In 2008, as in many years prior and to come, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal ruled men’s tennis. At that point, their realms of dominance were complementary: Nadal won everything on clay, while Federer won everything on grass and hard courts.
Wimbledon ‘08 marked Nadal’s first-ever incursion onto Federer’s turf. He won the Men’s Singles final on centre court to finally complete a match that lasted over 5 hours, plus 2 hours of rain delays. By winning that epic rollercoaster of match, Nadal staked a genuine claim to the throne of Greatest Male Tennis Player On Earth.
To understand the weight of that final point, we must rewind not only the match itself, but the tournaments leading up to it, the history of prior head-to-head Nadal vs. Federer battles, and the similarities of legendary matches from history.
Watch this episode of Rewinder for the full background of what some call the greatest tennis match of all time, and check out prior episodes here.