Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Federer vs Nadal as it happened

Wimbledon men’s singles final result:

R FEDERER (Swi) 1 v R NADAL (Sp) 2

7-6 4-6 7-6 2-6 6-2

FIFTH SET

Federer 6-2 Nadal
Nadal plops a forehand into the net and the Spaniard is reeling. Someone needs to have a word with Bjorn, he’s gone from battleship grey to chilli-red in the space of four hours. Nadal claws his way back into the game but makes it 15-30 with a mis-hit forehand that lands wide. Federer bunts a backhand long before Nadal shows a featherlite touch at the net, angling a backhand volley to leave Federer nailed to the turf. Federer, like a batsman anticipating a slower ball, runs round a Nadal second serve and clumps it straight back past the Spaniard. The umpire then overrules the line judge and Hawkeye makes the umpire right – Nadal’s advantage. Federer brings it back to deuce with a gun-barrel straight backhand down the line before Nadal gives Federer a Championship point with a ballooned forehand. Nadal saves! Federer gets a net cord that the Spaniard manages to pick up and the Swiss puts a forehand long. A second Championship point after Nadal finds the net with a forehand – and that’s that, Federer’s fifth successive title, sealed with a sizzling overhead. Down goes Roger and on come the waterworks – he really is a sensitive guy. Now that, my friends, was what you call a classic and it was a pleasure telling you all about it.

“There’s nothing as nail biting as reading your live report whilst on a train with an intermittent signal.”
Gary, on a train near Northampton, via text

Federer 5-2 Nadal
That’s a regulation hold for Federer, securing the game with his 24th ace.

Federer 4-2 Nadal
I wonder how Sir Cliff’s holding up – I, for one, am tensing up as the end draws near. That’s mesmerising tennis from Federer, chasing down a poor Nadal volley and whipping a forehand down the line. And that’s three break points, Federer ramming home a forehand winner. Rafa saves the first, Federer pushing a forehand long. But he can’t save the next – what a point. Nadal and Federer pepper the lines in a lengthy exchange before the reigning champion puts Nadal away with a disguised forehand winner. Big fist pump-roar combination from Federer, he knows he’s got Nadal on the ropes. How much dog as Nadal got in him? We’re about to find out.

Federer 3-2 Nadal
Roger’s timing is temporarily off and he frames a backhand wide. Nothing wrong with the next point though, sending a booming serve down the middle and finishing it off with a forehand winner. Federer goes long, and loses a challenge, to make it 15-30 and he hands Nadal another two break points by spooning a forehand wide. This is getting serious. Nadal blows the first, sending a forehand just long, and Roger shows his manliness with a thunderous serve straight down the middle. Federer is some scrapper – Nadal goes long to hand him the advantage before finding the net with a forehand to hand the Swiss the game. This is sport at its best, and certainly the best men’s final since Ivanisevic v Rafter in 2001.

Federer 2-2 Nadal
Solid backhand volley from Nadal takes him to 15-0 and he’s at the net again, this time dispatching an overhead. Nadal puts a tame backhand into the net before rearranging his smalls for the umpteenth time today. That’s one little tick he might want to iron out. Good scrambling from Nadal and eventually Federer mis-hits a forehand long and the Spaniard holds.

“If Nadal keeps reading Federer’s serve as well as he did in that last game, he has a fantastic chance to win here.”
Andy Murray on BBC Five Live

Federer 2-1 Nadal
Fabulous backhand volley from Federer but Nadal hits back with a fine backhand down the line. That’s classic Nadal, wrapping his racquet round the ball on the run and whipping it across Federer and he earns two break points when Federer balloons a backhand long. Nadal, however, blows both, missing the line with an attempted forehand winner on the second. Advantage Federer as Nadal finds the net with a forehand and Federer shows some serious grit to hold, whipping a forehand down the line. The defending champion dodges a bullet.

