The Gentlemen singles final at Wimbledon in 2008 was epic in many ways. It produced some of the most riveting tennis that has ever been seen in the history of the sport.
This tie-breaker was the one which Federer had to win in order to stay alive in the match. Nadal, leading by two-sets to one took a 6-5 lead in the tie-breaker. Federer held on to his serve in a hard fought service game to force the issue into a tie-breaker. Here’s what transpired in the tie-breaker:
After being down and out through the point, Federer produces a forehand down the wide baseline to send the crowd at centre court into raptures. 1-0 to Roger.
That was the last point Federer won for quite some time. A series of winners and aces enabled Nadal to race away to a 4-1 lead. It was heading downhill pretty swiftly for the swiss ace.
Serve and finish business from Federer. A powerful serve and a weak return from Nadal ensured a point for the five-time champion. 4-2.
An unforced error from Federer made it 5-2 in favour of the Spaniard. The fightback began.
A double-fault from Nadal made it 5-3. Trying to force the issue, Nadal smashed a double-handed backhand into the net to make it 5-4. Just the kind of opening Federer needed to claw his way back.
Another forehand winner brought the scores level at 5-5. A booming serve gives Federer a set point at 6-5. A long engaging rally set Federer smash home the winner, but the ball landed wider than what he thought. 6-6.
A failed challenge gave Nadal championship point at 7-6, but Roger hit back with an ace to level things again.
A majestic forehand from Nadal, almost ten inches behind the baseline gave him another championship point at 8-7.
In a do-or-die situation, Federer unleashed a backhand pass that just caught the line. The crowd nearly had their hearts in their mouths. 8-8.
A booming forehand from Federer gave him another set point and he made sure he capitalised this time. A backhand from Nadal went beyond the baseline and the crowd was ecstatic. The match headed into a deciding set. Federer saved the set but couldn’t save the match. Nadal may have clinched the game but Tennis won that day.