Sunday, July 06, 2008

Rafael Nadal Wins 2008 Wimbledon Championship

What an electrifying tournament it was. Top ranked favorites like Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova dropped out early, typical powerhouses like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and the Williams sisters cruised to the top like it was fated.
All the American players dropped out early, but I don't really care for any of the American players ( I think Andy Roddick deserves a chance at another Grand Slam win, but whatever). Anyway, an interesting thing to note was the long awaited reunion of the Williams sisters in a Grand Slam final. Both players always bring out the best in each other when they play, and despite being sisters, they never let up the effort and desire to win. In the end, the older Venus Williams came out triumphant.
There was only one other match that managed to overshadow the women's final, and that was obviously the men's final with top seeded Roger Federer and world No.2 Rafael Nadal. This was Roger Federer's sixth consecutive run in a Wimbledon final, and he was undefeated in all the finals. Honestly, I didn't think Nadal had it in him to beat Federer on grass. As much as he dominates Federer on clay, he would always end up losing to Federer on every other court surface. Today, he proved me wrong and took the rivalry to a whole new level.

Rafael Nadal collapses after a gut-wrenching 9-7 victory

Neither players ever let down their guard throughout the match, and kept their shots at a constant pace. Federer was making a lot more unforced errors that he usually does, and Nadal was using that to his advantage with his counter-puncher playing style. Nadal took the first two sets 6-4, 6-4, and Federer came back by winning the next two sets 6-7, 6-7. The last set pushed the two players to the extreme.

"I wonder how long this fake smile will hold"

The sixth and last set was when the tension really began. The score reached 2-2, and the match was suddenly delayed due to incoming rain. Fortunately, it let up after about 20 minutes and the match continued. The rain helped to build drama and make the anticipation so much harder to bear. Each player won game after game after game without breaking serve, until the score got to 7-7. It's not like Federer to lose his cool, but he must have cracked under the pressure because he lost break point and practically paved the way for Nadal's first non-clay Grand Slam win. Nadal obviously won his service game and won his very first Wimbledon championship, making that his fifth grand slam title.

"All that and I get a freaking plate?"

Honestly, I was rooting for Federer. He is currently my favorite player because I can depend on him to win all the time with his uber skillz. No but seriously, he is showing relentless effort and talent, and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. I think he is (and will be) the greatest player in tennis history. Rafa beat him in Wimbledon and proved that he could take the rivalry off clay and into grass, and is proving to be a really tough competitor. It's not that I doubt Federer obvious domination, but Nadal is becoming a force to be reckoned with. I'm sad that Federer lost, but I think Nadal deserved this more than anything. I applaud both players. The match was one of the greatest I've ever seen...


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