Disappointingly, the pair only met once at Grand Slam level in that time - with Federer coming out on top during a dramatic five-setter at the Australian Open.
The downfall from the highs of the tennis world came, and rattled him both mentally and physically. But for now, there is another question: How long will Nadal and Djokovic take, as they play on Centre Court ahead of the women's final.
Djokovic was overcome with emotion following his victory: "It's hard to pick the words [for how this feels]".
That semi-final only finished just before 8pm making it impossible for Nadal and Djokovic to finish before the 11pm curfew. Djokovic racked up 73 winners to 42 unforced errors, showcasing his relentless defense and tremendous groundstrokes. Djokovic had a break point when up 4-3, but Nadal saved it with a snarling serve and then shut the game out with a couple of stunning forehands.
But with a total of 99 games (569 total points), it was actually the all-you-can-eat buffet which starts enthusiastically, becomes monotonous middle courses and then offers up tasty desserts. I kid, but here are some non-jovial thoughts from Kevin Anderson's 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24 win over John Isner in the Wimbledon semifinals. The gritty Spaniard can't quite grind him down like his other rivals.
But it was Djokovic who tended to be better down the stretch in his 52nd career meeting against Nadal in a contest that seemed as if it should be worth a trophy. "Rules should be made to benefit the players".
On Saturday, Nadal and Djokovic returned to finish the job.
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Anderson beat eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in a five-set quarterfinal thriller on Wednesday before outlasting Isner. "He's been gone for two years and needed that match to make this year important". It was very clear that very few things separated the two players.
"Until the last shot I didn't know if I would win". I believed it, but he was very close.
You may be wondering at this point why Isner continues to see himself in such marathon matches, especially at Wimbledon.
"I have to recover as much as I can for the final now".
Isner previously won the longest ever Grand Slam singles match against Nicolas Mahut, lasting 11 hours and five minutes over three days in the 2010 Wimbledon first round.
Anderson has played over 21 hours of tennis at Wimbledon en route to the final.
Both finalists played record-breaking, energy-sapping five-set semi-finals to reach the tournament's finale. Djokovic won the match 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 10-8.
Nadal continued: "In that moment I understood the rationale, but I did not understand that we would play indoor today unless we both agreed to play outdoor, and evidently, we did not agree". "It's been a roller-coaster ride for him".
And after a shattering quarter-final exit at this year's Roland Garros, which saw his world ranking slump to its lowest in 12 years, the Serb even considered sitting out Wimbledon where he has been champion in 2011, 2014 and 2015.