Federer 1-1 Nadal
Great scrapping from Federer at the back of the court but Nadal moves to 30-15 with a dreamy forehand pass. Federer fluffs a forehand but follows up with a doozy of a forehand that clips the sideline. The Swiss, however, hands Nadal the game with a backhand that lands wide.

Federer 1-0 Nadal
Nadal challenges again – he’s not making any friends in the Federer household – but this time he’s wrong and Federer wins the point. That’s a comfortable hold from Roger, but the crowd seem to be with the Spaniard here at Wimbledon, just as they were with Federer at the French.

“You have to think the momentum is with Nadal now. But we don’t know about his knee, he has cooled down a bit with this mid-set break and Federer has been able to think things over a bit. It’s a coin toss now, it really is.”
BBC Sport pundit Jimmy Connors

“There’s no tie-break in the fifth set. Federer could be in trouble.”
Mike from Poole via text

FOURTH SET

Federer 2-6 Nadal
Nadal finds the line with a backhand to move to 30-0 but Federer’s clinging on for dear life hear, manoeuvring Nadal around the court before winning the point with a surgeon’s touch, whipping a forehand down the line. But that’s a hold for Nadal and also the set, the Spaniard outlasting Federer from the back of the court. We have a decider and it’s official – we have a classic…Nadal’s off to powder his nose…

Federer 2-5 Nadal
Another ace from Rog…and another. Nadal gets a foothold in the game courtesy of some serious forehands and a cheeky drop-volley, but Federer holds quite comfortably. Borg and Santana are having a natter – that’s six Wimbledon titles wedged into just two seats.

Federer 1-5 Nadal
Minor repairs is all, it seems – Nadal is given the run-around, but he punches a backhand winner past the diving Federer. Federer finds the baseline with a backhand volley before Nadal comes up with a double-fault. Hope that injury isn’t affecting his serve…it’s not affecting his backhand – he makes it 30-30 with a clunk down the line. And Nadal holds, Federer sending a backhand return just wide.

“Roger isn’t enjoying the battle, whereas Rafa looks like he is having the best day of his life.”
Gary, Coventry via text

Federer 1-4 Nadal
Federer sends a backhand long as Nadal moves to 15-30 and Federer is a brooding presence at the moment, he makes Heathcliff look like Julian Clary when he’s a bit upset. A little exchange between Nadal and Federer – Roger made a snide remark after Nadal sent a forehand long and Nadal pats a little barb back his way. But Federer clings on, coming up with a couple of big serves at the right time. This is a bit of a concern – Nadal has got the physio on and he’s going to work on his right knee. Nadal would make a mighty fine poker player – not a flicker as the quack prods and pokes his kneecap, although I can hear the cracks from here. Here comes the magic spray and on goes a patella strap. Patch him up and get him back out there – I’m enjoying this.

Federer 0-4 Nadal
Easy hold for Nadal and the winners are spewing forth from his end of the court – he finishes that game with an ace.

Federer 0-3 Nadal
Brutal hitting from Nadal, fizzing a forehand down the line to move to 15-0 and Federer gives up another point, patting the ball tamely into the net. The lineslady takes one for the team as Federer makes it 30-30. Nadal challenges and Hawkeye makes him right – his forehand grazed the line. Then ensues a bizarre exchange between Federer and the umpire – I think he asked for Hawkeye to be turned off. And that’s the break, Federer clipping the top of the net with a forehand. Federer tottering, Nadal’s dander well and truly up. Federer has the raving hump and he has another chunter to the umpire at the end of the game – “it’s killing me” he says, referring to Hawkeye. Federer rattled, and you don’t see that very often.

Federer 0-2 Nadal
Nadal has the bit between his teeth and he moves to 30-0 with a forehand winner. Federer has been getting 81% of his service returns in, so he’s really making his opponent graft. Federer makes it 40-30 with a forehand winner down the middle, but Nadal holds courtesy of a deep first serve.

Federer 0-1 Nadal
Federer is quick out of the blocks in this fourth set but Nadal brings is back to 30-30 with a whipped cross-court pass. That’s a break point for Nadal, Federer spooning a forehand long, and Nadal draws blood, leaving Federer groping at the net with a dipping forehand winner. Roger’s been mugged.

