Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal first met in Miami 2004 as the newly crowned No. 1 and the next 17-year-old star. Over the years, they have forged one of the most passionate rivalries in the tennis world, dominating the rest of the field and battling for the Major and Masters 1000 trophies.
Nadal scored four straight victories over Federer at Roland Garros between 2005-08, while Roger held the upper hand in the Wimbledon finals in 2006 and 2007, extending his incredible grass-court streak that he began in 2003.
Making significant progress on the faster surface, Nadal would reach two Wimbledon finals in the aforementioned years, increasingly challenging Roger and preparing for another round in 2008 after the fourth consecutive Roland Garros crown.
Nadal and Federer were favorites at the All England Club, reaching the third consecutive final, becoming the first couple to do so since Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg between 1988 and 1990. Since 2003, Roger has had 40 consecutive wins at the tennis cathedral.
before Nadal snapped that incredible streak after an epic 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 victory in four hours and 48 minutes. Thus, Rafa became the first player since Bjorn Borg with a "Channel Slam", adding the fifth Major to his account just after turning 22 and making his way to the immortals of tennis.
Nadal earned five more points than Federer, fending off 12 of 13 break opportunities and winning four breakouts to topple his opponent and celebrate one of the most important moments in tennis history. Federer had more winners and more errors in his first loss at Wimbledon since 2002.
Rafa kept in touch with him on the shortest points to four strokes, improving his serve to catch up with the rival and delivering incredible tennis on those chances of scoring. break to give it. Still, Roger found a way to bounce back in sets three and four, winning a tight tie break in the fourth set to force a decider where he was the favorite.
Bartoli talks about Roger Federer
According to former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, it is impossible to gauge Roger Federer's mind and emotions, especially during his press conferences. As such, Bartoli reckons that only Federer knows when and how he will bring an end to his illustrious career.
"I've learned something about Roger: it's impossible to read his mind; impossible," Bartoli said. "You can listen to all of his press conferences, read [articles about him].… You can think something and the opposite will happen.
I think only he knows what he really wants and how he wants to end his career," she added. "I believe he wants to end on a high and on something that makes him happy."