During the cab ride back home shortly after arriving in Boston yesterday afternoon, NPR announced that Rafael Nadal had just defeated Roger Federer to win the Wimbledon Men's Final. They went to live feed from the BBC where both Nadal and Federer were interviewed on center court. For a such a fierce rivalry, Nadal and Federer showed nothing but the utmost class and sportsmanship, especially Federer who was gracious in defeat.
It was the longest Wimbledon Final ever lasting 4 hours and 48 minutes (excluding two rain delays). Nadal won in five sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7. The Final ended past 9 p.m. in near darkness. If Federer had won it would have been his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title which would have surpassed Bjorn Borg's achievement of winning five consecutive Wimbledon's from 1976-1980. Borg was present at the Final. Federer is considered the Tiger Woods of tennis and indeed Federer and Woods are friendly with each other and have done commercials together. Federer's arch nemesis has been Nadal who has owned Federer in the French Open, which he was won four the past four years. However, Nadal has consistently come up short at Wimbledon including last year. But when a tennis guru like Bud Collins calls the Nadal-Federer match better than Borg-McEnroe in 1980 then you really have something special. It is worth noting that Nadal is the first player since Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year. Borg pulled off that feat in that magical year of 1980. I think the only man who had a better year than Borg in 1980 was Ronald Reagan. Hopefully, neither Federer nor Nadal will prematurely retire as Borg did in 1981 and thus deprive us of a rivalry that might be as good as the Red Sox-Yankees.