Wimbledon: Agassi - Federer would be 'scared' of Nadal if duo face final clash

Andre Agassi spoke exclusively to Yahoo Sport
Andre Agassi spoke exclusively to Yahoo Sport

Andre Agassi believes Roger Federer will be fearful of taking on his old rival Rafael Nadal if they meet in this Sunday’s Wimbledon final.

Ten years have passed since Federer and Nadal played out their epic Wimbledon final, with the duo who are still reigning supreme at the top of the men’s game well into their 30s firm favourites to meet again for the first time on a grass court since that iconic game this Sunday.

Federer will play Kevin Anderson and Nadal will take on Juan Martin Del Porto in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Wednesday and while Agassi is backing Federer to win a ninth title at the All England Club this weekend, he believes the battle between two of the game’s all-time great will concern Federer.

“If Rafa gets to the finals and plays Roger, I can assure you he will have his attention,” declared Agassi, speaking to Yahoo Sports at a Lavazza event at Wimbledon.

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“The one thing I can assure you is that Nadal has never struggled for one second with motivation and while he has not been at his best on grass in recent years, he will think he can do well this year.

“That guy has a passion an intensity that he brings to every match no matter what goes on. He is also a player who always seems to get better as a tournament goes on, Federer can start some tournaments looking like he needs to improve a little. Rafa can be vulnerable at the start of events, but he gets better as the two weeks play out.

“Roger would be my pick to win Wimbledon this year, but I would not be so sure how it would go if he plays Nadal in another final. Ten years after their great final of 2008, maybe it would be fitting if they played again this year.”

Nadal has looked in dominant form as he looks to back up his French Open victory last month by claiming the Wimbledon title once again and moving to within just two of Federer’s record breaking haul of 20 Grand Slam victories.

Yet he revealed after his comfortable win against Jiri Vesely on Monday that he would rather play anyone other than Federer if he gets to the Wimbledon final this weekend.

“If he’s in the final, I am excited to play Roger,” stated Nadal. “I am not saying I am not excited to play against Roger in the final. I am excited. It will be a good result for me. Facing Roger again will be something fantastic.
“If you ask me if I prefer another one, I say yes. That’s the point. It’s about being smart, no? The overall goal is try to win the tournament. Depends against who you play you have less or more chances to win.
“I can’t come here and say, of course I want to play against the best players because that is not what anyone wants to do. I want to give myself the best chance of winning the tournament. Playing Roger on grass does not give me the best chance as this is his favourite surface and his record here is amazing.”

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Agassi worked with Novak Djokovic as a part time coach until the pair parted ways last year and he believes his former charge could be a dark horse to challenge for what would be his fourth Wimbledon title, as he picked out his outsider to upset the ‘big three’ still left in this year’s tournament.

“I look at Milos Raonic and he is one to watch,” added Agassi. “He has had some injury problems, but he could race into the quarter-finals and if he gets a good draw there and his serve gets hot, he can trouble anyone.

“Then I look at Djokovic and he could find his form and go from being an outsider to a guy who absolutely expects to win.

“There are a few who could expect to go all the way if they get their footing, but Roger is justifiably the favourite.”

Andre Agassi spoke to Yahoo Sport in his role as a Lavazza ambassador.