Roger Federer celebrates victory after the men's singles semi-final match between Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain at the 2019 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Britain, on July 12, 2019. Roger Federer won 3-1. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
LONDON, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Eight-time winner Roger Federer beat arch rival Rafael Nadal to reach the Wimbledon singles final for the 12th time here on Friday.
Second seed Federer, who turns 38 next month, won 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 against the Spanish in their first meeting here since the 2008 final when Nadal lifted the trophy.
"It was a tough first set with not many chances," Federer said. "I thought I had a really good breaker. I served well there, and came up with some really good returns and rallies.
"The second set got tougher with the sun coming through on the Royal Box end. So I got broken there. It was a close match and he was able to take charge after I had a couple chances early on in that second set."
"I was able to stick to my game plan, stay aggressive, stay offensive. I guess I also started to serve a bit better after the second set. I won a lot of the important points in the third and fourth sets. There were some brutal rallies in key moments that went my way. I think those might have made the difference today."
Nadal, who exended his record French Open win to 12 last month, said, "His return was better than mine. I didn't receive well today. When that happens, he's in advantage, he's in the control of the match generally because you feel little bit more under pressure than him.
"At the end of the match I started to play much better. but it was too late. My backhand didn't work as good as in the previous rounds. I was little bit too worried about my backhand, so I was not able to move with freedom to the forehand."
Federer will fight for the title against defending champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final. Four-time champion Djokovic defeated Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 earlier.
"I'm excited about the game against Novak," Federe said. "We've played each other so, so much. I think it's more of a clear game plan. Especially we had a great match against each other in Paris just recently. I hope we can back it up from there."
Two-time winner Nadal, who crushed Federer in straight sets in last month's French Open semifinal, still leads the head-to-head 24-16.
This year's final will be the first major final between two of the "Big Three" since Djokovic beat Federer in the 2015 Wimbledon final.