Rafael Nadal beat out five-time champion Roger Federer on Sunday, to win the Wimbledon men’s tennis final, in an epic, incredible match that lasted 4 hours and 48 minutes, making it the longest singles final in the tournament’s 131 year history.
I’m not much of a sports fan, but this was some of the most astonishing game play I’ve ever witnessed and both athletes have to be commended for their unbelievable endurance, stamina, and skilled performance, during one of the most difficult matches of their respective careers.
Federer was as gracious in defeat as Nadal was in victory and both men paid respect to each other for their competitive play and resilience. It was an incredible match — one that was easily able to be appreciated and lauded regardless of the victor — and I’m simply amazed that they were still hitting 130 mph serves after playing for more than 4 1/2 hours straight. Now that’s some serious athleticism.
No man had beaten Roger Federer at Wimbledon since 2002. But in near darkness, one of the greatest tennis matches ever played concluded Sunday with Roger Federer hitting a short forehand into the net and with a victorious Rafael Nadal flat on his back with camera flashes illuminating his drained and delighted face.
Nadal had come the closest to beating Federer in last year’s final, pushing his friendly rival to five sets before ending up in tears in the locker room as Federer equaled Bjorn Borg’s modern men’s record with his fifth straight victory.
Last year’s emotional tussle immediately took its place among the best Wimbledon finals, but this five-set classic — played on a rainy, gusty day — was better yet.
At 4 hours 48 minutes, it was the longest singles final in Wimbledon’s 131-year history and did not finish until 9:16 p.m. local time.
“The most important thing is to win the title,” said Nadal, who won, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7. “After that, you think about winning against the No. 1, probably the best player in history or close, and the fact it was so dramatic. But it’s one of the most powerful feelings I’ve had in my life.”