Wimbledon - Nadal in a league of his own

Eurosport - Fri, 02 Jul 20:10:00 2010

Rafael Nadal's victory over Andy Murray in the Wimbledon semi-final was the best individual performance I've seen this tournament and possibly the best I've seen all year.

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I was a little concerned about Nadal going into this match, and I know I'm not the only one; there were still some worries about his fitness and he hasn't always been at his best in the tournament so far.

However, there was absolutely no inclination about any injuries or lack of form whatsoever, and what Nadal produced was an unbelievable performance that was just fabulous to watch.

Murray on the other hand must be worried that a bit of a pattern is emerging. Every time he has got into a great position to win his first Grand Slam title he has then been beaten in straight sets.

First by Roger Federer in the finals of the US Open and then the Australian Open, and then again here against Nadal.

I watched his press conference after the match and it was very hard to know what he was supposed to say as I don't think he could have done much differently in that match.

He served better than he has been doing, he came to the net more, he was forceful on the big shots, and he could easily have taken the second or third set.

The truth is though, that nobody in the world could have coped with Nadal on the form he showed in this match, and I include Roger Federer in that assessment.

For me, when fit, Nadal has been the best player in the world for the last three years.

If he can stay fit then there is no reason why he can't get very close to Federer's record number of Slam titles. That fitness issue remains a big if given his style of play, but when he plays like he did against Murray - he's in a league of his own.


I was interested to see which Tomas Berdych would turn up against Novak Djokovic and he was again brilliant in reaching the final.

There just seems to be a lightness about him at the moment both in his touch and mentally.

Djokovic was outgunned and outplayed, and it is a strange quirk of fate that after this tournament the Serb will become world number two because in reality, I'm not sure I'd have him in my top five at the moment.

The final will be a new test for Berdych. If he freezes it could be a quick straight sets win for Nadal.

It is hard to know how the Czech man will cope with the occasion because we have to remember that just a month ago he hadn't even been to a Grand Slam semi-final.

If he turns up though, Nadal will find it very hard to break Berdych's serve, and we could be in line for a good match.

However, even though Berdych has beaten Nadal before, the record stands at 7-3 in Nadal's favour, the Spaniard has won their last six meetings so any way you look at it, you have to make Rafa the big favourite.


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