Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were the rivals in the 2008 Wimbledon final, facing each other in the third straight title clash at the All England Club. Nadal earned a memorable 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 victory in four hours and 48 minutes, dethroning the Wimbledon king and writing history books.
Speaking about the match, Rafa described the most challenging point he saw, picking Roger's backhand winner at 7-8 in the fourth set's tie break when he saved a match point and prolonged the action. Nadal wasted that opportunity but stayed composed in the decider to secure the fifth Major title and the first outside Roland Garros.
Roger had won 40 consecutive matches at Wimbledon before the final, seeking the sixth successive title but falling short just before the darkness. Nadal won five points more than Federer in a thrilling battle, fending off 12 out of 13 break opportunities and earning four return games.
Rafa stayed in touch with a five-time champion in the shortest points up to four strokes. He improved his initial shot to reach Roger's level and delivered incredible tennis on break chances to get broken only once. The Spaniard moved in front in the encounter's third game and survived a scare on serve at 5-4 after fending off two break chances.
Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer in just under five hours in the 2008 Wimbledon final.
Federer forged a 4-1 advantage in set number two before losing serve in game seven. With momentum on his side, Rafa grabbed another break at 4-4 with a forehand winner, served for the set in the next game and repelled a break chance to forge a massive two sets to love advantage.
Roger bounced back in sets three and four in a manner of a true champion. He prevailed in a tight fourth-set tie break from 5-2 down to force a decider and become the favorite. The Swiss saved that match point at 7-8 with a brilliant backhand and gathered momentum ahead of the final set.
Players left the court in the fifth game set due to rain 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, denied by Nadal's smash winner.
The Spaniard leveled the score at 4-4 with another forehand winner to stay alive. Rafa earned two break opportunities with a forehand down the line winner at 5-5, unable to convert any or make an extra step two games later.
The Spaniard seized more opportunities on the return in the 15th game and secured a break after a colossal forehand error from the Swiss to serve for the title. Rafa hit a service winner at deuce at 8-7 and moved over the top following Roger's forehand mistake to celebrate one of his most significant victories ever.
"The most difficult point during my career came against Roger Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final. The most complicated point was Roger's backhand passing shot on my match point in the fourth set's tie break. I went for a wide serve, and he returned a backhand slice to the middle of the court.
I had a chance to seal the deal with my forehand, but Roger played an incredible backhand to pass me and prolong the match," Rafael Nadal said.