Rafael Nadal recalls his ‘dream’ win at the Wimbledon Championship 2008. The Spaniard also reveals his mindset coming into the finals against his arch-rival Roger Federer, who defeated him in the previous two Wimbledon finals. The second loss left Nadal “utterly destroyed”.
However, how did he improve his mental strength and confidence to defeat Federer psychologically in a match, where there was nothing to differentiate between them?
In the 2008 Championships finals, the then 22-year-old Nadal finally dethroned Federer 6-4, 6-4,6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (8-10), 9-7 after the nearly seven hours of play which included rain delays. The Mallorcan achieved his dream, capturing his maiden Wimbledon title at the SW19 as darkness descended on an enraptured Centre Court.
“I was sad and angry with myself”: Rafael Nadal
Talking about the 2007 Wimbledon final against the Swiss maestro, Nadal revealed that he felt really low after the loss. In the title match, Nadal was defeated in a stunning five-setter 6-7, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2, 2-6 at the hands of Federer in an epic three hours and 45 minutes battle.
“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 said in an interview with Jon Wertheim on 60 minutes at CBS news.
However, the Spaniard came back to end the five-time champion Federer’s reign after the latter hit a short forehand in the net. Nadal shocked the world, including his coach Toni with his outstanding performance in the deciding set.
“I thought that Rafael was more likely to lose”: Toni
Rafael Nadal’s uncle and ex-coach Toni Nadal explained that he didn’t expect Nadal to win the match. However, the 58-year-old revealed that his nephew assured him, he will not lose the match even if Federer wins.
“I’m telling you, at that point, I thought that Rafael was more likely to lose than to win,” said Toni. “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’.”
“Winning Wimbledon was a dream. And beating Roger, and the way I won. It’s something I will never forget,” Nadal concluded.
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