Monday, July 7, 2008

Federer Vs Nadal - An Epic Wimbledon Final

It was 2008 Wimbledon final between top seed Roger Federer and number 2 Rafael Nadal. Federer was gunning for his sixth consecutive title at green grass of Wimbledon. Nadal was gunning for his first title at Wimbledon as he is known to be only a clay court specialist.

In 2007 final, Nadal had tried everything in his book to stop Federer, but could not succeed. This time, Nadal started with an upper hand as he made it very clear that if Federer has to win, his serve has to be more acurate than it has ever been. Federer was not that good with his first serve, which costed him first two sets.

In fact, in second set, Federer was 4-1 up and trying hard to break Nadal's serve. I told Avis why Fed is trying too hard, even if he holds his serve games, he would win the set. Avis replied "you should not give any chances to a player like Rafa".

His prophetic words came out to be true as Rafa broke Federer's serve twice to take lead of 5-4 in second set. With balls in our mouth (me, Eric, Avis & Santa), as we were praying the "King" (if Lawn Tennis ever had one, it has to be Federer) to win second set. But, in hindsight, I can say that since we were praying, it reflects that Nadal had completely outclassed the five time champion in first two sets.

The third set started with both the players holding their serve games. It was 5-4 and rain intervened. We wished but all in vain. Chox left and he had reached Andheri that the match started. I must say if I was in Chox's place that would have been first time, I would have loathed that I am away from TV. The last time, when I used to miss DD serials while coming back from coaching classes in school.

The match resumed and I could not see it as I was coming back from Santa's place but friends informed that King won the third set 7-6 and takes on the match to fourth set.

The fourth set was replica of its predecessor as neither player could break the opponent's serve, The tie-break and Nadal is ahead 5-2, two points away from Championship, commits a double fault and 5-3. Federer makes it 5-4 and then goes on to win the fourth set. The score card says Nadal to Fed 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7.

In the fifth set, Fed was playing better than prior 4 sets and it seemed he would win. The set went on to 7-7. Then what happened, I would say the turning point for Nadal. Nadal broke Fed's serve and now he was serving for the Cup. Nadal was 40-30 up and he came on the net, Fed played a low backhand passing shot. Only, Fed could play it and he showed what mental strenght he had in a match in which it was clearly visible that Nadal had an answer to all Federer's shots.

Thus how the golden cup landed in the hands of 22 year old spaniard Rafael Nadal

No comments: