ROGER FEDERER must match Rafael Nadal’s relentless intensity to stand any chance of reaching a 12th Wimbledon final.
When the draw was made two weeks ago, there was plenty of hope at potentially seeing Nadal and Federer face off in the semi-finals.
And both players have delivered on their part by comfortably progressing through their early round matches to set up a blockbuster match-up.
The two haven’t met at Wimbledon since the epic 2008 final, which saw Nadal overcome Federer to end the latter’s five-year consecutive win streak.
Over the past 11 years, both players have consolidated their place in history as two of the greatest tennis players in history.
Despite their advancing years, both players remain at the top of the game – alongside Novak Djokovic – and are playing close to their best at Wimbledon 2019.
Federer has looked impressive in wins over Lucas Pouille, Matteo Berrettini and Kei Nishikori.
But it’s Nadal who McEnroe believes is the man in form out of the two legends.
And the three-time Wimbledon champion adds the only chance Federer has against the world No 2 is by matching Nadal’s vigour.
“You play against a guy like Nadal, the guy wants to tear your heart out, he wants to eat you alive,” he told the BBC.
“I mean, he plays with such intensity.
“To me, the only chance you have when you play a guy like Nadal is you’ve got to try to match that.”
“I know when I played [Jimmy] Connors, who was our equivalent at the time, every point was like the last point you’re ever going to play.
“You try to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Am I doing as much as this guy?’ and most of the time the answer is no.
“I get it’s so difficult to do, but you have to try.”
Novak Djokovic is in action in the other semi-final taking place first on Centre Court.
He faces Roberto Bautista Agut, who has beaten Djokovic in both their meetings this year.