In a final that is likely unsurprising to most, world #1 Novak Djokovic, who will be looking for his 16th grand slam crown, challenges world #3 (and #2 seed) Roger Federer for the Wimbledon men’s championship (9am ET Sunday).
A win for Federer would be his 21st grand slam title, the ninth coming at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at the Wimbledon Championships.
Much has been made about tennis’ lost generation, the group of talented male tennis players whose success has been negatively impacted by the big three of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. It’s the same discussion around the sport that has noted tennis’ predictability up until this stage. From a betting standpoint, in perhaps no other sport right now, constantly going with the favorite (it’s always one of the big three) works out nearly all the time.
Where the excitement comes in however, is in finals such as this. Djokovic entered with the best odds to defend his Wimbledon crown and win his fourth major in the last five. Federer had the second-best odds to win his first major since the 2018 Australian Open and first Wimbledon since 2017. Djokovic is still considered the favorite but after how Federer just defeated Nadal, it’s hard to count out one of the all-time GOATs, who is still playing great tennis.
As dominant as the big three have been dating back to 2007, Federer and Djokovic have only met in a major final four times. It seems somewhat unbelievable given between them the two have won 35 titles. Most of Djokovic’s major final appearances have come against Nadal or to a lesser extent, Andy Murray. He hasn’t faced Federer in a final since the 2015 US Open. In the year’s final major, Djokovic defeated Federer in four sets, matching his four-set victory from that year’s Wimbledon. Only once has Federer beaten Djokovic in a major final and you have to go all the way back to the 2007 US Open to find that occurrence.
Overall, Federer and Djokovic have faced each other 47 times with Djokovic holding a slight 25-22 lead in the head-to-head. They have met 15 times in grand slams, with Djokovic also holding a three-win edge there as well. Their 15 grand slam matches (it will be 15 come Sunday), ties Djokovic’s mark with Nadal for most meetings at that stage. They also hold the record for meeting 10 times in the semifinals. To date, Federer is the only man to have defeated Djokovic at all four majors, a distinction over Federer that Djokovic also shares. Their rivalry is one of the most competitive in tennis, especially considering their matches over the last seven years or so.
Federer’s Road to the Final
Roger Federer is very good on grass. Let me repeat that. Roger Federer is very good on grass. In fact, he may be the best grass court player of all time. In the Open Era at least, no one matches Federer’s remarkable 87% win percentage on that surface. For that reason, it’s no surprise that Wimbledon has been Federer’s best major, winning there eight times, most recently being in 2017.
Now 37 years old, Federer was 35 at the time he won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2017. The Australian marked his first major title in five years, it coming at a point where many believed the all-time great was done winning titles. After all, no one had won a grand slam past their 35th birthday. Now, Federer has won three of them and he has been in the conversation at a few others.
Federer kicked off his 2019 Wimbledon campaign with four straight three-set victories. He was unbroken through the early going, looking as good as he has looked in a while. In the quarterfinals, Federer went down 0-1, dropping the first set to a familiar foe in Kei Nishikori. Federer came back with a vengeance not allowing Nishikori another break and winning in four sets.
A similar outcome came in the semifinal when Federer and Nadal revived their historic rivalry, meeting for the second grand slam in a row after not meeting at all since 2017. On Nadal’s surface, he won the French Open meeting but on Federer’s, he won at Wimbledon. Federer won the opening set tiebreak before letting Nadal take momentary control to dominate the second set. It was all Federer after that as he finished with a score of (7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4) over his longtime sparring mate.
Djokovic’s Road to the Final
Opting to skip the grass court tune-up tournaments, Djokovic went straight from his semifinal loss at Roland Garros, to Wimbledon, where he has won four majors, including last year’s. It seemed a prudent decision and one that showed early at the All England Club.
The 32-year-old Djokovic breezed through his first two rounds, never dropping serve. He faced his first challenge in the third round against Hubert Hurkacz, who took the second set of their match from Djokovic in a tiebreak. Djokovic’s serve was off that match as he was only winning an uncharacteristically low 71 percent of first serve points. Djokovic picked up another straight set victory in the round of 16, before facing his first ranked opponent in the quarterfinals. It should be noted, Djokovic, by nature of high seeds being upset early, had one of the easiest major draws to this point. The highest seeded player he faced was David Goffin, ranked 21st in the world.
Djokovic dropped his second set of the tournament in the semifinal against Roberto Batista-Agut, ranked 23rd in the world. It leads him back to the finals to defend his crown, against one of his biggest rivals, in search of his ninth such title.
Our Preview’s Wimbledon Final, Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer, Picks & Betting Predictions Verdict
This is a tough one. Had you asked me at the beginning of the tournament, I would have firmly said Djokovic. Federer played a great match against Nadal and has looked good throughout Wimbledon. It’s hard to count him out on his best surface.
My pick is to take Federer to win. I would expect him to best the three-point game spread currently favoring Djokovic. I also expect this to go four sets, as has been common place for when these two tennis players meet. That would be a close pick on the total for 41 games, assuming each set ends with one break at 6-4. I would be tempted to go under, if only barely, on that total pick.
However, perhaps those thoughts about the various betting options with the U.S. sports betting sites are a trifle complex. Instead the one prediction and betting pick for this men’s Wimbledon final is:
- Bet on Roger Federer to win @ best odds of +170 on the moneyline with Bookmaker.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.