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 his 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 outstanding matches, Rafa was the favorite against Tomás. The Spaniard proved it on the pitch with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win in two hours and 13 minutes to claim his eighth Major crown on his 24th birthday!
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 streak at Wimbledon after that setback in 2009.
Recalling 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 shortest distance, up to four shots. After six comfortable at-bats for both sides, Nadal made the first difference with a break in the 15th in the seventh game of the match.
Chanda Rubin comments on Nadal
Chanda Rubin said that Rafael Nadal would definitely have liked to have a few more matches under his belt before the US Open. «Yes, certainly, Nadal would have liked to have a few more matches and this one was not easy.
He’s lost a load a couple of times before. So, you know, this is a match, he had to fight, but he thought when he won the second set, he had turned things around,» he said. «He was going to get that extra push.
He was 0-30 early in the third, just a little off the mark, and that’s to be expected because Nadal is so bad in matches recently and the first match on hard courts, it takes a little getting used to. Hopefully he’ll come back to it and build on it even though he lost it,» he added.