It was the 2008 Wimbledon Championships final. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were making three back-to-back final appearances at the tournament. On the two previous occasions, the Swiss Maestro had got the better of Nadal. With pressure on him to avoid a hattrick of finals defeats, Nadal held his nerves to clinch his maiden Wimbledon title in an epic five-set match. Years later, the Spaniard revealed how he overcame Federer’s dominance on the grass courts of SW19.
Nadal has been a symbol of grit and determination throughout his tennis career. Be it overcoming injuring or making a comeback in matches, the 37-year-old has displayed it all. Expressing these qualities, he reminisced about his victory over Federer in that match.
Rafael Nadal talks about his greatest career moment
In his autobiography, Rafa: My Story, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, talked about the greatest moment of his tennis career. While he admitted that all matches were important, his thoughts immediately went to his first Wimbledon title win.
Talking about this, he said, “Every match is important; I play every one as if it is my last, but that one, in that setting, with that history, that expectation, that tension, the rain interruptions, the darkness, the number one against the number two, both of us playing at the top of our games, the comeback by Federer and my resistance to it, me prouder than I ever had been of my attitude on a tennis court, haunted by the memory of defeat in 2007 but fighting and winning my own war of nerves.”
🇪🇸 Rafael Nadal on the Wimbledon 2008 Final against Roger Federer:
“Was that the greatest moment of my career?
Every match is important; I play every one as if it is my last, but that one, in that setting, with that history, that expectation, that tension, the rain… pic.twitter.com/BwNOfDyw2w
— Olly 🎾🇬🇧 (@Olly_Tennis_) August 16, 2023
Further, Nadal also talked about how he overcame ‘drama’ and ’emotion’ to produce a moment of enormous satisfaction and joy. Earlier this year, the Swiss Maestro also recollected the epic night against Nadal.
During an interview with Sue Barker at this year’s Wimbledon Championships, the 20-time Grand Slam champion talked about the 2008 Wimbledon final against Nadal. Federer revealed, “We didn’t know how long it would take. We just kept playing. In the end, I had a few chances.”
The match went on for almost five hours as Nadal eventually prevailed in the final set 9-7 to clinch the title. Without a doubt, it will go down as one of the greatest Wimbledon finals, if not the greatest.