THIRD SET

Federer 7-6 Nadal
A mini-break for Federer, the Swiss clipping the sideline with a forehand. Roger goes 2-0 with a beefy forehand that Nadal can only steer wide, but Nadal breaks back with a fizzing forehand return. These balls are going to need a good rub down and a weekend at a Champneys health resort after this match. Nadal goes long with a forehand, but rams home his 18th forehand winner to make it 3-2. Federer strikes back with an ace out wide before Nadal has a lengthy towel-down and the champion moves to 6-2 as Nadal blazes a backhand well long. Federer blows one set point with a tame backhand into the net but Nadal goes long with a backhand on the next point – that’s Federer’s set, and what a brutal set it was. Federer goes off to point Percy at the porcelain while Nadal collects his thoughts and gets some ‘energy’ down his neck.

“There’s a lot of gruelling rallies out there, with both players contesting every point and refusing to give an inch. Sooner or later, that will take it’s toll on one or both of them.”
BBC Sport pundit John Lloyd

Federer 6-6 Nadal
A couple of net cords and a well-constructed point for Nadal, bringing Federer in with the sliced backhand before whipping home the forehand. Nadal has a sniff, but blows it, crashing a forehand into the net. Big chance that. Federer slams home an ace, which Nadal challenges – it grazed the line, and I reckon Nadal knew it – and wins the game with another. We have another breaker…

Federer 5-6 Nadal
Federer challenges but loses – Nadal’s serve just grazed the line. Good defence from Federer at the back of the court but Nadal hammers home the overhead. Federer’s eyes widen at the sight of a very hittable second serve, but he blazes wide, before Nadal hits a forehand into the net to make it 40-30. Federer, whoever, goes long with a forehand and that’s a hold. This is Roger’s longest game of the tournament so far – how’s he going to hold up? Connors reckons he’d rather had had Nadal’s route to the final, and he knows a thing or two about tennis.

Federer 5-5 Nadal
Federer hammers home another ace to move to 30-0, and another to make it 40-0. That serve has been a serious weapon in this set. A woman’s touch from Nadal, caressing the ball over the net and leaving Federer floundering and Nadal brings it back to deuce. Federer wins the next point, however, Federer rising like a salmon and putting away the backhand smash. And that’s game Federer, the Swiss picking a ball up off his toes at the net after a frenetic exchange.

Federer 4-5 Nadal
Nadal ease 30-0 but Federer forces a mistake with some searching groundstrokes. Nadal uses up another challenge, the ball was correctly called out, and Federer has a little moan-up – Roger’s not a fan of Hawkeye. Federer is peering through the letter box, but Nadal slaps it shut, outlasting the Swiss in a lengthy rally before finding a big serve that Federer can only parry into the net. Haven’t seen an celebs on Centre Court – but there’s Sir Cliff, exchanging some Christian rhymes with a lady in a floral dress.

Federer 4-4 Nadal
Federer dispatches a forehand volley before giving Nadal the run-around with some hefty groundstrokes – 40-0. Nadal slams a forehand return wide and that’s another easy hold. Nadal not keeping Federer honest on his serve at the moment, he needs to be making him graft.

Federer 3-4 Nadal
That almost defied belief from Nadal, wrapping his racquet around the ball on the run and whipping a cross-court winner past Federer. ‘Pop’ goes his racquet, and he opens up a new one. Nadal mis-hits a backhand wide but Federer comes up with an unforced error of his own, fluffing a backhand. Federer finds the net with another backhand and that’s a hold for Nadal. All very comfortable on serve for both men at the moment, but you get the impression it could to go off at any moment.

Federer 3-3 Nadal
Federer comes to the net and punches home a winner before coming up with his 13th ace. Nadal does manage to win a point on the Federer serve when the Swiss finds the net with a backhand. More acrobatics from Nadal, retrieving on the tumble, but Federer dinks the winner cross court to win the game. The line judge called it out, the umpire overruled.

