After two heartbreaking losses to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon finals, Rafael Nadal conquered the crown at the All England Club in the third attempt in 2008. The Spaniard topped the Swiss in a memorable final for his first Major crown outside Paris, standing as a proud owner of a "Channel Slam."
Rafa skipped Wimbledon in 2009 due to an injury and made a strong return in 2010 to lift the second title in the cathedral of tennis in three years. For the first time since 2002, Roger Federer did not appear in the Wimbledon final, losing to Tomas Berdych in the quarters and allowing the Czech to fight for the trophy in his first and only Major title clash.
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. The Spaniard proved that on the court with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 triumph in two hours and 13 minutes for the eighth Major crown after just turning 24!
They had a similar number of winners and unforced errors, while Nadal forced over 40 mistakes from his opponent to seal the deal in straight sets. Nadal defended four break points and stole the opponent's serve four times to extend his Wimbledon run after that 2009 setback.
Recalling the final, Rafa said he was nervous before the encounter, knowing he was the favorite. Still, he delivered solid tennis to earn the trophy after better performance in the shortest range up to four strokes.
Rafael Nadal shared thoughts about the 2010 Wimbledon final.
After six comfortable holds on both sides, Nadal drew first blood with a break at 15 in the opener's game seven.
He earned another at 5-3 for the most reliable start and the first set in his hands. Serving at 5-6 in set number two, Berdych sprayed a forehand error to suffer a break at love and fall two sets to love behind. Returning at 5-4 in the third, the Spaniard placed a perfect forehand crosscourt winner to grab a break and celebrate the title and his second "Channel Slam."
"I was very nervous before stepping on the court ahead of the 2010 Wimbledon final. Tomas was very prepared, and although I knew he was a great player, I felt I was the favorite. I knew that if I played well, I would win that final.
That generated the pre-match tension for me. It was not an excellent encounter, far from it, but I did what I had to in the pivotal moments. I took advantage of my opportunities, played solid tennis and never lost serve. I made no mistakes, and that's what I had to do. Also, I was more experienced than him in those types of matches, which also helped me," Rafael Nadal said.