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Rafael Nadal's top five moments at Wimbledon

Published at :June 14, 2024 at 11:27 PM
Modified at :June 14, 2024 at 11:27 PM
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(Courtesy : X/@wimbledon)

Shashank Tripathi

Rafael Nadal made his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon in 2003.

Twenty-two-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has announced that he won’t participate at 2024 Wimbledon Championships. Nadal stated that he’s physically unwell and a surface change would be a huge challenge for him.

With that, tennis enthusiasts might not witness the 38-year-old ever again on grass. However, the Spaniard is a two-time Wimbledon champion and he has played numerous indelible matches, giving the fans moments to cherish whenever they think about the sport.

Thus, with that being said, let’s take a look at Rafael Nadal’s top five moments at the oldest tennis tournament, Wimbledon.

ALSO READ: Confirmed: Rafael Nadal will play doubles alongside Carlos Alcaraz at 2024 Paris Olympics

#5. Debut at age of 14

Nadal made his Wimbledon debut in 2003 and he faced Croatia’s Mario Ancic in the first round. The Spaniard defeated Ancic in four sets and secured a spot in the next round, where he faced Great Britain’s Lee Childs. However, Nadal’s maiden Wimbledon campaign came to an end against former WTA World No. #9 Paradorn Srichaphan.

Additionally, it was Nadal’s Grand Slam debut, and he became the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1984 to make the third round. He missed the grass-court Major in 2004 and then returned the next year, where he lost against Gilles Müller.

#4. First meeting with Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer faced each other for the first time on Grass in 2006. The Spaniard led Federer 6-1 in their head-to-head record prior to their meeting. Interestingly, their first Grass meeting took place in the final of the 2006 edition.

The two were regularly facing each other in the final of the French Open and now, they were set to lock horns on grass. The match was won by Roger Federer in four sets: 6-0, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. However, it started a new chapter of rivalry between the two tennis legends.

#3. Second Wimbledon title

Rafael Nadal became a two-time Grass court champion in 2010 after he defeated Tomas Berdych in the final of the grass court Major in straight sets. After six titles in seven years, Roger Federer was not a part of the championship final after suffering a shocking elimination at the hands of Czech player Berdych in the quarterfinals.

En route the final, Nadal defeated the likes of Andy Murray, Robin Soderling, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Philipp Petzschner, Robin Haase, and Kei Nishikori. Moreover, with the 6–3, 7–5, 6–4 win over Berdych, Nadal completed his second Channel Slam.

#2. Wimbledon 2007 Final

Rafael Nadal lost against Roger Federer in the 2007 final. However, the match was important for the iconic ‘Fedal’ rivalry in tennis. It was Roger Federer’s fifth consecutive major at the All England Club, helping him equal Bjorn Borg’s open-era record of five consecutive Championships.

The match lasted for 3 hours and 45 minutes, with Federer winning 7–6, 4–6, 7–6, 2–6, 6–2. On one side, Federer was displaying his unparalleled flair with top-notch accuracy. Meanwhile, Nadal was answering his strokes with aggression and power.

The match stood equal in terms of serve and break-point conversion. However, Federer smashed a total of 24 aces compared to Nadal’s one. The Swiss tennis legend scored 15 more wins than Nadal (65), but also made 34 unforced errors, compared to Nadal’s 24. However, despite the loss, the two legends embraced each other after the match and gave the tennis world an unforgettable fixture.

#1. Winning maiden Wimbledon title

One year after the 2007 final, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal faced each other again in the 2008 title clash. The final is regarded as one of the greatest tennis matches in the history of the sport and the 2008 final was the third consecutive year in which Federer and Nadal had met in the championship match of the grass court Major.

During that time, Federer was on a 65-match unbeaten streak on grass, which was eventually broken by his arch-rival Rafael Nadal in the final. Much like the previous year’s final, Federer dominated Nadal on aces but made 52 unforced errors. However, the Spaniard made only 27 errors and had a precise game.

Winning a total of 209 points in five sets, Nadal won his first Wimbledon title 6–4, 6–4, 6–7, 6–7, 9–7 in four hours and 48 minutes. After the match, the Spaniard went straight into his stands, where Roger Federer’s father, Robert Federer, also lauded Nadal.

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