The two old rivals meet at the All England Club for the first time in 11 years (Picture: Getty)Roger Federer believes Rafael Nadal is a very different player to the one he lost to at Wimbledon back in 2008 as they prepare to face off for the first time since that famous final.The two superstars – who have 20 and 18 Grand Slam titles respectively – progressed to the semi-finals in relatively serene fashion, Federer beating Kei Nishikori and Nadal powering past Sam Querrey in straight sets.
They will now face off at Wimbledon, and on grass, for the first time in 11 years, and Federer says Nadal has made some significant changes to his game over that period.
French Open champ Nadal has looked ominously good so far at Wimbledon (Picture: Getty)‘He’s playing very different than he used to.
We haven’t played each other in a long, long time on this surface,’ the Swiss told reporters.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘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.More: Tennis
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A lot of them are saying, Oh, it’s the end, by 2008. Similar to me in ’09. We’re still here. So it’s nice to play each other again.’Nadal rejected suggestions he is a better player on grass now than he was 11 years ago and says the changes he has made to his game are simply a reaction to getting older.
Nadal was the victor in a thrilling five-setter back in 2008 (Picture: Getty)‘I don’t think we improved much,’ the Spaniard explained. ‘I think we managed to add things because we lose things on the other hand, no? We need to add new things because of the age, we are losing another thing from the other side.
‘I am running less so I need to serve better. I probably cannot play 20 weeks per year anymore, so I need to reschedule my planning to improve things to be very competitive every single time that I am on court.‘Of course, I am serving better. Of course, I am hitting the backhand better. Maybe volleying better, slicing better.
But even like this, I don’t know if my level today will beat my level of years ago.’More: Tennis
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