Federer insists last year’s final defeat to Djokovic is not on his mind as the Swiss looks to beat World No 1 today
London: Roger Federer insists last year’s final defeat to Novak Djokovic is not on his mind as the Swiss looks to beat the World No 1 today and secure a record eighth Wimbledon title.
Roger Federer trains on the eve of his Wimbledon singles final on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
Federer fell at the last hurdle 12 months ago as Djokovic edged a five-set thriller to win his second title at Wimbledon and seventh grand slam overall.
The Serbian will be wary of Federer exacting revenge this time around, however, given the 17-time major champion’s scintillating form in the tournament so far, which saw him crush Andy Murray in straight sets on Friday.
It promises to be less straightforward against Djokovic, who has beaten Federer twice already this year and can become the first man to successfully defend a Wimbledon title since his opponent achieved the feat in 2007.
“I don’t really think about the match we played against each other last year,” Federer said. “I just remember it was unbelievably thrilling and the crowd really got into it.
“It’s great to play Novak anywhere these days because he’s a great player. He’s had great success, unbelievable success actually, throughout his career but especially the last few years, he’s been unbelievably dominant.
“He’s become very match tough. He always shows up. It’s tough to beat him. He’s been very injury free. He’s been good for the game.
“I’m just happy personally for myself to be back in a final. That it’s against Novak, the world number one, it obviously adds something extra.”
Federer appeared to be on the decline when a back injury saw his results dip in 2013 but the 33-year-old has enjoyed a revival under coach Stefan Edberg in the past 18 months.
His performance against Murray was as impressive as any of his victories on Centre Court, and if he can overcome Djokovic he will move one ahead of Pete Sampras in the Wimbledon title stakes.
Federer may also take added satisfaction in proving wrong the doubters, who predicted the Swiss master’s best days were behind him not long after his last major victory in 2012.
“It doesn’t matter what they think really, I see it as a chance to connect with a fan who is actually supporting me,” Federer said.
“I know what I’m trying to achieve. I actually forget the negativity of the rest.
“I think I’ve been unbelievably positive throughout my career.
“Of course the negativity has also got to me at times but thankfully not too often and not for too long.”