London - Roger Federer says his record-breaking year has given him great belief in destiny as he competes for Wimbledon success number 9. His opponent Novak Djokovic meanwhile has already started visualizing victory.
Federer believes the "stars are aligned" for him to win his ninth Wimbledon title when he takes on Novak Djokovic for the All-England Club trophy on Sunday.
The 37-year-old Swiss has had a standout year with a record-breaking list of achievements.
In Dubai in February, Federer became the second man to win 100 career titles and in the lead-up to the grass grand slam, he broke double figures at a single tournament for the first time with a 10th win in Halle.
Another century stat followed by reaching the 100 victories mark at Wimbledon after the quarter-finals.
Federer then conquered long-term rival Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Friday's semi-finals to end an 11-year wait for a Wimbledon rematch of his 2008 final loss.
"I think that's why I was able to produce a good result [against Nadal]," said Federer, who will play for a record-extending 21st grand slam triumph in his 12th Wimbledon showdown, another record-extender.
"It's been a rock solid year," he said. "Stars are aligned right now. From that standpoint I can go into the final very confident."
However, Federer will set foot on Centre Court with the defending champion top seed Novak Djokovic, who is aiming for a fifth Wimbledon win and a 16th major overall.
Djokovic and Federer have shared the court more times than any other pair on the tour with the 2019 final being their 48th meeting.
The world number one leads the head-to-head record 25-22 after winning their last match in the semi-finals of the 2018 Paris Masters.
"We've played each other so, so much. I don't mind that," Federer added.
"I think it's more of a clear game plan. I think the moment you've played somebody probably more than 15 times, there's not that much more left out there. How much can you still surprise somebody."
But still, Federer says that in any Wimbledon final you don't have as much time to study your opponent, comparing it to a school exam.
"The day of the test you're not going to read, I don't know, how many books that day. You don't have the time anyhow," Federer said.
"At the end of the day it comes very much down to who's better on the day, who's in a better mental place, who's got more energy left, who's tougher when it really comes to the crunch."
Djokovic on the other hand is very strict and regimented and likes to stick to his pre-final routine.
The 32-year-old Serb is aiming to repeat back-to-back Wimbledon successes from when he first achieved the feat in 2014 and 2015.
Both of those triumphs came against Federer and Djokovic has already visualized another victory as a mental tactic to prepare for the world number three Swiss.
"I think the most important and probably the first win that you have to make is the one within yourself," he said.
"Then whatever happens externally is, I guess, a consequence or manifestation of that.
"The visualization is part of the mental preparation. It's very, very important for me. I do it all the time. It is part of my prematch routine. I also do it on the court."
Djokovic will be competing in his sixth Wimbledon final as a four-time champion with only one loss to Britain's Andy Murray in 2013.
However, he does admit to having some pre-final nerves despite his impressive run in Centre Court showpiece events.
"I have a successful score against guys in finals," Djokovic said.
"I'm afraid that it's going to be more nerves involved. It's a constant pressure that you have to deal with.
"I will probably not expect anything less than what happened last year [in winning the 2018 title]. Hopefully it's the same outcome."dpa