'Roger Federer is one of the reasons why I continued to...', says former ace

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'Roger Federer is one of the reasons why I continued to...', says former ace

Rafael Nadal made a promising Wimbledon debut in 2003, becoming one of the youngest players to reach the third round of the most prestigious tennis event alongside Boris Becker and Mats Wilander. Three years later, the Spaniard advanced to his first Wimbledon final, hoping to win back-to-back Majors after defending the title in Paris.

Still, Roger Federer stepped between Rafa and the "Channel Slam", beating the youngster in four sets to claim the fourth consecutive Wimbledon trophy and avenge the Roland Garros loss. A year later, Roger and Rafa were once again the players to beat at Wimbledon, with the world's best players clinching another title shot and producing one of their classic encounters.

After three hours and 45 minutes, Federer remained undefeated at Wimbledon for the fifth year in a row, prevailing over Nadal 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 to write the history books. Recalling the match, Nadal said he was more concerned about the state of his knee than Roger Federer was on the other side of the net, unable to maintain the momentum of the fourth set and finish runner-up despite giving it his all against a more formidable opponent.

Hitting 24 aces, Federer fended off seven of 11 break chances, prevailing in the closing stages of sets one and three and producing some of his best tennis when it mattered most crossing the finish line first. The Swiss had more winners and unforced errors and dropped Rafa in the shorter rallies to control the pace.

Federer took the first set with a volley winner at 8-7 in the tie break before Nadal rallied in set number two to level the overall score.

Panatta praises King Roger

Former French Open champion Adriano Panatta has acknowledged that Roger Federer is one of his favorite tennis players.

"Roger is one of the reasons why I continued to love tennis," Panatta said. "I wish him happy, he has an amazing career behind him and a wonderful family next to him. But there is a time for everything: we have already given up with Serena Williams, I hope not to see a repeat."

The Italian added further detail and made a comparison between Nick Kyrgios' actions on the court and one of his own episodes from his playing days. "He is a great talent there is no doubt, but he must understand that disrespecting his opponents is hateful," Panatta said.

"Once in the Davis Cup I did a service from under Lendl and I regretted it all my life: it is not done. I believe that in the end someone with him will fix things, not on the pitch but in the locker room."