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AP Photo/Lewis Whyld, pool
Spain's Rafael Nadal falls to the ground after defeating Roger Federer to win the Men's
Singles final on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Sunday, July 6, 2008. (AP)

Nadal Unseats Wimbledon’s King

July 07, 2008 12:59 PM
by Liz Colville
In Wimbledon’s longest-ever singles final, No. 2 Rafael Nadal beat top-ranked Roger Federer, who had won the tournament five years in a row.

30-Second Summary

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Nadal is only the second Spaniard to win Wimbledon after Manuel Santana’s 1966 victory, and the first player since Bjorn Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year. He won the title by playing one of his typical marathon matches, a nearly five-hour battle that is already being called an all-time classic.

Rain delays stretched out the extremely close match twice before the final set led Nadal to victory in near darkness at 9:15 p.m. local time. Winning the first two sets and dropping the second two, Nadal faced two tie breaks in the third and fourth sets before closing out the fifth set 9-7.

Leading up to the final, Nadal suggested in his blog for the Times of London that the good memories from last year would spur him to victory this time around; he has lost to Federer in the past two finals. “I didn’t win last year, I was close, but I still remember the good things,” he wrote on July 3.

In characteristic fashion, Nadal ended the match lying face up on the ground in ecstatic disbelief. Responding to Federer’s error, a short return of Nadal’s serve, Nadal lay “flat on his back with camera flashes illuminating his drained and delighted face,” writes Christopher Clarey in the New York Times.

Headline Link: ‘Nadal hails “dream” Wimbledon win’

Background: Nadal sets himself up for a record

Opinion & Analysis: Approaching Federer’s greatness

Key Players: The best in men’s tennis

Roger Federer (1981–)
Rafael Nadal (1986–)
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