Wimbledon 2008: One for the Ages

If you missed the 2008 Wimbledon final, you missed one for the ages. Roger Federer came into this match as the Tiger Woods of tennis. Rafael Nadal came in as the number one contender—someone who’s been spoiling for this fight for a long time.

The match went longer than any other final in the history of Wimbledon—4 hours and 48 minutes (it broke the record set by McEnroe Bjorn Borg in 1980). But that wasn’t the only record set. Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win Wimbledon and the French Open in the same season. Nadal won it 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7.

My commentary won’t do this match justice. Take a look at the highlights below.

Fourth Set Tiebreaker

The Entire Fifth Set


  • quixote

    Roger is still the best player in the world. He had a very off day. Think about it. Nadal has 24 unforced errors. Roger has 52. And Roger STILL takes the match to 9-7 in the 5th. Roger doesn’t usually have so many unforced errors. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him miss so many backhands in the middle of the net (so far below the tape). Even with his off game, Nadal barely beat him. And I KNOW Nadal was thanking his luck stars that the 5th set couldn’t be won in a tie-breaker! Roger’s still the best!!!!

  • Jeff Lash

    I would hardly say that Federer had a “very off day.” Yes, he committed 52 errors. However, it was a five set match lasting nearly 5 hours. Also, the difference in the errors can be attributed to very different styles. Though they both play primarily from the baseline, Nadal plays with a lot heavier topspin which enables him to hit the lines with greater frequency. Federer plays with more driving power, especially on the forehand side. Plus, unforced errors can be deceiving. The level of play can contribute to players needing to go for more which causes more errors.

    There is no doubt that Federer is the man and one of the all time greats even now. Sadly, I think he will surpass Sampras in Grand Slam titles. But the Nadal/Federer rivalry has just been taken up a notch. And now, Nadal is confident that he can beat Federer even on his best surface. There is certainly a changing of the guard. Nadal is the best player in 2008 and could be the man to beat for the next few years.

  • Tim Morrison

    Dr. Burk,

    This is absolutely not related to this post, but I wanted to offer my heartfelt “Congratulations!” on your new appointment as Dean of Boyce College. We in the Southern Seminary family are blessed to have you.

    Tim Morrison

  • John

    Why in the world did you delete my post? It was good-spirited and you’re random about which posts you delete sometimes.

  • quixote

    Denny? Dean? Boyce?

    I thought this was a tennis thread…


    Mr. Lash,

    I stand by my assessment of Federer. 5 sets, yes. 5 hours, yes, Multiple rain delays, yes. But as a lifetime player and a Federer junkie, I want to say that I’ve never seen him so “listless.” He displayed negative emotions more than I’ve seen. He hardly had any “legs” midway through. He hit in the middle of the net (vertically) worse than I’ve ever seen. I started to wonder if he had the flu or something. At one point, I thought maybe he has a broken bone in his leg (ala Tiger). :o)

    I’m all for rivalry, and as a former Sampras junkie, was sad at first by Roger’s dominance. But I don’t think Nadal is a good as Roger. And I still think if there were tiebreakers in the 5th, Roger would have won it.

    Now I’m just hoping that this defeat will give Roger something to train for, since the French has been his only impetus for so long. And I also wish that at some point Nadal will find some different undergarments or signal the camera crew when he’s going to pick his rear. Nasty.

  • Erik

    What an epic five set match by the two titans of tennis. My eyes were glued to this marathon for 4 hours and 48 minutes! This was the greatest and perhaps the best quality tennis I have ever witnessed in any tournament. Congrats to Nadal for taking down the great Federer.

  • Jeff Lash


    Federer definitely dumped several shots into the net. But again, I think that we saw a level of play from two players that has rarely been seen. If we are really honest, Federer has hardly been challenged the last couple of years. We are so used to seeing him dominate lesser opponents that a match like this make him look beatable. Nobody has been able to put together a complete game against him except Nadal…at least not consistently. Could Federer have played better? Maybe so. But I think Nadal had something to do with that.

    I agree though…I think, had there been a 5th set tiebreak, Federer would have won the match. He had the mental edge having won the two previous sets. But I like playing out the 5th set. It makes Wimbledon unique in that way. It makes for great tennis.

    I also think your right in that Federer will be concentrating and training harder now that he has a challenge. It’s going to make for some great tennis ahead.

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