The reign is over...for now. In the longest men's
final in Wimbledon history, Rafael Nadal defeated five time defending champion Roger Federer in five gruelling, rain delayed sets. He prevailed 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 in a match that took 4 hours, 48 minutes and ended in near darkness. I thought the match would be over in straight sets, but Federer came up with an inspiring comeback in his bid to surpass Bjorn Borg by winning his sixth straight title. The level and quality of play was just what you would expect of a Wimbledon final featuring these two champions. I've always liked Roger Federer for the talent he has and the class with which he conducts himself, but I certainly was not unhappy to see Rafael Nadal walk off Center Court with his first men's singles title there. We are not always treated with seeing the two best square off in the finals of major events as we were today, and everyone got their money's worth and more from the performances of these two. It almost sounds 'cheesy' to say this, but there really was no loser today in many regards. The shot-making was
astounding and the excitement unending. There were unforced errors of course in a match of this duration. Federer himself converted only one of thirteen break points, but there are only positives to carry away from an epic battle like this. For Nadal, he became the first player to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year since Borg in 1980. For Federer, his level of tennis has not deteriorated, guys like Nadal are just getting better. He also has to play at is highest level to win grand slam events now. Had he not come back from two sets down, he might have reason to question himself. But the comeback showed he still has the desire and the ability to continue to add to his 12 Grand Slam wins. What a way for a sports enthusiast to cap off a sports-filled Fourth of July Holiday weekend. I'm sure we'll be seeing Mr.'s Federer and Nadal many more times during their outstanding tennis careers.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Nadal -vs- Federer: One For The Ages!
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