That is what some people are calling yesterday’s epic battle between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Having returned from the Sunday morning worship service, I turned on the television expecting to catch some highlights and the final score of the match. To my surprise and excitement I found that the match was still in progress due to a rain delay. I am glad I was able to catch the most intense portion of the one of the greatest tennis matches I have ever seen.
Nadal had the match wrapped up in the fourth set tiebreak when he was up 5-2 with a chance to serve it out. His nerves got the best of him as he double faulted the first point away and watched Federer take the next point as well. That sequence was a crucial moment in the match which decided the fate of the set. Momentum shifted to Federer as he closed out the fourth set tiebreak, 10-8. I knew Nadal would not completely collapse but I was convinced that Federer would take the fifth set.
After blowing a two set lead and then giving away the fourth set when he had match point, Nadal could have easily fallen apart under the weight of disappointment and frustration. However, Nadal regrouped and went back to work. The two tennis giants battled like prizefighters in a heavyweight championship bout. It was an incredible display of tennis. Federer was crushing forehands and coming up with big aces when he needed them. Nadal was scrambling all over the court chasing down balls and painting the lines with his heavy topspin. They were coming up with all of the shots. Someone had to break. Someone had to falter. Few expected it to be Federer. As Nadal switched sides in the dark of the London night, he was primed to take advantage of the late, fifth set break. With tension filling the air and drama surrounding every shot, Nadal served out the match and won his first Wimbledon title by dethroning the best…the great Roger Federer. If you are Nadal, you can’t ask for anything more. He destroyed Federer in the French Open final and then came to Federer’s house and beat him there as well. To be the best, you have to beat the best. With his victory, Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back. He also kept Federer from being the first man to win six consecutive Wimbledon titles since the late 1800’s.
Having played competitive tennis for several years, I have a great appreciation for the consistently high level of play displayed throughout the entirety of this match. It was nothing short of amazing…a thing of beauty. It was a match for the ages. It is a match I will never forget. Well done fellas…well done.