For those interested, here's the Grand Slam singles title tally: Federer has 20, Nadal has 18 and Djokovic has 15.
Nadal said Federer had deserved the victory, adding he himself had not played as well as in previous rounds and by the time he started finding his game towards the end of the match it was too late.
"That's where the match could have gone a different way".
World number one and defending champion Djokovic now stands between the 37-year-old Federer, the oldest finalist at the All England Club since Ken Rosewall in 1974, and a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon title which will also seal a record 21st Grand Slam. Djokovic is eyeing a fifth championship at Wimbledon and 16th major title.
"He is the defending champion and has been rock solid".
"He has been really solid".More news: Facebook Event Promotes Raid on Area 51 in Amargosa Valley, Nevada
One match point slipped away when Federer missed a forehand return. "I didn't receive well today", the 33-year-old said.
Given their past epic battles at Wimbledon, Federer appeared to be on his way to defeating Nadal relatively easy in the four-set match, as Nadal appeared to lose control of his powerful serve later in the match.
Roberto Bautista Agut, 31, had to scrap his plans in Ibiza this weekend when he made it through to the final four - which he never expected to do. "It's the semi-finals and Roberto was not overwhelmed - he's a very under-rated player", Djokovic, 32, said.
Over a decade later, the sport´s two most successful players now have 38 Grand Slam titles between them and more than $100 million in prize money each. Just accept that [today] was not my day. I take this in a positive way. I think that's why I was able to produce a good result today.
There was no rain break, no twilight five-set drama and no Wimbledon trophy on offer on Friday but none of that bothered ageless Swiss maestro Roger Federer.
Like two boxers sizing up their opponent, the pair tip-toed around in what was ultimately a cagey first set, with only one break point coming and going for Federer before it headed to a tie-break.More news: Soccer star Allie Long says her LA hotel room was burglarized
Nadal then broke again for 5-1 as Federer suffered a sudden and severe power outage with the two-time champion comfortable levelling the contest.
The 37-year-old seemed to nearly give that set away in the end, but then came straight back at the start of the third as he piled on the pressure to get the early break.
There was no respite for Nadal, an 18-time Slam victor, who slipped a break down at 2-1 in the fourth. After Nadal wasted that chance, Federer earned two more match points - and failed to convert those, either, as his wife, Mirka, peeked through the fingers covering her face. The Swiss great finished with 14 aces this time and landed 69% of his first serves. He won the Australian Open in 2009, the US Open in 2010, 2013 and 2017, and is twice a victor at the All England Club, but he hasn't held the trophy since 2010.
This will be Federer's 12th time in the Wimbledon finals and Djokovic's sixth.
The Spaniard won 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (8/10), 9-7 as the clock ticked past 9pm and with the famous stadium in near-darkness.More news: Iowa reports 1st confirmed 2019 human West Nile virus case