In 2006, Roger Federer claimed his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title and eighth Major overall, beating Rafael Nadal 6-0, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 in just under three hours. It was the 48th consecutive victory on grass for Roger, who became the third player in the Open Era with four consecutive trophies at the All England Club after Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras.
Nadal made his Wimbledon debut at age 17 in 2003, reaching the third round as the youngest player since Boris Becker in 1985! Three years later, he became the title contender, beating six rivals and setting up the ultimate clash against the defending champion and no.1.
After the second Roland Garros crown, the Spaniard was eager to claim the first "Channel Slam" since Bjorn Borg, giving it his all against superior turf and falling in four sets. The Swiss had better numbers in both the first and second serves, broke twice and stole the Spanish's serve six times to seal the deal and write the record books.
Federer had a clear advantage in the shorter rallies, forcing Rafa's 50 errors to cross the finish line first and celebrate another Major title. They had a similar number of winners and unforced errors, but it wasn't enough for Rafa to stay in touch until the decisive game, losing ground in the fourth set to hand over the trophy to the Swiss.
The more experienced player got off to a wonderful start, assaulting Nadal to deliver a zero in the first set in 24 minutes. Roger lost just three points in three service games, finding the rhythm on the return to provide the first zero in the Wimbledon finals since 1994.
Pat Cash talks about Roger Federer
In a recent interview, Pat Cash offered his take on the ever-raging GOAT debate. The 1987 Wimbledon champion believes head-to-head records play an important role in determining the greatest player of all time.
“Overall, (as) a player who can do everything, Roger Federer has to be up there. Nadal, of course, was a very good volleyer and was able to use that," Cash said. "Not in the later years because his tactics were never going to trouble Federer.
But Novak’s returning, serving and ground strokes on slower grass courts that we have these days, to me, it feels like a bit of a pity that the courts have slowed down so much. Or the balls have slowed down, I should say."
Cash then proceeded to lavish praise on 20-time Major winner Roger Federer, crediting the Swiss for transforming the sport through his versatile style of play “I think he certainly transformed tennis. He brought it to another level in the modern era.
He showed players could play at the back of the court and be equally as good at the net and around the net,” Cash said. "His movement was phenomenal and I think he certainly brought an element of style and flashiness and the shots he could produce - it’s the best of what we seen from the Bjorg and Connors at the baseline and McEnroe, Edberg, Sampras, those types of volleys."