Rafael Nadal has managed to break Roger Federer’s winning streak to become the 2008 Wimbledon Champion. The game could not have been a closer match. Only in the final games did Federer start to look fatigued, while the powerful Nadal continued to battle on, finally breaking Federer’s serve in the penultimate set.
The 2008 Wimbledon final was an historic match. It was the longest men’s final to date, lasting 4 hours and 48 minutes. Nadal, 22, is also the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back. And Nadal is the first Spaniard to win Wimbledon. For Roger Federer, Nadal’s victory also ended his run of 65 grass court matches undefeated.
Rain interrupted the match on several occasions, and for a while it looked like the game would be postponed until Monday.
“It’s impossible to explain how I feel. It’s a dream. I never imagined I would win this tournament. It’s very tough to play Roger – especially here – he is excellent when he wins and when he loses. He’s still the number one and he’s still the best. He’s won five and I’ve only won one.”
2008 Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal
“I tried everything. Look, Rafa’s a deserving champion. It’s been a joy to play here. It’s shame I couldn’t win it but I’ll be back next year.”
2008 Runner-up Roger Federer
In a way Nadal’s victory was proof that tennis has become a truly athletic game. John McEnroe criticised Andy Murray for not being match fit, and although Murray was flexing his muscles at the end of the match that got him into the quarter finals, he was looking exhausted during the final games before his defeat.
Nadal however, after battling against the worlds greatest tennis player for almost five hours, was still looking in great phyiscal shape. His legs looked a little wobbly as he accepted the Wimbledon Trophy, but over all he was in fine physical shape.
Federer, although exceptionally skilful and very fit, lacks the strength of Nadal. He is not so lean, and nowhere near so muscular. He looks more the traditional Gentleman of tennis, whereas Nadal is the athlete, and warrior, of tennis.
Tennis is still becoming a more phyiscal game, both for the men and the women. Those that are now top of the game, Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams, have both worked hard on their athleticism, honing well toned and muscular bodies, and having exceptional aerobic fitness levels to match.
The game results were Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 7-9 Nadal. Rafael Nadal’s stats and figures can be found on his wikipedia page.