Federer 2-3 Nadal
Awesome from Nadal, whip-cracking a forehand winner down the line, and more of the same, the Spaniard fizzing one past Federer on the other flank. Fairy Liquid hands from Nadal, dinking an angled drop-shot that leaves Federer rooted. This is a dog fight – who’s got more mongrel?

“While Nadal’s playing exquisite tennis, I’m a bit perplexed as to why Federer is choosing to duke it out on the baseline with the Spaniard.”
sports4ever07 on 606

Federer 2-2 Nadal
Federer sends down ace 11 and 12 and moves to 40-0 with another serve that Nadal can only parry. Cheap game for Federer, Nadal plonking a backhand into the net – that took about a minute.

Federer 1-2 Nadal
New balls and Federer switches to a new racquet, as is his habit. Some hearty groundstrokes from Nadal and he moves to 30-0. Beautifully-constructed point from Federer, luring Nadal in with a sliced backhand before whipping home the forehand winner. That’s a serious piece of low torque titanium mesh Nadal’s wielding, and that’s a hold, Nadal whipping home a forehand winner.

Federer 1-1- Nadal
Nadal is taking plenty of time between games, even when he’s not supposed to, and you can’t help thinking there are some mind games going on here – Roger doesn’t like to be kept waiting. Federer eases to 40-0 before Nadal pulls off a crackerjack shot, an angled backhand on the run. But Federer out-slugs Nadal from the baseline and that’s a hold.

Federer 0-1- Nadal
Backhand winner down the line from Federer before he gets a spot of chin music from Nadal, the ball rearing up off the sideline. Federer fends the ball off and puts away a classic cross-court backhand winner. Nadal levels things at 30-30 but Federer has a break point after Nadal goes long with a backhand. Federer is unable to punish a Nadal second serve, slicing a backhand long, and Nadal pulls out a plum of a serve to hold. Big cahones from Nadal.

“Federer is getting a little irritated over the last couple of games and I get the feeling he is a little off-kilter at the moment.”
BBC Sport pundit Jimmy Connors

SECOND SET

Federer 4-6 Nadal
Federer is getting a little testy out there – another net cord and Nadal puts away the forehand winner. Shades of Becker from Nadal, the Spaniard scrambling at the back of the court before clipping home a backhand winner while tumbling backwards. Federer has another little chunter – he thought his serve was out and wasn’t prepared for the return. Not clever. And that’s two break points, Federer unable to live with a beefy backhand, and Nadal only needs one, punching a backhand winner past the groping Swiss. Things are level – told you it would be a classic…

Federer 4-5 Nadal
Nadal gets a welcome net cord and makes the most of it, fizzing a top-spin forehand past a groping Federer. There is something almost sinister about the way Federer goes about his work – silently floating across the surface of the court, oblivious to the maternity ward gruntings coming down from the other end. Federer finds a break, but Nadal finds good length on his first serve to save. An unforced error from Federer, plopping a backhand into the base of the net, and Nadal holds, Federer sticking his return long. Federer had his head in the door, but Nadal managed to slam it closed.

Federer 4-4 Nadal
Nadal goes long with a forehand and misses the sideline with an attempted pass. Nadal getting some serious whip with that grip of his, but Federer gets the better of a baseline rally before winning the game with a forehand volley. Getting to the business end of the set now…

“Federer has only had his service broken four times in these Championships so far. When he serves at his quickest – around 130mph – his opponent has just 0.55 seconds to react, which is the equivalent of facing an Andrew Flintoff seamer. It is no wonder he is so hard to break.”
BBC Sport analyst Jason Goodall

Federer 3-4 Nadal
Federer has a grumble about a Nadal serve, but doesn’t challenge. Nadal moves easily to 40-30 but a couple of unforced errors gives Federer a whiff of a chance. Federer, however, does blow another challenge, Hawkeye deciding his forehand down the line was just out, and Nadal takes the game.

