There were reports tickets for Roger Federer’s historic Wimbledon semi-final against Rafael Nadal were being resold for thousands of dollars by opportunistic punters, but the hottest show in town wasn’t enough entertainment for some.
The last time the two tennis legends played each other at Wimbledon was way back in 2008 when Nadal won a thrilling five-set final that is still considered by many to be one of the greatest matches the sport has ever seen.
So anticipation was high when the most famous Centre Court in the world played host to a rematch of that epic from 11 years ago. Outside the main stage, Murray Mound was full and inside the packed stadium everyone was captivated.
Well, almost everyone.
The first set produced some of the best tennis you could ever dream of seeing. If you’d paid thousands of dollars for a ticket you certainly got your money’s worth.
The level on show was reminiscent of that classic 2008 encounter but the on-court action wasn’t enticing enough for one spectator, who had his head buried in a book.
The camera panned to a young boy and rather than turning his head side-to-side tracking the ball, he had his eyes glued to the literature in front of him.
It was certainly a strange sight at what will go down as one of the sporting highlights of the year and it prompted one BBC commentator to publicly shame the boy as millions of Brits tuned into the broadcast.
“It’s not the time to be reading. Put it down,” the TV commentator joked.
From the ESPN broadcast: pic.twitter.com/tDpti3kMEK
The teenage kid reading a book at center court should be graciously escorted to the lawn for the rest of the match. #Wimbledon2019
Federer exacted sweet revenge over Rafael Nadal to sweep into a record 12th Wimbledon final with an enthralling four-set triumph over the mighty Spaniard.
Echoes of 2008 reverberated around the All England Club as Federer and Nadal wound back the clock in their much-anticipated first Wimbledon match-up in 11 years.
But unlike Nadal’s victory in that epic encounter more than a decade ago, Federer reigned 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 6-3 in another classic to set up a blockbuster final with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Less than a month shy of his 38th birthday, Federer is the second-oldest man to reach a Wimbledon final, after 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974, denying Nadal for the first time in five grand slam semi-finals between the two great rivals.
Federer and Djokovic, who beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the first men’s semi, will be clashing in the final for the third time on London’s hallowed grass after the Serb prevailed in two riveting title deciders in 2014 and 2015.
Looking to match Bjorn Borg’s tally of five Wimbledon crowns, Djokovic leads Federer 3-1 in grand slam finales, having also conquered the champion Swiss in the 2015 US Open showpiece.
Federer hasn’t beaten Djokovic in a major final since 2007 in New York, but will carry renewed confidence into Sunday’s showdown after upstaging Nadal for only the fourth time in 14 grand slam encounters.
Federer will be contesting an unprecedented 31st men’s grand slam singles final with top seed Djokovic his 25th.
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