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‘I thought I just won Wimbledon’ – Rafael Nadal reminisces on most difficult point ever faced against Roger Federer

Reflecting on the most difficult point he has ever had to face, Rafael Nadal said his “world collapsed” when Roger Federer won an unexpected point in the fourth set of the 2008 Wimbledon final.

The 2008 Wimbledon final will likely go down in tennis history as one of the greatest Grand Slam finals of all time.

Both Federer and Nadal were at the peak of their powers as the top two players in the world were pitted against each other at Queen’s. It was World number two Nadal who emerged victorious 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (8-10), 9-7 after 4 hours and 48 minutes.

This was Nadal’s first Wimbledon trophy after reaching the final in the past two years, losing to Federer on both occasions. Moreover, Nadal also ended Federer’s incredible winning streak of five successive Wimbledon titles.

Nadal had already claimed four Slam titles and has gone on to win another 17 bringing his total tally to a record 21 so far. Whilst Federer boasted 12 Major titles prior and has so far won a further eight to take his current tally to 20.

As such, the duo, alongside Novak Djokovic, are all competing against each other to end their career’s as the most successful male player of all time.

In a recent interview at the Rafa Nadal Academy in his birthplace of Manacor, Spain, Nadal revealed a point in the fourth set of the iconic 2008 final was the most difficult point he had ever faced.

Similarly, Nadal also spoke of the importance of such a monumental win and called it a milestone victory.

In the interview, Nadal detailed the most difficult point he has ever faced. He said “the hardest point that I can remember was the backhand passing [shot] Federer hit in the fourth set, to save match point.

“I had match point during the tie break … I did an open serve, his rest was a slice in the middle of the court. He put the ball where I could best hit it, mid-height, I can hit it with my drive

“When I hit that forehand I did something I never do … I thought ‘I just won Wimbledon’. I hit that forehand, parallel passing, my world collapsed [when Federer won the point with a backhand].”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.