Wimbledon 2008 Final

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jethro's picture

The rain has stopped, the sun is shining and it is Nadal, 2 sets to none and 4 games to 5, Nadal to serve. Roger needs to capitalise on Rafael's second serves. More importantly he needs to break his serve - and soon. Nadal double faults to give Roger deuce from a 40-0 start. Nadal plays wide and Roger misses down the line for Nadal's advantage. However a quick return of serve sets up a short ball that Roger puts away to bring back deuce. An ace brings up advantage for Nadal again, and then a forced error from Roger gives the game to Nadal. 5-5.

Photo Titled Nadal netplayRoger makes another unforced error to make it 15-15 and then double faults. However a successful challenge gives him another chance to bring up 40-15 with a nice overhead smash. He follows up with an Ace to bring up 6-5.

Nadal needs to win this service game to force a tie breaker, Roger needs to win to get the set. Faultless play from Nadal brings up 6-6 with a love game. Time for a tiebreaker.

Roger serves up a centre line ace to get 1-0. Nadal serves and plays cautiously but Roger over plays a cross court shot and gives the point to Rafael. Another unforced error from Roger gives Nadal his second serve point, 2-1. A challenge from the baseline means a replay for Roger, and he serves up a wide Ace followed by another down the T to get to 3-2. Nadal serves now and faults. Finally Roger capitalises on the short second serve and punishes the ball into Nadal's body forcing a dropped shot. I think Roger finally senses a chance to finish this set off and stay in the match. Nadal takes forever to serve and Roger has definitely stepped up a level as he breaks again to take it to 5-2. A long rally ending in a challenge that is unsuccessful leaves Roger with a final serve which he wins to get 6-3. Nadal steps up to serve with 3 set points to save. The first comes to him fairly easily and a ace gives him the second. 6-5 and Roger has a set point still and a wide court ace gives him the set. Wow. Now we have a match on our hands. 2 sets to 1 to Nadal.

Reasonably easy service games for both players brings up 1-1. A missed slam by Roger brought a collective gasp from the 15,000 strong crowd at 40-15 but he finished up with a very hard serve that Nadal could not return. It looked like Roger might be able to break server at 30-30 but Nadal was solid in bringing up 40-30 and then a wide return from Roger gave Nadal the game to bring up 2-1. Federer has a reasonably easy service game, though there were some great rallies to bring up 2-2. A unforced error by Nadal with an attempted drop shot gets 15-15, but he serves up an ace to get out of trouble. Roger misses down the line and then Nadal rips a cross court pass to bring up 3-2.  Roger and Nadal both hold  three times to bring up 6-5.Now Roger must serve and hold to force a tie breaker and stay in the match. He does and even Gwen Stefani claps now. She is in Rogers box but has seemed a little disinterested until now.

The second set tie breaker starts with Nadal's serve which turns into an amazing rally that Federer wins for 1-0. Now Roger serves but Nadal wins the first one and then Roger goes wide to give Nadal 2-1 and a mini break. Nadal's first serve is an ace out wide and the second is an ace as well. Roger comes to serve at 4-1 and hits Nadal's return straight down the line for 4-2. However a long base line rally ends up with Roger missing a line shot and gives Rafael 5-2. Two serves for Nadal now and he can win the title here. A double fault gives Roger one point, and the second serve is also dropped bringing Roger back in touch at 4-5. Awesome first serve out wide followed by wide out to the other court gives 5-5 and then a serve that Nadal shanks gives Roger the setpoint at 6-5 and now it is up to Nadal. Roger again misses out wide and it is 6-6. The crowd is pumped and chanting for Roger. Nadal serves again and brings up match point with a long return. Roger now serves and Nadal challenges it. It is good though and it is 7-7. Nadal passes Roger down the line from 5 metres behind the base line and brings up match point on his serve. Roger returns the favour under incredible pressure and passes Rafael to save match point and get 8-8. 9-8 to Roger and now he has a set point on his serve and though he faults his second serve is good. Nadal hits long to give Roger the set and tie it all up. Roger shows the first bit of emotion all match with a come on and a small fist pump.

Final set now and its all up for grabs. Roger has the advantage now with the first service. The umpire has to call the crowd to silence. An awesome rally finishes with a drop shot, lob and a smash from Nadal that goes wide giving 15-0. Federer is strong however and wins the game with a net volley after a failed drop shot at 30-30. Nadal struggles a little on his serve but wins the game regardless. 1-1. Roger to serve and he comes in with another ace (17 so far) to the wide court. He has a look of determination that I have never seen on his face before and struggles also on his serve. Some points he wins easily and others he drops badly. His first serve is not working well and he double faults to bring up 40-40. Nadal hits long to give Federer the advantage. A long rally ends in a drop shot from Nadal and deuce again. Roger uses the wide court to gain position and play easy winners and comes up with the game. After a nervous start to the next game Nadal wins it and ties it up at 2-2. Some more great rallies and both players using challenges see deuce come up and the rain come tumbling down and play is suspended. Grrr. I want to go to bed but I want to watch this also. After play was resumed games went with serve to 5-4. Now Nadal is serving to stay in. He does and Federer does also. 6-5. Nadal wins again and then Federer wins the last one the hard way after Deuce. Now Nadal has to win again to force a tie breaker. If Roger can break he wins.  Federer wins off Nadal's first serve for 0-15 but Nadal gets it back and then follows up to bring up 30-15. a long rally and a dropped shot from Federer brings 40-15. Federer gets this one and its 40-30. A rally with everything in it and it ends up with Nadal winning it and we go to tie it up at 7-7.

Next Federer hits an awesome cross court shot and Nadal rips it straight back at him and the follows up to 30-0. Federer finishes the next rally with an ice cool volley to get 30-15, but Nadal then makes it 40-15. Roger quickly aces to get back to 40-30 and then gets to deuce. Nadal has the first advantage but another ace from Roger returns it. Another break point for Nadal and then a long shot for Roger gives Nadal the break to 8-7. Security comes down to court side and the crowd is chanting Rafa Rafa now. Nadal comes to the service line with new balls and a hush falls on the crowd. Roger gets the first when Nadal goes long. A rare serve volley from Nadal gets 15-15. A second volley gets him 30-15. Federer recovers and its is 30-30. The umpire asks the crowd to stop using camera flashes. Roger hits an unforced error wide and it is match point for Nadal. The crowd goes wild. Roger pulls an amazing cross court back hand out and gets to deuce. Nadal gets the advantage with a hot serve that Roger cant return and another match point. Finally. Roger hits the tape and drops the shot and Nadal wins a Wimbledon title. Nadal is stoked and Roger is gutted. Rafael climbs into his box and hugs family and even goes over to the royal box for handshakes and congratulations from the president of Real Madrid.

The presentations made by HRH the Duke of Kent.