On this day: Relive the Epic Federer vs Nadal clash of 2008 Wimbledon Final

Even the sweetest famed Strawberry-cream of Wimbledon must’ve tasted bad to Federer after such a bitter loss to Nadal!

Now, It has been 12 huge years since the noteworthy Wimbledon final match of 2008 men’s singles featuring the two players regarded as the all-time greats, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal took place. Here, the king of clay, Rafa Nadal completed the rarest ever Roland Garros-Wimbledon double, previously only achieved by Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg.

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal 2008 Wimbledon Final
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal 2008 Wimbledon Final

Roger Federer achieved it the next year, in 2009 when Nadal was unfortunately defeated by Robin Soderling in the competition’s final. Nadal also completed the feat in 2010, for a record second time in the history of tennis. Roger Federer, after another epic 2019 Wimbledon final loss [this time to Novak Djokovic] with the freshest set of rules coming from the Wimbledon camp, reminisces and compares his defeat to the 2008 clash with Rafa Nadal.

2008 and 2019: Two opportunity missed by Roger Federer at Wimbledon

Roger Federer
Roger Federer

Comparing the 2019 loss to Djokovic with the 2008 loss to Nadal, in the post-match conference after the 2019 Wimbledon loss, Federer said: “Similar to 2008, maybe I will look back at it and think, well, it’s actually not that bad after all, you know but for now it’s hard and it should, you know, like every loss hurts here at Wimbledon.”

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Of the ending of the 2019 match, Roger opined: “Epic ending. We didn’t have the night coming in or the rain delay like in 2008. The only similarity I see is I was the loser both times.” His feelings after such huge losses? Know if yourself! In Federer’s own words: “It’s hard to tell. I don’t know if losing 2-2-2 feels better than this one,” Roger Federer said. “At the end, it actually doesn’t matter to some extent,” Federer further added.

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“You might feel more disappointed, sad, over-angry. I don’t know what I feel right now. I just feel like it’s such an incredible opportunity missed; I can’t believe it.” Do such losses bog him down, literally? No. That’s what, the persistence, the perseverance which makes him one of the most renowned names in the game.

“But I think it’s the mindset and I am very strong at being able to move on. I don’t wanna be depressed about an amazing tennis match. Yeah, so things are different now. But I’m very happy with my level of play nowadays still,” Federer said.

Players trying to break Federer’s high-held records are only a handful. Nut still, does it scare him? Is it his motivation for his long-stretched career spanning almost a couple of decades now?

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Federer clarifies: “I didn’t become a tennis player for that. I really didn’t. It’s about trying to win Wimbledon, trying to have good runs here, playing in front of such an amazing crowd in this Centre Court against players like Novak, and so forth. That’s what I play for.”

The 2008 season started off badly for Roger, having contracted the viral infection, Mononucleosis, weakening his form. But he bounced back soon enough.

Nadal will always remember Wimbledon 2008 win against Federer

Nadal has been quoted as saying that he never counted on his foot’s capability but it was in its worst phase in the 2008 Wimbledon final. He had to go to such an extent so as to use anesthesia before the start of the 4-hour 48-minute final plagued by several rain delays, which worsened his condition.

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Before the 2008 match, Nadal was filled to the brim, with frustration, anger, doubt, and incompleteness. He, in his own words, was much unhappy with himself rather than anything else in the world. He had failed twice before, on the same occasion, on the two previous consecutive years, against the same opponent. He was extremely thirsty for his first Wimbledon title. He just desperately wanted to achieve it: ANYHOW-BY HOOK OR BY CROOK! Such was the undying determination!

In a free-wheeling chat with Jon Wertheim on 60 minutes on CBS news, Nadal was quoted as saying: “I was sad and I was angry with myself. Because I wasn’t able to endure mentally the pain, the suffering, and the tension.” Nadal’s uncle-cum-ex-coach Toni Nadal did confess that the tension was indeed palpable. But Rafa did ensure Toni that his own mental state was never going to deteriorate ever again. Quoting Toni:

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“I’m telling you, at that point, I thought that Rafael was more likely to lose than to win. And then he looked up at me and said, ‘Relax, I’m not going to lose this match. Maybe Federer will win, but I’m not going to lose.” In Nadal’s memory, the event will be etched until he survives. In his words: “Winning Wimbledon was a dream. And beating Roger, and the way I won. It’s something I will never forget,” he signed off.

Such was the champ that he denied Federer his sixth consecutive title at the Queen’s club, even when Nadal wasn’t in his best physical form. What material are Winners exactly made up of? Well….we’ll have to find out!!

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