Still, it'll take that and more to get past the No. 1-seeded Djokovic, who is up to his usual body-bending, grind-it-out excellence at the baseline, even winning a 45-stroke point while eliminating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.
Djokovic looked stunned after Federer shanked a forehand on the last point, sending the ball skyward.
This 24 month data also is in favour of the Serb, whose advantage on return (he's broken around 10% more than Federer during this time period on grass) is considerably greater than Federer, and leads me to think that the [1.57] market line on the world number one is actually reasonable value. "I don't mind that".
In 2014, he raised eyebrows by letting slip that he had watched Federer play 65 times in just that year.
"This is like a school", he said. I don't think it's a huge edge, but it's enough for a recommendation in today's final.
"The day of the test, you're not going to read many books that day". You don't have the time anyhow.
"I had answers, so did he and we played some great tennis", said Federer.
As he had done in the day's two other tiebreaks, the top-seeded Djokovic showed nerves of steel to crush Federer's hopes of claiming a ninth title and becoming the oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the professional era.
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Djokovic does hold the advantage in head-to-head Grand Slam matchups with a 9-6 record.
There was more drama when the final point had to be replayed after a Hawkeye challenge, but Djokovic finally celebrated victory when Federer sent a forehand off the frame of his racquet.
Yet if you strapped Federer to a camp bed and applied a shot of truth serum, would he give the same answer? So for players maybe like Nadal or myself that like to have a little more time, it's a constant pressure that you have to deal with.
Federer is seeking his record-extending eighth title, while Djokovic is seeking his fifth. Every Federer point was met with a wave of cheers. No animosity was towards Djokovic; instead a shared and vocal desperation to see Federer keep his mission on track; a collective wish to be part of history.
Federer is a +165 underdog heading into the match, per Action Network.
The Serbian world number one has now won 16 Grand Slam titles.