The Pressure Cooker: Rafael Nadal's Nerve-Wracking Road to Wimbledon Victory

Rafael Nadal claimed his second Wimbledon crown in 2010 over Tomas Berdych

by Jovica Ilic
The Pressure Cooker: Rafael Nadal's Nerve-Wracking Road to Wimbledon Victory

Rafael Nadal claimed his second Wimbledon crown in 2010, beating Tomas Berdych in the title clash. Rafa claimed a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win in two hours and 13 minutes for his eighth Major title at 24! Nadal admitted he was nervous before the encounter, knowing he was the favorite.

It put him under pressure, and he dealt with it nicely, never losing serve and taking the crucial points to emerge at the top in straight sets. Rafa had to skip Wimbledon in 2009 due to an injury. A year later, he made a strong return to pick his second and last Major crown on grass.

For the first time since 2002, Roger Federer did not appear in the Wimbledon final, losing to Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final and allowing the Czech to fight for the trophy against Rafa. Nadal worked hard in the early rounds to remain on the title course.

He prevailed over Robin Haase and Philipp Petzschner and played on a high level against Robin Soderling and Andy Murray to reach his fourth consecutive Wimbledon final. They had a similar number of winners and unforced errors.

However, Nadal forced over 40 mistakes from his opponent to control the pace and seal the deal in straight sets. Rafa fended off four break points and stole Tomas' serve four times to lift the trophy. After six comfortable holds on both sides at the start of the duel, Nadal drew first blood with a break at 15 in game seven.

Rafael Nadal defeated Tomas Berdych in the 2010 Wimbledon final.

The Spaniard earned another return game at 5-3 for the most reliable start. Serving at 5-6 in set number two, Berdych sprayed a forehand error to suffer a break at love, falling two sets to love behind and pushing Nadal closer to the finish line.

Returning at 5-4 in the third set, the Spaniard placed a perfect forehand crosscourt winner to grab a break and celebrate the title, an emotional one after skipping Wimbledon the previous year. "I was very nervous before stepping on the court at 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 that pre-match tension for me. It was not an excellent encounter, far from it, but I did what I had to do in the pivotal moments.

I took advantage of my opportunities, playing solid tennis and never losing my serve. I made no mistakes; that's what I had to do that day. Also, I was more experienced than him in matches like that; that also helped me," Rafael Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal Wimbledon Tomas Berdych