Rafael Nadal picks his favorite Major victory. Vs. Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic?

Rafael Nadal claimed his first Major title at the 2005 Roland Garros, a couple of days after turning 19. The Spaniard secured four consecutive titles in Paris to write history books and become one of the most successful clay-courters already at 22. Hungry for more, Nadal worked hard on his improvements on other surfaces. He lost two consecutive Wimbledon finals to Roger Federer between 2006 and 2007, with two great rivals setting another All England Club title clash in 2008. Rafa emerged at the top in one of the most extraordinary encounters in tennis history, calling it his most cherished victory at Majors. Nadal scored a memorable 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 triumph in four hours and 48 minutes for his first Major title outside Paris. Thus, Rafa became the first player since Bjorn Borg with a “Channel Slam,” adding the fifth Major to his tally just after turning 22 and carving his path toward tennis immortals.

Nadal won five more points than Federer in a thrilling battle and fended off 12 out of 13 break opportunities to put pressure on the other side. The Spaniard earned four breaks to prevail and stand victorious in one of the most significant moments in tennis history. Rafa stayed in touch with a five-time defending champion in the shortest points up to four strokes, which was crucial for his success. The Spaniard improved his initial shot to reach Roger’s level and delivered incredible tennis while facing break points. Federer gave his best to make a comeback in sets three and four, and there was nothing to separate them in the decider.

Rafael Nadal ousted Roger Federer after an epic battle at Wimbledon 2008.

Nadal moved in front in the opener’s third game and survived a scare on serve at 5-4 to fend off two break chances and clinch it. Federer forged a 4-1 advantage in set number two before getting broken at 4-2 to bring Nadal back into contention. With momentum on his side, Rafa grabbed another break at 4-4 with a forehand winner and repelled a break point in the next one to forge two sets to love advantage. As a true champion, Roger bounced back in set number three to extend his chances. The Swiss remained competitive in the fourth and prevailed in a tie break after being 5-2 down to force a decider and gain a boost.

The players left the court due to rain in the final set’s fifth game and returned half an hour later to continue an incredible encounter. Roger created a break chance with a forehand down the line winner at 4-3, and Nadal denied it with a smash winner to stay alive. The Spaniard leveled the score at 4-4 with a forehand winner to increase the excitement. Rafa earned two break opportunities with a forehand down the line winner at 5-5. He failed to convert any or make an extra step two games later. The Spaniard seized more opportunities on the return at 7-7 and clinched a break after a colossal forehand error from the Swiss. Rafa hit a service winner at deuce in game 16 and moved over the top following Roger’s forehand mistake to celebrate one of his most glorious victories.