STROKES OF GENIUS – FEDAL DOCUMENTARY PREMIERED ON JULY 1ST. 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.
The documentary is made on the 10th Anniversary of the greatest match ever played in tennis between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2008.
John McEnroe describes it as “the greatest match ever played” and, 10 years on, the 2008 Wimbledon final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer remains the high point of a rivalry that continues to dominate tennis.
The final – played out over nearly seven hours because of rain delays – ended with a 22-year-old Nadal finally dethroning Federer, holding off a thrilling fightback from the five-time champion to win 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (8-10) 9-7 as darkness descended on an enraptured Centre Court.
It was the last of three successive Wimbledon finals between two players who have won a combined 37 Grand Slam titles. They have not met at Wimbledon since but, incredibly, will go into this year’s tournament ranked one and two in the world, having split the past six Slams between them.
‘Nadal was edging closer but still, Federer was the king’
On 6 July 2008 – the day of the match – Federer was a month short of his 27th birthday and had spent 231 consecutive weeks as world number one.
But Nadal was close to toppling him. Four weeks earlier, he destroyed Federer at Roland Garros – winning 6-1 6-3 6-0 for his fourth consecutive French Open title. Could the Swiss recover to take revenge on his favoured surface?
Federer had beaten Nadal in four sets in the 2006 Wimbledon final, and five sets 12 months later. Both men were playing for a slice of history – Nadal trying to become the first man to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back since Bjorn Borg in 1980, Federer attempting to go ahead of Borg by winning a sixth consecutive Wimbledon.
It was also the last match played on Centre Court before a roof was installed, so the circumstances – with repeated rain interruptions, and a final finishing at twilight – are unlikely to be repeated.