Rafael Nadal made a promising debut at Wimbledon in 2003, becoming one of the youngest players in the third round of the most prestigious tennis event. Three years later, the Spaniard advanced to his first Wimbledon final, hoping to win back-to-back Majors following the title defense in Paris.
Still, Roger Federer stood between Rafa and the "Channel Slam" and beat the young gun in four sets to claim the fourth straight Wimbledon crown and avenge the Parisian loss. A year later, Roger and Rafa were the players to beat at Wimbledon again, reaching another title match and developing one of their Major classic encounters.
After three hours and 45 minutes, Federer remained unbeaten at Wimbledon for the fifth consecutive year, prevailing over Nadal 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 to write history. Recalling the match, Nadal said he was more worried about the state of his knee than Roger Federer on the other side of the net.
The Spaniard couldn't keep the momentum from the fourth set, where he outplayed Roger, finishing runner-up despite giving his everything against the most formidable opponent. Firing 24 aces, Federer fended off seven out of 11 break chances, prevailed in the closing stages of sets one and three and produced his best tennis when it mattered the most to cross the finish line first.
Roger claimed the opener with a volley winner at 8-7 in the tie break before Nadal bounced back in set number two to level the overall score.
Rafael Nadal spoke about his physical issues during Wimbledon 2007 final.
There were no breaks of serve in the third set, and Roger was the better player in the tie break, taking it 7-3 to move closer to the finish line.
Ready to leave everything on the court, Nadal dominated set number four, forging a 4-0 advantage and playing on a high level to force a decider. There, Federer had to dig deep in the opening two service games, saving four break chances to end his downfall and gathering a massive boost to rattle off the final five games and seal the deal, joining Bjorn Borg on five consecutive Wimbledon crowns.
"I have a bit of a general memory of the fifth set; I don't remember that I had so many opportunities. Honestly, when everything was going very well for me in the fourth set, I had a puncture in the knee that took the momentum away.
I ended up worrying more about the knee than the game, and you can't keep track of something like that in the fifth set of a Wimbledon final against Roger Federer. The first break chances of the fifth set did a lot of damage to me.
I went to the locker room very affected because I ended up defeated with a double break; it was a big difference. I wasn't able to play on a higher level, and that hurt a lot," Rafael Nadal said.