Rafael Nadal is bidding to win his second Wimbledon title this week, a decade on from his first triumph in SW19.
The Spaniard shocked Roger Federer in 2008, winning a remarkable five-setter that ended the Swiss star’s run of five successive Wimbledon titles.
Federer headed into the match as the favourite and former world No 5 Fernando Gonzalez was just one player at the time who felt Nadal had no chance, despite the current world No 1 previously claiming he would win Wimbledon before his rise to the top.
“He had said a couple of years before: ‘Give me time that I will adapt (to grass),’” admitted Gonzalez.
“We believed that he was a little bit deluded with his way of playing and look at what he did.
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“I think that it was a key match in his career.
“He broke an incredible streak to Roger and on his court.”
Nadal knows he will not have to beat Federer this time around if he makes the final after the Swiss crashed out to Kevin Anderson.
However, he must first get past Novak Djokovic in today’s semi-final.
Gonzalez is still in awe of Nadal and Federer, who at 32 years and 36 years of age respectively, continue to dominate the world of tennis.
“They have belied all predictions,” added Gonzalez.
“Also, we believed that Rafa could not play after turning 30 because of his game style and all the injuries that he suffered, but they are examples.
“They are hungry and willing (for more).”
Source : EXPRESS