In an interview, Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni recalled the Spaniard's 2008 Wimbledon final win over Roger Federer. The Mallorca native prevailed 9-7 in the fifth set following four hours and 46 minutes to win his maiden title in the All England Club after losing two consecutive finals to the Swiss in 2006 and 2007.
"In my entire life I was never so nervous during a match, at some point, I looked at the clock, it was just 12 minutes game and I told Carlos Costa (his agent) I was not sure to be able to go through it and it was timeless.
Rafa came there with full confidence as he had just beaten Federer easily in the French Open. We felt we were able to beat the Swiss player's five titles in a row. In the locker room during a rain delay when they were tied on two sets all, I told Rafael: 'Try to be stronger in the next two games then God will decide"
He said: 'I will not lose this game. It happens, it's because Federer took his chances. But I will not give him it'", said Toni. Reflecting on that match during the last year's Wimbledon, the Basel native said: "I think it was one of the hardest losses I ever had, no doubt about it.
I was so close to making it six in a row. The initial reaction was, Okay, got to win it again next year, '09, and I did, in an epic one against Roddick. That was beautiful after the heartbreak in '08. It was a great match for many reasons.
It also made me more human potentially, the loss under the circumstances. But it was a great match to be part of. We go back in time with Rafa. I'm sure that we'll talk about it when we're older in the rocking chair, you know (smiling).
We'll talk about how it all was. I'm sure I took something away from it, but mostly positive, even though the moment was pretty hard naturally."