A Joking Tribute: Roger Federer's Hilarious Recall of Rafael Nadal's RG Domination
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 4244
Roger Federer had no doubts about his favorite match against Rafael Nadal! The Swiss maestro mentioned the 2008 Roland Garros final, the most one-sided in Paris since 1977. Of course, Roger joked, as he lost it 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 against brutal Rafa, who conquered his fourth consecutive Roland Garros without losing a set! Nadal dropped 25 games in the opening 15 sets in Paris, storming over the field and taking down Novak Djokovic in the semi-final to extend his winning streak. As in the previous two years, Federer was on the other side of the net in the title clash.
However, the Swiss stood powerless against such a strong rival on his beloved court, taking only four games on June 8 and settling with the runner-up prize. It was Federer's most brutal loss at Majors, experiencing a rare bagel and handing the trophy to Nadal!
The Spaniard needed an hour and 48 minutes to outplay his great rival for the third time in the finals in under two months and notch his 11th win over the Swiss in 17 matches. Nadal was in complete control from start to finish, losing serve once and stealing 60% of the return points to push Federer to the limits.
Rafa produced 17 break points and seized eight to bring the victory home in style and celebrate his fourth Major title at a young age. The Swiss served at 69%, although that gave him nothing against a rock-solid rival on the other side.
Federer failed to impose his shots or do anything against Nadal's consolidated defense. Rafa had more winners. He tamed his strokes beautifully, keeping his backhand safe and dictating the pace with a fearsome forehand that proved harmful for Roger that day.
The Swiss was utterly overshadowed in every department.
Rafael Nadal lost only four games against Roger Federer at Roland Garros 2008.
He lost the edge in the shortest points, where he should have hurt Rafa. Roger faded from the court in the mid-range and more extended rallies to finish the encounter with just four games on his tally.
Nadal kicked off the final with a break when Federer sent an easy forehand wide and repelled two break points in game two to confirm it after a service winner. Roger saved two break points in game three to avoid an even more significant deficit, and Rafa held at love in the next one to open up a 3-1 advantage.
He was all over Roger, and a backhand winner delivered a break at love for him in game five. The Spaniard did everything right, moving a game away from the opening set after another comfortable hold in game six. A volley error cost Federer another service game, and Nadal had the first set in the bag after just 32 minutes.
The Spaniard was 60-1 after winning the opening set at Majors, and this certainly was not the day to suffer the second defeat! At the start of the second set, he held at love with a backhand down the line winner to extend his streak.
Roger was miles away from his best tennis, spraying another forehand error in game two to drop serve and continue his downfall. He had no clue how to construct the points against the opponent who was on every ball and responded with even stronger shots repeatedly.
World no. 1 finally found something on the return in game three and broke back following Rafa's poor forehands. Federer held for 2-2 after fending off a break chance to return to the positive side. The Swiss found the zone in those moments and created a break chance at 3-3 that could have moved him in front for the first time.
He could not catch Nadal's drop shot, and the Spaniard made a vital hold after the opponent's forehand mistake. A backhand down the line winner gave Rafa a crucial break in the eighth game. He moved in front and held at 15 in the next one with a service winner to open two sets to love lead and move closer to the finish line.
There was no way back for Roger from there. He wasted a game point at the start of the third set to suffering another break when his forehand found the net. Rafa painted another forehand winner into an open court in game two and marched toward the crown.
The Spaniard's forehand looked better and better, and he secured another break in game three before holding at love for 4-0 and one hand on the trophy. Nadal's backhand was not far behind his left wing, and he hit one of those down the line to break Federer in the fifth game and serve for the title, setting everything for an unexpected bagel.
A hold at 30 sealed the deal for Rafa after Roger's forehand error, starting a massive celebration of his 28th straight win in Paris and one of the most significant ones in those four years.