Stories of the Open Era: Rafa's and Roger's Strokes of Genius

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Rafael Nadal had lost the two previous Wimbledon finals to Roger Federer. (Getty Images)

The stage was set on Centre Court as the world waited with bated breath. For the third time in three years, tennis’ two heavyweights were ready to meet in the Wimbledon final. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, ubiquitously known as King of Grass and King of Clay, once again were the center of attention. Would the match live up to its hype? Absolutely, and then some.

Top-seeded Federer had gone through his section of the draw without dropping a set, while No. 2 seed Nadal had dropped only one. Unlike their previous Wimbledon finals that saw the Swiss take the opening set and eventually win both titles, the Spaniard changed the narrative. Federer, however, wasn’t ready to give up his domain without an all-time fight. After losing the first two sets, he clawed his way back, winning the next two tiebreaks and saving match points along the way.

At 2-2 in the decider, the match was interrupted by rain for the second time. This was a crucial moment for both players. The question now was, who had the upper hand? Was it Nadal, who squandered two championship points in the fourth set? Or was it Federer, who had won the last two sets?

It turned out the third time was a charm for the Spaniard, who took the fifth set 9-7, becoming the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win French Open-Wimbledon double.


A LANDMARK DOCUMENTARY DURING THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS EVENT IN SPORTS, CELEBRATING THE UNPARALLELED FEDERER-NADAL RIVALRY AND 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREATEST MATCH EVER PLAYED.

In association with All England Lawn & Tennis Club, Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment and Amblin Television.  Directed by Andrew Douglas.

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