London: Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer believes the “stars have aligned” as he attempts to become the oldest Grand Slam winner of modern times in Sunday’s final against Novak Djokovic.
The 37-year-old Swiss can clinch a record-extending 21st major if he manages to break free of the world number one’s stranglehold.
Four-time Wimbledon winner and defending champion Djokovic enjoys a 25-22 edge in career meetings, stretching back 13 years.
The Serb has won 14 of their last 20 meetings and eight of the last 10.
Federer has lost all four of their most recent meetings at the Slams and it’s now seven years since he triumphed over the 32-year-old at the majors.
That was 2012 in four sets in a Wimbledon semifinal.
However, Federer, who will be 38 next month, insists such statistics are meaningless as he attempts to succeed Ken Rosewall, at the 1972 Australian Open, as the oldest Slam champion of the Open era.
“It’s been a rock solid year for me. I won in Halle (on grass on the eve of Wimbledon). The stars are aligned right now,” said Federer.
“From that standpoint I can go into the match very confident,” he added.
Federer, who passed the 100-win mark at Wimbledon in his quarterfinal victory over Kei Nishikori, is feeling especially confident after seeing off Rafael Nadal in four sets in the semifinal.
Djokovic, a 15-time Grand Slam champion, is respected by British fans but certainly not revered in the same saintly fashion reserved for Federer.
Too intense and too new age for modest British tastes, Djokovic did little to endear himself in his semifinal win over Roberto Bautista Agut.
After a punishing 45-shot rally ended in his favour, the Serb roared, cupped his ear and placed an admonishing finger to his lips as most of Centre Court willed the ball to fall in the Spaniard’s favour.
“Look, I focus on what I need to do,” said Djokovic. He has yet to be tested at this Wimbledon....