Wimbledon 2008

July 7, 2008

Relentless Rafael Nadal stays strong for ‘dream title’

Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent

Rafael Nadal became a true giant of tennis last night as he won the Wimbledon singles title for the first time with an extraordinary five-set victory over Roger Federer that lasted nearly five hours.

The Spaniard defeated the five-time champion 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 in the longest singles final in the history of the All England Club. The match finished at 9.15pm after rain interruptions and no one in the grounds could remember seeing anything like it.

Nadal became only the third man in history and the first since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win the French Open and Wimbledon in succession and ended Federer’s chances of beating Borg’s record of five successive Wimbledon singles titles.

Federer, who called it his hardest loss by far, had hoped that Nadal might succumb to the pressure. “I thought maybe he was feeling it a lot, for the first time in his life,” the 26-year-old said, as he sought to be the first player since 1927 to win this grand title from two sets to love down. But his opponent would not hear of it.

Nadal observa el trofeo de campeón de Wimbledon

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