“It’s crucial that Nadal wins this set, you don’t want to go two sets down against Federer. And the Spaniard is hitting the ball outrageously hard in a bid to stay on top of the current champion.”
BBC Sport pundit Jimmy Connors

Federer 3-3 Nadal
Nadal has a sniff at 15-30, Federer punching a backhand long, but Federer dredges up a big first serve to make it 15-40 – no he doesn’t! Nadal challenges and Hawkeye says it just missed the line. Federer bristles. Nadal then outlasts Federer from the baseline to earn two break points, but Federer saves with two aces. Touche. This is savage serving from the Swiss – another ace, and Mirka screams “allez!” Fine hold from Federer as Nadal goes long with a forehand. Gutsy.

Federer 2-3 Nadal
Some meaty ground-strokes from Federer, and he moves to 30-30 with a searching forehand that leaves Nadal groping at thin air. Federer, however, balloons long from the rear of the court before Nadal outlasts Federer in a distinctly clay court rally. Nadal’s girlfriend is clinging onto her stress ball for dear life. What would I give to be that stress ball.

Federer 2-2 Nadal
It is difficult not to use boxing analogies when you’re writing about Nadal – a bold and bristling unit, he goes about his business like a welterweight brawler, bouncing from foot to foot and sending home the occasional clunking blow. That said, that’s a straightforward service hold for Roger.

Federer 1-2 Nadal
Nadal gets the better of a lengthy exchange, failing to put away the overhead but forcing Federer into a mistake on his backhand. Nadal in Road Runner mode, skipping across the baseline and just failing to put away an attempted forehand winner, but that’s a hold, Federer plopping the ball into the net on his forehand. It’s all strappy tops and flip-flops on Centre Court and there’s a couple of fragrant English peaches in the front row. Lovely stuff.

“That’s a continental quilt of a jacket that man’s got on – in fact, it’s a bet…”
BBC pundit Andrew Castle

Federer 1-1 Nadal
Cat and mouse at the net and Nadal wins the point, dredging up a backhand pass from nowhere. But that’s a safe hold for Federer, the Swiss sealing it with a forehand winner down the line.

Federer 0-1 Nadal
Federer puts away an overhead and there is something balletic about everything this man does, whether it’s displaying soft hands at the net or driving home a forehand smash. Federer challenges, but the shot from Nadal was in. Solid hold from Nadal and he seals it with a whipped forehand pass.

“This is tennis of the absolute highest quality we are seeing here.”
BBC Sport pundit John Lloyd

FIRST SET

Federer 7-6 Nadal
Federer holds on his serve before Nadal draws level with a scrambling backhand pass from the rear of the court. That’s the first mini-break, Nadal finding the net with a backhand. Federer moves 3-1 ahead after Nadal misses the sideline and 4-1 ahead courtesy of a sturdy serve. Nadal closes the gap but that’s another mini-break, the Spaniard missing with a forehand. Some welcome luck for Nadal as he benefits from a net cord, but Federer brings up three set-points with an easy forehand winner. Nadal shows some spunk, however, winning the next two points to make it 6-4, but he mis-hits a backhand wide…no he doesn’t! He’s challenged, and Hawkeye shows it clipped the line. Tremendous scrapping from Nadal, and he’s levelled, Federer sticking a forehand into the net. The Swiss edges ahead again, Nadal finding the net with a forehand, but that’s another unforced error from the reigning champion, Federer making the net billow with a backhand from the back of the court. This is very tense – another unforced error from Rafa and that’s the set to Federer, the Swiss hitting the lines before floating to the net and punching home a backhand volley. You get the feeling Nadal needed to draw first blood in this match, but one thing’s for sure – even when the fat lady’s singing, Rafa will still be swinging.

