has won them both.

The Spaniard vanquished Djokovic in the last four of the Shanghai Masters in 2016, and again this year in Doha.

A further point to note is that they have never before played each other on grass, although Djokovic, as you’d expect, boasts an infinitely better record on the surface, which is why bet-at-home are only offering 1.08 for a win for the Serbian.

Wimbledon records

Roberto Bautista Agut Wimbledon

Bautista Agut has a pretty miserable Grand Slam record in general really, never mind just Wimbledon. In fact, this will be his first ever Grand Slam semi-final.

His previous best was the quarter-finals of the Australian Open – also this year – so that does highlight that the Spaniard is a man in form.

Djokovic, on the other hand, has been absolutely imperious at Wimbledon with four titles to his name – including last year’s – and has also finished runner-up once.

Three times more he has gone out at the semi-final stage.


Bautista Agut wouldn’t have expected to get this far and no one will bat an eye if he loses to Djokovic now.

The biggest problem the Spaniard will have is that he is playing against the best returner the game has probably ever known, and he isn’t one to serve many aces.

He’s not going to be able to relieve the pressure with the ‘free’ points on his serve, so it will take a colossal effort to keep Djokovic out of the game for long enough to win a best-of-five match.

He is a dogged competitor, though, so you could see him taking a set against Djokovic, but you’d be crazy not to fully expect the top seed to win with relative ease.

If you agree with the prediction that Bautista Agut can take one set during the match, bet-at-home have odds of 3.51 for Djokovic to win 3:1.

Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer

The players in profile

Rafael Nadal

Age: 33
World ranking: 2
Career high ranking: 1 (Multiple)
Career singles titles: 82
Grand Slam titles: 18

Roger Federer

Age: 37
World ranking: 3
Career high ranking: 1 (Multiple)
Career singles titles: 102
Grand Slam titles: 20

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Rafael Nadal celebrates at Wimbledon

Where do we start with this one, then?!

With Federer and Nadal, you are talking about one of the greatest rivalries of all time in sport, not just tennis. It is as good as it gets.

So far, that rivalry extends to 39 matches, with Nadal enjoying 24 wins in that, nearly two thirds.

However, that statistic is heavily skewered by the fact that there have been far more meetings between the two on Nadal’s favoured surface of clay than on Federer’s preferred grass.

Indeed, there has been just three meetings on grass before – all at Wimbledon, all finals – with Federer winning two of them.

The last and most iconic, the ‘strokes of genius’ final of 2008 (yes, it’s been that long) was won by Nadal, though.

Neither player has managed to straight-set the other at Wimbledon, so we are sure to be in for a very competitive match as usual in what, sadly, could be the last meeting between the two in SW19.

Wimbledon records

Again, this may take a while…

No man has a better record at Wimbledon than Roger Federer, and that’s just a fact. The Swiss master has amassed eight tiles, one more than Pete Sampras.

His last triumph came in 2017, and you have to go back an astonishing 17 years to see him fail to make at least the quarter-finals.

Nadal’s Wimbledon record is a lot more inconsistent. He has two titles to his name, but the last one was eight years ago.

He finished runner-up (to Djokovic) the following year, but then had six years when he failed to get past the fourth round.


Roger Federer serving at Wimbledon

Oh come on, seriously? Well, if you insist.

I think you have to predict a very tight contest. It’s very tough to see either player going down without winning at lease one set.

The atmosphere is sure to be absolutely electric in Centre Court, for a start.

The beauty of Federer v Nadal matches on clay are generally that the graceful Federer is expected to assert himself but Nadal is such a natural fierce aggressor on a tennis court that it quickly escalates into a total undeniable slog-fest of legends.

For all their respect for each other too, don’t make the mistake of thinking there is not a huge personal edge to this match in play as well.

It’s Wimbledon, and that is Federer’s domain, so you’d probably have to give him the edge. But the real winners, no matter who it is, will be us, you suspect. Federer is 2.14 with bet-at-home for the win, whilst Nadal is 1.66.

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