Nadal Crowned Wimbledon King

Posted on: 08 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer in five sets to win his first Wimbledon title in an epic final on Centre Court.

Rafael Nadal held off an incredible fight-back from Roger Federer to win his first Wimbledon title after a sensational final at the All England Club on Sunday.

The Spaniard missed two championship points in the fourth set but recovered to win a dramatic rain-interrupted match 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (8-10) 9-7.

The drama on Centre Court ended in near darkness around 9.15pm making the 2008 men’s singles final the longest final in Wimbledon history, lasting four hours 48 minutes.

Nadal’s win is already being talked about as one of the best Wimbledon finals of all-time as the 22-year-old denied Federer a record sixth consecutive Wimbledon title.

Federer, 26, had been trying to become only the second man to win six consecutive titles, and so surpass Bjorn Borg to match Willie Renshaw, who played in the 1880’s.

The defeat brought to an end his unbeaten run of 65 matches on grass, and arguably his reign as the undisputed king of tennis.

Nadal is now the first man since Borg in 1980 to win the French Open and Wimbledon titles back-to-back.

On sealing victory, a tearful Nadal climbed through the stands to celebrate with his family and supporters before heading to the royal box to speak to members of the Spanish royal family.

The pre-match billing had it down as tennis’s version of a world heavyweight title fight and it lived up to the hype.

Nadal went into the match as the favourite in some people's eyes, having thrashed Federer in last month's Roland Garros final and with an 11-6 head-to-head record against the Swiss.

Nadal now adds the Wimbledon crown to the four French Open titles he has won, while Federer will look to defend his one remaining Grand Slam title at the US Open next month.

Asked about the moment of victory, Nadal said “It's impossible to explain what I felt in that moment but I'm very, very happy.”

“It is a dream to play on this court, my favourite tournament, but to win I never imagined.”

Federer, meanwhile, suffered the unpleasant experience of watching, dejected, from his chair as he came to terms with finishing runner-up for the first time.

The world number one accepted defeat to the new champion, saying “I tried everything, it got a little late, but look, Rafa is a deserving champion, he just played fantastic.”

“The rain didn't make it easier but you have to expect the worst and he's the worst opponent on the best court. It's a pity I couldn't win it but I'll be back next year.”

Did you watch Wimbledon’s final? Who were you cheering for? Was it the best final in Wimbledon’s history?

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