Federer 6-6 Nadal
Meaty forehand from Nadal leaves Federer floundering at the back of the court and Nadal moves to 40-0 with a big first serve. That’s class from Nadal, leaving Federer rooted the spot with a cleverly-disguised backhand winner. We have a tie-break…

Federer 6-5 Nadal
Federer all over the net and he moves to 30-0 with a forehand volley. Another ace from Roger, but he makes it 40-15 with a forehand that goes long. It’s another solid hold for the Swiss, however, and he finishes it off with a gentle forehand winner.

Federer 5-5 Nadal
Nadal just misses the line with an attempted backhand pass but makes it 15-15 with a change of pace, getting Federer scrambling with a cheeky drop-shot. Nadal has cranked the grunt up to 11 and he gets the better of the best rally of the match so far, recovering an attempted backhand pass from Federer before delivering the coup de grace, a pearler of a forehand pass from behind the baseline. We have a final, ladies and gents.

“What will be starting to prey on Federer’s mind is that he has generally hit good approach shots, but when they are not absolutely spot on, Nadal is whipping winners past him.”
BBC Sport pundit John Lloyd

Federer 5-4 Nadal
I suspect these Ralph Lauren shirts the ball boys and girls are wearing would go down a storm in the bars of Basildon – how big is that logo? No problems for Federer on his serve, a safe hold to 15.

Federer 4-4 Nadal
Nadal comes into the net but he’s not comfortable up there, dollying up a volley and Federer punishing him with a whipped cross-court forehand. Nadal retaliates, fizzing a forehand winner down the line before Federer misses with an attempted forehand winner. Roger goes long with a backhand before giving up the game with another unforced error. Solid hold from Nadal.

“The way Federer sweeps the ball around the court leads me to believe that he is a thoughtful and caring lover.”
Nozza on 606

Federer 4-3 Nadal
Straightforward hold from Federer, despite the double-fault, the Swiss hitting the lines and Nadal unable to cope.

Federer 3-3 Nadal
Nadal really giving Federer the run-around and he forces the Swiss into an error with a beefy forehand into the corner and Nadal burns Federer with a fizzing top-spin forehand down the line. Rafa’s hit a hot streak, although he could do with buying his shorts the next size up, they’re permanently riding up his jacksie. That’s a hold and Federer knows he’s got a game on.

“No wonder Nadal’s been on court for fourteen hours. Half that time he’s preparing to serve.”
Greg, Tom and Jamie via text

Federer 3-2 Nadal
Gossamer touch from Federer, catching out Nadal with a peachy drop-shot at the end of a muscular exchange. Good retaliation from Nadal, whipping a cross-court forehand winner from behind the baseline. Another pass from Nadal, this time a double-fisted backhand, and he earns his first break with a forehand winner off a Federer second serve. Federer finds a big first serve to bring it back to deuce but goes long with a forehand. And Nadal’s broken back, clubbing a backhand down the line to leave Federer floundering. This is bubbling up rather nicely.

Federer 3-1 Nadal
Federer goes long with a forehand before Rafa sneaks into the net and puts away a volley. Nadal slugging away from the baseline and he forces Federer into an error on the backhand before dredging up a big serve to seal the game. Better from the Spaniard, he’s loosened up a touch.

“Rafa is a little over-anxious, while Federer is comfortable hitting the ball short in the court to bring the Spaniard into the net. It’s the perfect start for the Swiss.”
BBC Sport pundit Jimmy Connors

Federer 3-0 Nadal
Apologies to Mirka – she’s Roger’s girlfriend, not his wife. Although I’m sure she’d like to be. Another regulation hold from Federer – he gets a slice of luck with a net cord and seals the game with a dreamy cross-court backhand pass. Anxious start from the Spaniard, Roger looks as if he’s knocking up against his garage wall.

