ThrowbackTimes Wimbledon: Roger Federer downs Rafael Nadal to write record books

In 2006, Roger Federer claimed his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title and the eighth Major overall, beating Rafael Nadal 6-0, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 in just under three hours. It was the 48th successive win on grass for Roger, who became the third player in the Open era with four straight trophies at the All England Club after Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras. Nadal made his Wimbledon debut at 17 in 2003, reaching the third round as the youngest player since Boris Becker in 1985! Three years later, he became the title contender, passing six rivals and setting the ultimate clash against the defending champion and world no. 1. Following the second Roland Garros crown, the Spaniard was eager to claim the first “Channel Slam” since Bjorn Borg, giving his everything against a superior grass-courter and falling in four sets. The Swiss had better numbers on both the first and second serve, getting broken twice and stealing the Spaniard’s serve six times to seal the deal and write the record books.

Federer had a clear advantage in the shortest rallies, forcing Rafa’s 50 errors to cross the finish line first and celebrate another Major title. They had a similar number of winners and unforced errors, but it wasn’t enough for Rafa to stay in touch until the decider, losing ground in the fourth set to hand the trophy to the Swiss. The more experienced player made a marvelous start, storming over Nadal to deliver a bagel in the opener in 24 minutes. Roger lost only three points in three service games, finding the range on the return to provide the first bagel in the Wimbledon finals since 1994.

Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal in four sets in the 2006 Wimbledon final.

Recovering his game, Nadal earned a break in the second set and served for it at 5-4, only to get broken at 15 after a forehand error and waste a massive opportunity. Federer won the tie break 7-5 to gain an enormous boost, looking good to seal the deal in straight sets and continue his winning path at Wimbledon.

Starting all over, Rafa made sure to end Roger’s streak of 34 consecutive sets won at Wimbledon, playing well in the third set and clinching it 7-2 in the tie break to extend the encounter and his chances. Remaining composed, Federer grabbed a break in the fourth set’s fourth game and held at 15 with an ace a few minutes later to forge a 4-1 advantage. With momentum on his side, Roger clinched another break with a forehand winner to move 5-1 up, serving for the title in the next one. Making the last push, Rafa pulled one break back and held to reduce the deficit to 5-3 before Roger sealed the deal with a hold at love in the ninth game. Federer earned the Halle-Wimbledon double for the fourth straight season, establishing himself as one of the greatest grass-court players of all time at 24.