He hit his backhand long and it was all over.
Djokovic, a 15-time Grand Slam champion, is respected by British fans but certainly not revered in the same saintly fashion reserved for Federer.
The briefest of embrace, mutual chest taps, at the net. The fact that Djokovic has already won the Australian Open this year and his dominance on centre court last year means that despite Federer's prowess and pedigree, he'll have to put up a real fight to put the brakes on Djokovic.
It had been an impressive several weeks for the No. 2-ranked Nadal. Williams has won 23 Grand Slam championships, including seven at Wimbledon.
This one felt like just as much of a classic contest, though, one that anyone present is not likely to forget.
It's also the 16th showdown between Federer and Djokovic at a Grand Slam tournament, breaking a tie with Djokovic vs. Nadal for the most by a pair of men in the Open era, which began in 1968.
The latest installment in the Roger vs. Rafa rivalry at Wimbledon is coming to Centre Court. For three successive finals they slugged it out. Another was that he was able to withstand Nadal's serve, even though it has improved a ton over the years.
"The same like all my career, no?" he said. Australia's Margaret Court holds the current record. He hasn't even made the final since 2011.
Djokovic celebrates after beating Agut and making it into the final. It was their 40th career meeting, and it lived up to all the hype built up over the previous 48 hours.
Djokovic reacts during his match against Agut.
"Today it's sad for me because chances are not forever", a deflated Nadal said.
"Of course, I'm going to be excited and nervous and everything that you can think of, " he said.
Once his volley victor found the net tape and trickled over to cap the third set - turnabout was fair play, in this instance, after the way the previous set ended - the outcome seemed inevitable. So he deserves it.
Federer and Nadal hadn't played since then at Wimbledon until their semifinal Friday.
Friday's match turned on an wonderful 45-shot rally in the seventh game of the third set, which Djokovic won to hold serve and stay a break up - and from then on he took total control as the Spaniard, who had looked calm and confident in his first Grand Slam semi-final, was eventually brushed aside. But they somehow hadn't met on grass since that epic duel.
But Federer's experience ensured that he eventually closed out the match quite comfortably. "It was tough at the end". I played a great event. "For me personally I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can't stand him".
"I hope it's going to happen again for somebody, to have such a big span between the first final". Gimeno Valero will also be playing his first Grand Slam final.
"I am looking to make history in this sport, " Djokovic said. "Just have to accept that was not my day", he said.
"He's an unbelievable player, he's a champion of the sport; one of the greatest we'll ever see". I take this in a positive way. He has been rock-solid. "I had another one [this year], and I was not able to convert to win it one more time here".