In 2008, there emerged a new king in Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal became the first player since Bjorn Borg to win both the French Open and the Wimbledon in the same year. The five hour match was a gruelling one, interrupted by two spells of rain. Nadal surged to an early lead, grabbing the first two sets 6-4, 6-4. Thereafter, Federer rallied back, with the rain break on his side to claim the third and fourth sets via tiebreaks. Then, Nadal got his second wind to claim the title, winning the fifth set, 9-7. More than the Wimbledon title and the 750,000 pounds cash price, at stake here was being written in the pages of tennis history books. Had Federer won, he will claim his unprecedented sixth straight title since winning it in 2003.
It is such a fun time to watch these young tennis greats as they have such different styles, strengths and fashion sense. Federer’s game is painted with finesse and steadiness. Nadal is the wily and fiery one. I have been glued to my telly (bitten by the Brit bug) and my laptop as well for over seven hours just to witness this epic saga of a match. On the sidelines, I was particularly entertained as I caught glimpses of Gwen Stefani amidst the crowd, obviously very… very… bored beside husband Gavin Rossdale and Roger’s girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec. Those were the very few instances that the match did not have my full attention. It was definitely a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon/evening.
I think it will take a long time before another prominent figure will snatch the limelight from these two rivals. Hail Rafael Nadal: New King of Wimble-dom!