Rafael Nadal's career is studded with great successes and incredible records: with 19 Slams he is aiming Roger Federer's record, but the Spaniard has achieved other great goals, such as the twelve triumphs at the Roland Garros and all the titles on clay-courts.
For each season, however, there is a particular goal, an achievement that should be highlighted. 2008 was a decisive year in the history of modern tennis. Roger Federer was the dominator of the ATP Tour, despite the fact that on clay-courts he was overtaken by Rafael Nadal.
The Spaniard showed his incredible improvements year after year also on other surfaces, especially on grass-courts. The 2008 Wimbledon final looks like the showdown between the Swiss and the Spaniard. Nadal started the tournament seeded second.
In the first four rounds, he faced and defeated respectively: Andreas Beck, Ernests Gulbis, Nicolas Kiefer and Michail Juznyj, losing only the first set of the second-round match against Gulbis. In the quarterfinals, Rafa clearly defeated the young hope of British tennis, Andy Murray, in three sets.
Expert Rainer Schüttler was the opponent that Rafa defeated in the semifinal in three sets.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer: the 2008 Wimbledon final became a legend
Sunday 6 July was an epochal day: Nadal faced Roger Federer, winner of the last five consecutive editions of Wimbledon, the last two against Spaniard.
In a dramatic, unforgettable and exciting ending, the two tennis players battled like two lions, trying to break a perfect balance. Nadal won the first two sets 6-4, 6-4, but Federer's pride, who won the third and fourth sets for 7-6(5), 7-6(8), balanced the challenge.
In the last, dramatic five and decisive set, Nadal won 9-7, getting his first Wimbledon title and temporarily ending the Roger Federer's All England Club domain. In 2008 Rafa also won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing, a total of 8 titles and he became world No.
1 for the first time in his career. "My most beautiful victory? Really difficult to answer; that of Wimbledon 2008," said Rafa in 2015. About that final Toni Nadal said: "In that match, I thought Rafa was more likely to lose than to win.
At one point, however, Rafa looked at me and said Relax, I won't lose this game. Federer could win, but I won't lose!" According to many insiders and former players, including John McEnroe, that was the biggest match ever: "Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal is one of the biggest rivalries ever.
The biggest game ever played was in 2008 at Wimbledon. The longevity of these two champions is impressive," said the American in 2019.