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Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after beating Britain’s Jay Clarke in a Men’s singles match during day four of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday, July 4, 2019. 
Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after beating Britain’s Jay Clarke in a Men’s singles match during day four of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday, July 4, 2019. |Tim Ireland | Associated Press
Tennis

Abrams picks the Wimbledon men's final, Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer

Match starts at 9 am EDT

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Wimbledon 2019 Men’s Finals

Roger Federer over Novak Djokovic

The semifinals offered some superb tennis, and the renewal of the epic rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Both semis were similar in that they each went four sets, but ultimately, the better players triumphed, and today’s Men’s final should be historic, if for no other reason that the #1 seed, Novak Djokovic, will be going after his fifth All-England title, and the #2 seed, Roger Federer, is trying to extend his current record of eight titles to nine. These numbers are astounding, and to think that there will be another man who will come along and win nine Wimbledon titles may just be more of a fairy tale rather than an inevitability.

Of the two, Roger Federer has been playing the better tennis this year. He has lost all of three matches, in this, his 38th year on earth. This is an historic run, as only John McEnroe in 1984 had a similar record, for in that year he lost only four matches. Djokovic has been exemplary in his two Grand Slam tournaments this year, winning the Australian, and losing in the semis of the French, and, of course, is the defending champion and title holder not only of Wimbledon, but of three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Yet, in between these tournaments, Nole has played only mediocre tennis, and this gives Federer more than a glimmer of hope.

When two champions play each other the match is only part physical. There is a monumental mental component to these matches, and both men are mentally strong. I believe that Federer is playing better tennis, and knows it, and is on the path to win this title. Nothing will come easy, but he attacks, which generally pays off on this surface, and he is both a terrific offensive and defensive player. I think his overall attitude toward this title is very healthy, and he gets my backing because of the nature of his game and his confidence. I think Federer wins his ninth title in London, and gets to lead off the Wimbledon Ball by dancing the first dance, which is no longer compulsory, with the women’s champion, Romania’s Simona Halep.