Federer 2-0 Nadal
Some robust serving from Nadal takes him to 40-0 and the Spaniard is stalking Centre Court like a baby bull. Nadal really is a fine physical specimen, like a load of snooker balls poured into a flesh-coloured stocking. Nadal comes up with his first double-fault of the match and makes it 40-30 with a forehand into the net from close range. Federer then unfurls his first winner of the day, a cross-court backhand that leaves Nadal nailed to the spot. Fine defence from Federer while Nadal fails to put away an overhead and ends up losing the point – break point. Federer, however, sticks a backhand into the net to make it deuce. Big serve down the middle from Nadal, but he follows up with another unforced error, slamming a forehand into the net. Nadal makes a rare foray to the net but fails to put away a forehand volley and Federer makes him pay, picking up a ball off his toes and fizzing a backhand winner down the line. Nadal saves, the Swiss plonking a forehand long, but Federer earns another break point, punishing a tame second serve. And that’s first blood to the defending champion, Nadal slapping a forehand into the net.

Federer 1-0 Nadal
Federer kicks off with an ace and moves to 30-0 after Nadal plops the ball tamely into the bottom of the net. Nadal does win his first point courtesy of a fluffed Federer forehand, but Federer holds after Nadal can only stick a return into the net. No dramas in the opening game.

1412: Shirt-sleeve weather at Wimbledon and it’s bordering on a miracle that we’re playing this final today after the Biblical weather we’ve been having. And here we go, Federer about to get play under way…

1407: Players are knocking up and the atmosphere is crackling on Centre Court. Federer, as ever, looks the more relaxed of the two, as if he’s having some hit and giggle at Centre Parcs. His girlfriend Mirka has plumped for the C3PO look today. That jacket’s actually made of gold…apparently.

“No doubt! Federer is going to please us by doing it for the fifth time. I found him to be decent and wonderful. May God bless him.”
Danny on 606

“Federer is so lovely and polite. Hope he equals Borg’s record.”
Donna via text

1403: Here’s the toss. Rafa keeps them all waiting, knees bouncing up and down in his chair, before bounding over to the net. The UK’s youngest guide dog owner flips the coin, Roger calls correctly and the Swiss will serve first.

1401: And here they come, Federer resplendent in white blazer and slacks (he’ll be handing out tie and blazer-badge combination packs after the game) and Nadal looking like he’s just flown in from an 18-30 in Benidorm. Not since Vere St Leger Goold back in 1879 has SW19 seen anyone as fly as Federer.

1358: Nadal and Federer have their little pointless chat before taking to the court – Nadal looks jittery, as if he’s just about to go over the top, Roger looks like he’s just walked off the set of The Great Gatsby.

“He is the most complete player on the tour. But if I have the chances in the final, I will believe more than I did last year. If I win here, it will be the best moment of my career…”
Rafael Nadal

“Federer is the complete tennis player – he has no weaknesses. To see him play is like watching an artist. If he continues the way he is doing, he’ll be the greatest player ever to play the game. Nadal needs to serve well, keep him at the back of the court and come in a little bit more.”
Five-time champion Bjorn Borg

1350: A big question is, how is Nadal’s body bearing up after a tortuous week? He’s been involved in every day of action since last Saturday. Federer, of course, had his feet up for five days so should be fresh as a daisy. He certainly looked as fresh as a daisy in his semi-final against Richard Gasquet, but has shown signs (Hallelujah!) of mortality in this tournament. A souped-up Nadal could take advantage.

1348: McEnroe, Connors and Borg are chewing the fat on Centre Court like three old soaks propping up a bar. All three have aged well, and I, for one, am stoked they all get on so handsomely.

“For anyone who plays tennis, this is the tournament to win…”
Five-time champion Bjorn Borg

1345: The suspicion is that the gap between Federer and Nadal on grass is larger than the gap between Nadal and Federer on clay, but if all our suspicions came true, Jimmy Connors wouldn’t have beaten John McEnroe in 1982 and Sue Barker and Cliff Richard would be married.

“If the courts were as slow as they are now when I was playing, Borg would have won 10 Wimbledon titles…”
Three-time champion John McEnroe

1340: So this is it, the final most people expected and the final most people wanted. In boxing terms, it’s a classic match-up – the stylist versus the slugger, the rapier versus the cudgel. Forget fast cars and Frenchmen on bikes, stick with this – it could be a vintage encounter

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