WIMBLEDON, England – After going more than 1½ years without playing each other anywhere, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be meeting at a second consecutive Grand Slam tournament when they face off in Wimbledon's semifinals.
Last month, Nadal got his shot at Federer on red clay, winning their wind-whipped French Open semifinal in straight sets on the way to a 12th title there.
"We had some brutal conditions to play in there. But it was a joy to play against Rafa there, on his court," Federer said.
On Friday, Federer gets his shot at Nadal on grass and hopes to prolong his pursuit of a ninth championship at the All England Club.
"Means a lot for me," Nadal said, "and probably for him, too."
If it's hard to believe more than a decade has passed since these two rivals last shared a court at Wimbledon, it's also tough to fathom how it is that they have dominated their sport as long as they have.
Federer ranks first among men with 20 career Grand Slam titles. Nadal is next with 18. Add in the third-place count of 15 trophies belonging to Novak Djokovic, who is seeded No. 1 and plays No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in Friday's other semifinal, and the trio has won 53 of the past 64 major championships.
That includes 14 of the past 16 at Wimbledon.
Djokovic is seeking his fifth trophy, and second straight, at the All England Club, while Bautista Agut is making his Grand Slam semifinal debut.
Djokovic leads 7-3 head-to-head, but Bautista Agut won their two matchups this season, both on hard courts.
"Going to try to use my experience in being in these kind of matches, get myself tactically prepared," Djokovic said. "Hopefully I can execute everything I intend to do."
Although Federer turns 38 on Aug. 8, Nadal is 33 and Djokovic 32, they aren't showing signs of letting up.
"We still feel that we have chances to compete for the most important things," Nadal said. "That's what really make us keep playing with this intensity."