After two heartbreaking losses in Wimbledon finals to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal went all the way at the All England Club in 2008. The Spaniard topped the Swiss in a memorable final for his first Major crown outside Paris.
Instead of defending the title in 2009, Rafa had to skip Wimbledon due to an injury, making a healthy return in 2010 and lifting the second title in the cathedral of tennis in three years. For the first time since 2002, Roger Federer didn't make an appearance in Wimbledon final, losing to Tomas Berdych in the quarters and allowing the Czech to fight for the trophy against the Spaniard.
Nadal had to work hard in the early rounds to remain on the title course, prevailing over Robin Haase and Philipp Petzschner and playing on a high level against Robin Soderling and Andy Murray to reach the fourth consecutive Wimbledon final.
With his vast experience in notable matches, Rafa was the favorite against Tomas, proving that on the court to notch a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 triumph in two hours and 13 minutes, lifting the eighth Major crown just after turning 24.
They had a similar number of winners and unforced errors, with Nadal forcing more than 40 mistakes from the opponent to control the pace and seal the deal in straight sets. Nothing could separate them in the more extended exchanges, and Rafa forged his victory in the quickest rallies up to four strokes, following Tomas' number of service winners and outplaying the Czech with reliable groundstrokes.
Nadal fended off all four break chances, securing four breaks to extend his winning streak.
Rafa said he was nervous before the encounter, knowing he is the favorite and playing solid tennis to earn the trophy after better performance in the shortest range up to four strokes.
After six comfortable holds on both sides, Nadal drew first blood with a break at 15 in game seven following a forehand error from Berdych, earning another one at 5-3 for the most reliable start. The Spaniard fended off three break chances in the first game of the second set, with both players serving well until the 12th game when Tomas cracked under pressure.
He sprayed a forehand error to suffer a break at love, falling two sets to love behind and pushing Rafa closer to the finish line. Returning at 5-4 in the third, the Spaniard placed a perfect forehand crosscourt winner to grab a break in the best moment and celebrate the title, an emotional one after having to skip Wimbledon in the previous year.