Federer will be no walk in the park for Djokovic

Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:24pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - Pushing his baby's pram through the leafy surroundings of Wimbledon Common is how Novak Djokovic collected his thoughts and mapped out his game plan to try and win a third title at the All England Club.

That stroll in the park helped him execute the penultimate stage of his plan perfectly on Friday as he sauntered into the final with a 7-6(2) 6-4 6-4 hammering of Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

A leisurely walk with his eight-month-old son Stefan on Saturday, though, could be a long one as he gets ready to face a man he calls "the greatest ever" and who poses "the biggest challenge" the Serb could face at Wimbledon -- Roger Federer.

"He's one of the people that actually made me a better player," Djokovic said after setting up a second successive final with the seven-times champion who he beat in a five-set thriller 12 months ago.

"In the matches against him, I went through a lot of different emotions and things that allowed me to understand what I need to do to become a better player and to win against him and win grand slam trophies."

While Federer leads that rivalry 20-19, the Serbian world number one will be boosted by the knowledge that he has won four of their six meetings over the past year.

But when it comes to Wimbledon, Djokovic knows that Federer's silky-smooth game takes on a new dimension.

"This is where he loves to play. This is where he plays his best tennis. The Centre Court of Wimbledon, seven titles. It's his court. He loves it," said the eight-times grand slam champion who is looking to become the first man since Federer in 2007 to win back-to-back titles at the grasscourt major.    Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after breaking serve in the tie break during his match against Richard Gasquet of France at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 10, 2015.    REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett