Rafael Nadal has won just about every trophy possible in tennis. Even though he dominates at the French Open, he has had some tough and gritty matches in the other Slams. Some defeats have been agonizing for the Spaniard and have had a significant impact on his career.
In a recent interview with Corriere Della Sera, Nadal spoke about some of his heartbreaking Grand Slam final losses. Nadal revealed the emotional outpour that he had after losing the 2007 Wimbledon final to his rival, Roger Federer.
“Desperately. For an hour and a half. Because sometimes the disillusionment is terrible; even if it’s just a tennis match.”
(Quotes have been translated from Italian using Google Translate)
Nadal and Federer played three successive Wimbledon finals between 2006 and 2008. Nadal lost the first two and was evidently gutted losing a Wimbledon final. But then came the 2008 final, which was an epic, five-hour marathon. Nadal finally sealed his first Wimbledon title then, a title that is one of his favorite and emotional victories.
“I cried in pain when, in the Australian Open final with Wawrinka in 2014, I injured my back after winning the first set. I lost, but I completed the match; because we don’t retire from a Grand Slam final.”
After the 2014 Australian Open final, Nadal did win the French Open, but then had two injury-ridden seasons in 2015 and 2016, where he didn’t win a single Grand Slam title. But as we all know, Rafa came back from that setback and has since gone on to extend his dominance at French Open and tie with Federer in terms of the number of Grand Slam titles.
Nadal has had injuries troubling him in crucial times. The Spaniard had mentioned a foot injury prior to the 2008 Wimbledon final. And during the final, under the dose of anesthesia, Nadal played with one foot ‘asleep’. Yet his never-give-up attitude and fighting spirit helped him clinch the 2008 final.