Roger Federer vs Rafa Nadal will be one of the most important matches ever, claims McEnroe

Roger Federer vs Rafa Nadal will be one of the most important matches ever, claims McEnroe

JOHN McENROE reckons today’s Rafa Nadal-Roger Federer blockbuster is one of the most important tennis matches EVER.

Legend Supermac believes their last Wimbledon reunion — the 2008 men’s final — was better than his 1980 humdinger with old foe Bjorn Borg.

Nadal and Federer will face off once again in the Wimbledon semi-final

Nadal and Federer will slug it out on Centre Court with the winner playing either world No 1 Novak Djokovic or Roberto Bautista Agut in Sunday’s final.

The Big Three are fighting it out to finish their careers with the tag of the Greatest Of All Time.

Swiss star Fed, 37, holds a record 20 Majors but 33-year-old Nadal has 18 and could cut the gap to one if he wins today and Sunday.

Djokovic trails the other two with 15 but is younger at 32.

American McEnroe, 60, said: “We talk about Roger Federer more often being the greatest and there are arguments about Novak and Rafa.

“But if Rafa wins this match, and then wins the tournament, he is only one Slam away.

“The last time it’s been this close was 2-0.

“So, this has so much importance historically as well as being a classical match-up — a lefty versus a righty, emotions, styles, everything about it will be amazing.

“We are very lucky we have this opportunity. We never had this at the US Open.

“This is Roger’s court. Like Paris is Rafa’s. You can overhype a match but I don’t think you can with this one.

So, this has so much importance historically as well as being a classical match-up

John McEnroe on Nadal verses Federer

“We are going to spend a lot of time talking about this.”

Nadal holds a 24-15 advantage head-to-head.

And McEnroe fancies the Spaniard to win again a month after he beat Federer on his way to winning the French Open.

He said: “Nadal is playing unbelievably well.

“The level from the beginning to this point has been outstanding.”

It is amazing that the pair have not met at SW19 for 11 years since their phenomenal final, which Nadal won 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-7 9-7 and finished in near darkness after almost five hours on court.

Everyone agreed it was one of the greatest tennis matches of all time — alongside that final in 1980 which Borg won 1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 8-6 despite McEnroe taking an epic tie-break 18-16 in the fourth set.

Yet McEnroe said: “2008 was the best match I’ve ever seen in my life.

“People used to talk about the match I had with Bjorn in 1980. But this one, everything surrounding it, the way it ended, the quality of tennis, to see Rafa finally get his first Wimbledon, was amazing.”

Boris Becker, another three-time Wimbledon champ, reckons every “tennis player alive is going to tune in” this afternoon.

The German, 51, said: “Two ultimate warriors, one with 20 Majors and the other 18.

“The other semi-final is as important but the history in the making is something we want to see.”

Djokovic takes on Spanish No 23 seed Agut, 31, who is playing in his first Grand Slam semi.

The Serb is chasing his fifth Wimbledon crown and fourth in six years. He said: “I feel comfortable on grass. Historically I have done well in this dream tournament.

“I draw a lot of motivation from the four Slams. They are the more important to me at this stage in my life.”

Nadal is in terrific form on the back of winning at the French Open
John McEnroe cannot wait until one of the most important matches ever


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