Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were the rivals in the final of Wimbledon 2008, facing each other in the third consecutive clash for the title at the All England Club. Nadal scored a memorable 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 victory in four hours and 48 minutes, dethroning the Wimbledon king and writing history books.
Speaking about the match, Rafa described the most challenging point he saw, choosing Roger’s backhand winner at 7-8 in the fourth set tie break as he saved a match point and prolonged the action. Nadal squandered that opportunity, but held his own in the decider to secure his fifth Major title and first outside of Roland Garros.
Roger had won 40 consecutive matches at Wimbledon before the final, seeking a sixth successive title, but fell short just before darkness. Nadal won five points more than Federer in a thrilling battle, fending off 12 of 13 break chances and winning four return games.
Rafa kept in touch with a five-time champion in the shortest points up to four strokes. He improved his opening shot to Roger’s level and delivered incredible tennis on break chances to break only once. The Spaniard surged ahead in the third game of the encounter and survived a scare on serve at 5-4 after fending off two break chances.
Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer in just under five hours in the 2008 Wimbledon final.
Federer carved out a 4-1 lead in set number two before losing serve in game seven. With momentum on his side, Rafa grabbed another break at 4-4 with a forehand winner, served for the set in the next game and repelled a break chance to carve out a massive two-set lead to love.
Roger recovered in sets three and four like a true champion. He prevailed in a tight fourth-set tiebreak 5-2 down to force a decider and become the favourite. The Swiss saved that match point at 7-8 with a brilliant backhand and gathered momentum before the final set.
The players left the court in the fifth set due to rain and returned half an hour later to continue with an incredible match. Roger created a break chance with a forehand down the line winner at 4-3, denied by Nadal’s smash winner.
The Spaniard leveled the score at 4-4 with another forehand winner to stay alive. Rafa earned two break chances with a forehand down the line winner at 5-5, unable to convert any or take an extra step two games later.
The Spaniard seized more chances on the return in game 15 and secured a break after a colossal forehand error from the Swiss to serve for the title. Rafa hit a service winner at deuce at 8-7 and went on top after Roger’s forehand error to celebrate one of his biggest wins.
«The hardest point during my career was against Roger Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final. The hardest point was Roger’s backhand on my match point in the fourth set tie break. I went for a wide serve and he hit me. returned the backhand cut to the middle of the court.
I had a chance to close the deal with my forehand, but Roger played an incredible backhand to pass me and prolong the match,» Rafael Nadal said.