Remarkably the Serb's 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-2 success was the 12th victory in his last 13 Grand Slam semi-finals and he is now one win away from his fifth title at Wimbledon and 16th Grand Slam singles crown as he resumes his great rivalry with the Swiss.
Perhaps Federer, who turns 38 on August 8, will extend his lead on the career list to a men's-record 21 championships, which would leave him three ahead of Nadal, who is 33 years old, and six ahead of Djokovic, who is 32.
Twitter was overawed by the level of play both the veterans produced on Friday and could not stop gushing over Federer's ability to push the limits at the All England Club. Two of those defeats were in 2014 and 2015 against Djokovic; the other came in 2008 against Nadal.
"Regardless of who's across the net or what is happening around me, I'll definitely give it my all".
Four-time Wimbledon victor and defending champion Djokovic enjoys a 25-22 edge in career meetings, stretching back 13 years.
Bautista Agut already beat Djokovic twice earlier this season.More news: Saguaro cactus impales car in Arizona crash
Federer and Nadal hadn't played since then at Wimbledon until their semifinal Friday.
Friday's match turned on an fantastic 45-shot rally in the seventh game of the third set, which Djokovic won to hold serve and stay a break up.
No one else has managed to reduce Federer to midmatch mediocrity quite the way Nadal can on occasion, part of why the Spaniard entered Friday with a 24-15 overall lead head-to-head, including 10-3 at Grand Slam tournaments.
"We had a great match against each other in Paris just recently [Djokovic won 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 7-6 (7-3)]". Federer rattled off a pair of stinging first serves to reach 6-3, then claiming the bracket with a forehand strike. Federer has eight Wimbledon titles, Djokovic four.
"I have a successful score against guys in finals", Djokovic said. "Then the climax at the end with the insane last game, some tough rallies there".
Roger Federer has edged out Rafael Nadal in an epic Wimbledon semi-final to set up a mouth-watering title showdown with defending champion and world No.1 Novak Djokovic.More news: Hong Kong protesters take aim at Chinese traders
I thought probably the biggest points in the match went my way.
Nadal led 3-2 in the tiebreaker before Federer won five straight points, clinching the set with a forehand victor.
So for now, as Federer prepares to face Djokovic on Sunday, Nadal will leave Wimbledon one match earlier than he wanted, for the second year in a row.
Once his volley victor found the net tape and trickled over to cap the third set, the outcome seemed inevitable.
Djokovic won the first set 6-2, but Bautista Agut broke for a 2-1 lead in the second.
The Centre Court crowd realised they had a real match on their hands and they were treated to a superb third set.
Djokovic booked a place in his sixth Wimbledon final with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-2 win over Roberto Bautista Agut and has only lost one of the previous five, against Andy Murray in 2013.More news: Duchesses Catherine and Meghan to attend Wimbledon women's final
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