Wimbledon 2008 repeats history
by Manish Kumar Joshi

The champion of Roland Garros became the first tennis player to achieve the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double since Bjorn Borg in 1980. Rafael Nadal won the Wimbledon tennis Open, the third Grand Slam of the season. It was the longest final in history (4 hours and 50 minutes) at the All England Club. Spaniard Nadal, the world number two, beat Swiss Roger Federer in five sets. Federer, still the world number one, lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (8-10) and 9-7. Nadal is the first Spaniard to win at Wimbledon in the Open era (since 1968) and second in the history of the tournament since Manuel Santana in 1966.

Although Nadal plays left-handed, he is naturally right-handed. When he was younger, his coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, decided that his two-handed backhand would benefit from a strong right arm, so he taught Rafael to play with his left.

It was not until Nadal was 12 that he decided to pursue a career in tennis instead of football. In May 2001, when Nadal was 14 years old, tennis great Pat Cash played a clay-court exhibition match against him. Cash, who was originally scheduled to play Boris Becker, was reluctant to play against Nadal, taking offense to this last minute change of opponent. Cash lost the match by a close margin.

Nadal also trained at Nick Bollettieri's tennis camp in Florida for a short time during two summers in his early teens.

Now he is on the way to crown of men’s tennis. He is capable of creating history and the tennis world is waiting for it.

As far as the women's singles title is concerned it was certain that it would have go to a Williams sister -- the final just needed to determine which one. In blustery conditions, Serena was a break up in each set but Venus battled back to secure a 7-5 6-4 victory in one hour and 51 minutes to successfully defend her title. The sisters were meeting for the first time in a grand slam final since 2003.

Venus forced two match points on her sister's serve and despite Serena saving the first with a thumping ace, a poor backhand finished the match and gave Venus bragging rights in the Williams household.

Williams began the year at an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong, defeating Maria Sharapova in the final 6–4, 6–3. She also won the doubles tournament with Caroline Wozniacki. At the French Open, Williams was seeded eighth but was eliminated by 26th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta in the third round 7-5, 6-3. But at Wimbledon she created history and once again captured the title.

Williams is known for her offensive baseline game, although she is also a skillful volleyer and effectively utilizes her long reach and quickness at the net.