Rafael Nadal has won 19 Grand Slams. The king of clay has battled through various injuries and now is knocking on Federer’s Grand Slam tally. One of those 19 wins is special and spectacular in every tennis lover’s mind.
The 2008 Wimbledon final is regarded as one of the greatest Grand Slam finals of all time. It featured Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Federer was a 5-time defending champion coming into the final. The duration of the final was 4 hours 48 minutes and the final score was 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-7 9-7. Gruesome winners and rain delays highlighted the match but Rafa in the end took the win.
Nadal had lost the 2006 and 2007 Wimbledon final to Federer. But finally, the Spaniard cracked the Wimbledon code against the Swiss master in 2008 and got his revenge.
In a recent interview with Moviestar, Nadal revealed that he had severe injuries in his foot. He took anesthesia before the match so that the foot didn’t disturb him while playing.
“I have never counted it, but in the 2008 Wimbledon final I had to play with my foot asleep from the start of the match,” he said.
Nadal’s foot was asleep. He couldn’t control it and the constant rain delays that day made matters worse for the Spaniard.
“I had to play with my foot asleep from the start of the game. The stops complicated everything because the anesthesia didn’t last and I needed it because I couldn’t support my foot. ” said the Spaniard.
Note: The quotes are translations from Spanish to English
Nadal came into 2008 Wimbledon with a huge amount of confidence. Earlier that year he defeated Federer in the French Open final for the third consecutive time. But that final was Federer’s worst loss in Grand Slams. He just won 4 games in the whole match and it was a humiliation for Federer who was then eyeing to complete the career grand slam.
Nadal had always been a marathon man on the tennis court. Surviving injuries and not breaking under pressure, Nadal has been mentally and physically strong throughout his career even when conditions didn’t favor him.