Rafael Nadal made his Wimbledon debut in 2003, scoring two wins and becoming one of the youngest players in the third round at age 17. Rafa missed Wimbledon in 2004 due to injury and suffered an early defeat a year after his first Roland Garros.
Rafa won the All England Club Game A in 2006 and reached the title game by battling Roger Federer and losing in four sets. The 2007 final saw a new chapter in the Federer-Nadal rivalry, with Switzerland taking their fifth consecutive title to tie Bjorn Borg’s record.
A few weeks ago, Nadal beat Federer in the Roland Garros final and chased the “Channel Crash” in London. Despite giving his all, the Spaniard had to take second place for the second year in a row.
Three hours and 45 minutes later, Federer broke into the record books with a 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 win, extending his streak at the All England Club. Roger evaded seven of his 11 time-out opportunities, prevailed in the closing stages of the first and third set, and played his best tennis when it was most important for the decision point.
Nadal had a slight advantage in the more advanced rallies and despite early chances that could push him forward were insufficient to keep him safe in the final set.
Speaking of the match, Rafa described the match as a crushing defeat, gave his best and finished empty-handed in what may have been the last Wimbledon final.
Rafa took a break from Roger’s third chance 40-0 in game two and made it 1-3.
Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2007:
At Wimbledon 2007, Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal in five sets.
The Ghosts scored just six points for the tie-break at the end of the set. Federer claimed at 9-7 and got a huge boost. The Swiss saved the time-out in the sixth game of the second set before taking a time-out 5-4 with a backhand winner to level the overall score and increase his chances.
Nadal ditched a time-out opportunity early in the third set and both served well until a new tie-break. Roger took advantage of the two sets to win the game 7-3 and was eager to go beyond the fourth set.
Instead, Nadal started all over again and took a 4-0 lead and played at a high level to force a decisive point after losing seven points in four service matches.
Federer had to deepen the serve early in the fifth set, fending off four timeouts and gaining momentum that carried him home. The Swiss took a break from games six and eight to seal the deal after beating the last four games by twos and join Bjorn Borg for five Wimbledon crowns.
“I was very sad to lose the Wimbledon final in 2007; I was ready to win that year and thought this might be my last chance to lift the Wimbledon trophy,” said Rafael Nadal.