After two heartbreaking losses to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, Rafael Nadal claimed the crown at the All England Club at the third attempt in 2008. The Spaniard outclassed the Swiss in a memorable final to claim his first Major crown outside of Paris.
, rising as the proud owner of a “Channel Slam” Rafa skipped Wimbledon in 2009 due to injury and returned with a vengeance in 2010 to lift the second title in the cathedral of tennis in three years. For the first time since 2002, Roger Federer did not appear in the Wimbledon final, falling to Tomas Berdych in the quarters and allowing the Czech to challenge for the trophy in their first and only Major title clash.
Nadal had to work hard in the early rounds to stay on track for the title, beating Robin Haase and Philipp Petzschner and playing at a high level against Robin Soderling and Andy Murray to reach a fourth consecutive Wimbledon final.
With his extensive experience in notable matches, Rafa was the favorite against Tomas. The Spaniard showed it on the court with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win in two hours and 13 minutes to claim his eighth Major crown when he just turned 24!
They had a similar number of winners and unforced errors, while Nadal forced more than 40 errors from his opponent to seal the deal in straight sets. Nadal defended four break points and stole his opponent’s serve four times to extend his run at Wimbledon after that setback in 2009.
Remembering the final, Rafa said that he was nervous before the match, knowing that he was the favourite. Still, he offered solid tennis to win the trophy after a better performance in the shorter range, up to four shots. After six comfortable at-bats on both sides, Nadal made the first difference with a break at 15 in the seventh game of the match.
Rafa physically struggled in 2022
Rafael Nadal’s eventual retirement will be the ‘talk of the town’ in the tennis world, according to ATP commentator Brian Clark. “As a tennis player, there are more yesterdays than tomorrows for Nadal,” Clark stated.
“I wonder if he’ll have learned, take lessons, or maybe even inspiration from Federer, who wanted to keep playing and continue but just kept pushing it. You can’t fault him for that but ultimately the body just gave out.
It’s going to be the new parlor game in the sport. When does Rafa say goodbye and how does he do it? That’s obviously been a conversation now for a while in tennis with Serena Williams, Roger Federer, with this generation,” Clark said.