February 25, 2021

Is the 2008 final between Nadal-Federer the best game in history?

The added pressure is when you're playing badly; when you already have good feelings, apart from winning, you play to continue enjoying the opportunity to continue fighting for the things that are most important in our sport at such an advanced age, "Rafa Nadal explained. For him and for Federer in tennis, it's all about enjoying. They have won everything and want to keep winning while having fun. And the grass, which has never been the best environment for the game of Spanish, now appears as an ideal setting for fun.

Nadal is enjoying as ever on the increasingly scarce grass of the tracks of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. He has only lost one set, in the second round against Kyrgios, after having faced players as powerful as the Australian, Tsonga or the one who was the best punch of the tournament, Sam Querrey, whom he liquidated in a convincing way in three sets without giving him option in the last two, not even with your service.

Rafa arrives at the best moment to play an eternal game, a new encounter with Federer. They have accompanied each other during their careers, stealing titles from each other and getting bigger at the same time. The match makes the memory go back to that final of 2008 when Nadal won his first Wimbledon at nightfall.

"My memory is great, it was one of the great duels in the history of tennis," he recalls in a conversation with the Efe agency the chairman of that final, the Frenchman Pascal Maria. "The tennis was very good, the atmosphere that surrounded it was special," he adds. The party lengthened because of the rain, lasted almost five hours -4 hours 48 minutes- and the Hawk's Eye stopped working. "I had to tell the players, but it's a common situation. The good thing is that no one remembers the game for that, "recalls Maria. «The players had to accept it».

Eleven years have passed and Rafa's proposals are not the same as then. Neither are Roger's. Also his game has changed. "It takes better, it subtracts better, the reverse has it better although, possibly, it does not have the displacement of yesteryear", explains Francis Roig, the coach of Nadal. "I do not want to say that today's Rafa would win that of 2008, but he did need, to be here, to make this change and not rely on a theme of the rival's wear and a lot of intimidation and a lot of power on the court. Today is a much better player, "he adds. Federer has also evolved: "The reverse has improved a lot and with this racket the ball is easier".

«I always remember him with a lot of nerves. It was the match that I have lived with more nerves of all these years, "recalls Toni Nadal, the uncle and former coach of Rafa, in statements to the agency Efe. «I knew how important it was for us. Today is not so much, but again decisive, "he adds.

(tagsToTranslate) domingo garcía

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