Spaniard Rafael Nadal was in imperious form this afternoon as he won the 2010 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final in straight sets, defeating Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5 6-4.
Nadal ended the match with a break of serve in the third set with a beauty of a cross court passing shot following an intense game. As he had all match, Nadal lifted his level from great to sublime in order to win a vital game at a perfect time.
Nadal had set this precedent early, in the seventh game, when he broke Berdych – so impressive against World Number Two, Roger Federer, and World Number Three, Novak Djokovic, in the previous rounds – before breaking again and serving out to lift the first set 6-3.
The Spaniard waited until the last possible moment to take the second set with another raise of his level as Berdych served at 5-6. Berdych failed to get first serves in, and Nadal leapt on the second, piling powerful returns and ground strokes back across the net, which Berdych was unable to live with. Two sets to love.
The third set followed a similar pattern – Berdych’s first serve was a little below the high standard he set against Federer and Djokovic, but Nadal was so solid with his return of serve, and his own first serve was brilliantly consistent – such a feature of his game in the past couple of years – which led to Berdych having to hold serve to stay in the match when serving at 4-5 in the third set.
Nadal pounced on everything in this final Berdych service game, however, before hitting home a phenomenal winner cross-court on his first Championship Point.
Berdych had played his part, but this final was to prove a step too far – he would have to have even exceeded his incredible previous two games in order to overcome his opponent today, so at home on Centre Court was Rafa Nadal.
If Nadal can keep his fitness – he has made his points much shorter, and doesn’t seem to be pounding his body quite as hard as the Nadal of old – he is sure to be playing many more Grand Slam Finals in the future – and, on today’s evidence, he will keep on winning them.
The Men’s game has got much more depth of late, but, as Nadal proved today, there is one man blazing a trail slightly proud of all – and that man is the World Number One Player, Rafael Nadal.