No. 2 Rafael Nadal has defeated No. 12 Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 to win the Wimbledon 2010 Gentlemen’s Singles Championship.
The third set rolled along much as the first two had. Berdych played extremely well, and had a break point at 1-1. But Nadal staved it off, and nine straight holds made it look like a tiebreak was inevitable.
But once again, Nadal struck late in the set. After facing a game point at 4-5, and after facing a game point, won three straight points to take the match, finishing it with a trademark running forehand cross-court passing shot.
Nadal broke in the last game of all three sets.
Nadal celebrated his eighth career grand slam title by falling to his back in joy, and after the handshake celebrated some more with a somersault.
The win secures Nadal’s place at the top of the rankings through the US Open, and will likely soon ensure his spot as year-end No. 1 as well.
Now is the time for Nadal to celebrate, surely, but fairly soon he will have to figure out what sort of schedule he’s going to play on American hard courts this summer to give himself the best possible chance of staying fresh and injury-free. Will he skip Toronto or Cincinnati for the first time? Will definitely be interesting to see how his new-found confidence plays out against his recently acquired moderation.