Roger Federer today won the debilitating first set of his long-awaited Wimbledon semi-final against Rafael Nadal, the newest chapter of one of the biggest rivalries in the sport.
The Swiss star reached a tight first set with 7-6 and won an exciting tiebreaker against his old Spanish rival.
The pair is underway at Center Court in their first collision with grass since the 2008 epic final that Nadal won in five exciting sets.
At four hours and 48 minutes, it remains the longest, and some say the biggest, Wimbledon final in history and fans are hoping for a similarly huge battle between the two greats today – even though Nadal is now 33 and Federer is 37.
They showed no signs of old age in a fiercely controversial first set and push each other all the way in a fascinating battle that ended with the Swiss star who won the tiebreak.
Countless familiar faces have been welcomed into the Royal Box to view history, including Sir David Attenborough, former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, Hollywood actors Hugh Grant and Steve Carell, and singer Leona Lewis.
It is because tickets were sold this morning for no less than £ 13,000 on resale websites while fans were struggling to get hold of them.
Roger Federer celebrates winning the first set against Rafael Nadal, who had been a rival for quite some time, during their semi-final men's match at Wimbledon today
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal is one of the biggest rivalries in tennis and it has been renewed today as the two clash in the Wimbledon semi-final (photo) – the first game they played on SW19 since the 2008 final
Nadal, left, and Federer, right, have 10 Wimbledon titles between them and the winner will face Novak Djokovic in the final
Rafael Nadal pushed his rival all the way in the first set, but was pushed forward by Federer for a packed Center Court
Mirka Federer celebrates in the stands during the semi-final match after seeing her husband win the first set against Rafael Nadal
Federal's wife Mirka, left, and Nadal & # 39; s girlfriend Xisca Perello, right away, both welcome today at the Center Court.
David Beckham watched deeper as Federer and Nadal pushed each other all the way in a tense first set of the Royal Box
Former Manchester United football manager, Alex Ferguson, was one of the famous faces in the Royal Box, who saw the titans clash today
Will Federer's biggest fan be home again?
He is known for his loud voice that cuts through the chitter chatter of crowds.
And House of Commons speaker John Bercow has been no different at Wimbledon, where he has been depicted twice this week on his hero Roger Federer.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow today watches Roger Federer's game at Center Court at Wimbledon
Bercow, 56, has seen wearing Federer brand T-shirts and wild partying at the third round and quarter final of the Swiss.
The speaker – who paid for his entrance fee – is himself a former tennis prodigy and even wrote a book about the top players of all time in 2014, with Federer as number one.
Although he occasionally withdrew from political life, Bercow seemed to have been more stressed than ever during the quarter-finals on Wednesday, scratching his teeth and yelling anxiously as he watched Federer.
Federer and Nadal's rivalry have seen them compete against each other 39 times since 2004, including 24 finals.
Nadal holds the edge in general, Federer has beaten 24 times and lost on 15 occasions.
Of the 24 finals they played against each other, the Spaniard won 14 and lost 10.
Despite the historic rivalry, there is real respect and affection between the two players, who have the most and the second most Grand Slam titles in men's tennis.
Federer has 20 while Nadal has 18.
However, Federer retains the lead over Wimbledon, defeating Nadal twice and losing once.
Admission costs £ 185 for a standard ticket, but they are all sold out quickly – but owners of & # 39; debenture & # 39; tickets were free to sell on the open market.
The Wimbledon bonds cost £ 50,000 and give the buyer five years of exclusive access, including a seat for every day of each tournament plus access to private lounges and restaurants.
There are only 2,500 bond seats on Center Court and 1,000 more on Court One – and they are the only ticket that is legally transferable.
It means that buyers can try to maximize their investment by selling them for a huge profit. Stellar competitions such as Federer and Nadal offer gamblers the chance to split large amounts.
Claire-Estelle Bertrand, or from the Wimbledon Debentures Holders website, said attempts were being made to convince owners to raise prices & # 39; reasonable & # 39; but that interest was sky high.
She told The Times: & # 39; The turnout for semi-final tickets came when we were in the last 16 and it seemed more and more likely that Rafa and Roger would play each other. We have a relationship with our bondholders and maintain contact with them to try to keep prices as reasonable as possible, while on other sites the seller may be someone who has bought a lot of tickets and can push prices much higher. & # 39;
She added: & # 39; We only sell tickets that we actually have. The other places take the money in advance, say that you have a seat in a good position and you might find yourself with the gods. We tell the customer the block and location and only then will the transaction be confirmed. & # 39;
It is not the first time that exorbitant amounts for debenture tickets have appeared on resale sites.
In 2013, when Andy Murray faced Novak Djokovic in the final, a few seats were offered for £ 71,000.
The commercial manager of the All England Club, Mick Desmond, adds that he expects large crowds for the headlines.
& # 39; I think people will ask to come in – not just to Center Court, but only to view it on the hill and be physically part of it, & # 39; he said.
He added: & # 39; We are blessed with a golden age. & # 39;
Roger Federer, pictured today at Wimbledon, will renew his rivalry with Rafael Nadal when they meet each other for eleven years in their first encounter on grass
Nadal, left on Wednesday, and Federer, earlier today, have not played each other at Wimbledon since the 2008 final which is often described as the biggest in the history of the tournament
Federer smiled as he walked into the All England Club this morning, pictured, despite the enormous pressure on him
Tickets are offered for huge sums of money on resale sites, including Viagogo, pictured, where a single ticket is offered for more than £ 11,000
The pair fought in the longest Wimbledon final ever in 2008, pictured, at four hours and 48 minutes, won by Nadal
Viagogo tickets today sell from £ 7,000 to £ 12,000, pictured
The club added that it had no objection to selling for-profit bond loans and that the sale of bonds helped to keep prices for regular tickets low.
A Met Office spokesperson said that those present at Wimbledon & # 39; could expect some sun in the morning with a few showers later in the day.
& # 39; The showers will continue in the first part of the afternoon with a 20% chance of causing any disruption, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; It will clean up in the middle of the afternoon and leave dry and clear for the rest of the day.
& # 39; It will be slightly cooler and windier than the previous days with a maximum temperature of 24C (75.2F). & # 39;
Sir David Attenborough is one of the members of the Royal Box today and has spent time talking to former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, pictured together
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also shown in the Royal Box today
Jovial: Hugh Grant, 58, was the suave star every inch when he and his wife Anna Eberstein, 40, led the star-studded arrivals on day 11 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in southwest London on Friday .
Happy couple: Declan Donnelly also enjoyed the summer weather when he stepped out with his wife Ali (left), while Damian Lewis was also present with wife Helen McCrory
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