Roger Federer ended his incredible career during the Laver Cup in London. Rafael Nadal was alongside his great rival, with two legends teaming up and facing Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. Roger and Rafa squandered a match point and suffered a 4-6, 7-6, 11-9 loss during an emotional night at O2 Arena.
Nadal and Federer met 40 times between 2004 and 2019, forging one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history and pushing each other to the limits. Asked about his most notable victory over Roger, Rafa had no doubts and mentioned the 2008 Wimbledon final as his finest triumph over the Swiss.
Roger defeated Rafa in the Wimbledon finals in the previous two years, and the Spaniard was eager to change that in 2008. Federer had 40 consecutive victories at the All England Club ahead of their third straight title clash in the cathedral of tennis.
After an epic battle, Nadal scored a memorable 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 triumph in four hours and 48 minutes for his first Wimbledon crown! Thus, Rafa became the first player since Bjorn Borg with a "Channel Slam," adding the fifth Major to his tally just after turning 22 and carving his path towards tennis immortals.
Nadal won five points more than Federer in a thrilling battle and fended off 12 out of 13 break opportunities to send the pressure to the other side. The Spaniard earned four breaks to prevail and stand victorious in one of the most significant moments in tennis history.
Rafa stayed in touch with the five-time champion in the shortest points up to four strokes, which was crucial for his success. The Spaniard improved his initial shot to reach Roger's level and delivered incredible tennis on those break chances.
Federer gave his best to make a comeback in sets three and four, and there was nothing to separate them in the decider.
Rafael Nadal ousted Roger Federer after an epic battle at Wimbledon 2008.
Nadal moved in front in the opener's third game and survived a scare on serve at 5-4 to fend off two break chances and clinch it.
Federer forged a 4-1 advantage in set number two before getting broken at 4-2 to bring Nadal back into contention. With momentum on his side, Rafa grabbed another break at 4-4 with a forehand winner and repelled a break point in the next one to forge two sets to love advantage.
As a true champion, Roger bounced back in set number three to extend his chances. The Swiss remained competitive in the fourth and prevailed in a tie break after being 5-2 down to force a decider and gain a boost. The players left the court due to rain in the final set's fifth game and returned half an hour later to continue an incredible encounter.
Roger created a break chance with a forehand down the line winner at 4-3, and Nadal denied it with a smash winner to stay alive. The Spaniard leveled the score at 4-4 with a forehand winner to increase the excitement. Rafa earned two break opportunities with a forehand down the line winner at 5-5.
He failed to convert any or make an extra step two games later. The Spaniard seized more opportunities on the return at 7-7 and clinched a break after a colossal forehand error from the Swiss. Rafa hit a service winner at deuce in game 16 and moved over the top following Roger's forehand mistake to celebrate one of his most glorious victories.