"This is the greatest match I've ever seen," said John McEnroe, who himself had played some great tennis at the Wimbledon.
His words have been repeated many a time by Tennis pundits and fans over these three years. Yes, Nadal and Federer played an absolute classic. When Federer's forehand hit the net at 9.16 p.m. on Sunday, Nadal lifted the gold trophy for the first time in his life in near darkness.
Nadal won the match 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 to be the first man since Bjorn Borg to win back-to-back French and Wimbledon titles. The match was even more tight than the scorecard suggests.
Nadal took the first two sets comfortably breaking Federer on each occasion. The match looked over but then Federer raised his game. He got the third set in a tiebreaker. The fourth set was very intense. It went to a tiebreak and Nadal had two championship points. Federer saved them both and won the tiebreaker.
The match went on to the final set and there were no tiebreaks this time. This set was the perfect picture of Nadal-Federer rivalry. Federer with his perfection and Nadal with his powerful hits. When the match was at 2-2, rain interuped play and this gave necessary time for Nadal to regain his physical play. The world is still wondering, "What would have happened if there was a roof at that time?"
But, what is done is done. When the players came back, Nadal saved a crucial break point and Federer saved three of his own to balance the game at 7-7. Then Federer gave Nadal a break by netting his forehand. Nadal wrapped the set at 9-7.
The game consumed almost 1,400 megawatt of electricity at 9.20 p.m., a record that stands till date in England.
A song from Pink Floyd went as below,
The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river
Forever and ever
In this case, the light was darker and the taste was sweeter for Nadal. The last line seems true both for the song and the match. Forever and Ever, it will last in our memories!
David Glimore wrote this song. He was a genius and so were Federer and Nadal.
Let us hope that this rivalry breaks all the barriers of tennis.