Rafa reigns supreme again

Spanish ace scoops second Wimbledon crown with straight-sets win

By Elliot Ball   Last updated: 5th July 2010  

Rafa reigns supreme again

Nadal: Wimbledon champion again

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Rafael Nadal is the 2010 Wimbledon champion after beating Tomas Berdych in Sunday's final.

The world number one secured his second crown in SW19 after easing to a 6-3 7-5 6-4 win over the 12th seeded Czech on Centre Court.

Nadal, who saw off British hope Andy Murray in the semi-finals, stormed to his eighth grand slam title as Berdych, playing in his first major showpiece, had no answer to his opponent's superior hitting.

The 24-year-old, who has become the first Spaniard to win two Wimbledon titles, joins the likes of Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall on the all-time grand slam titles list.

The win, which completed a second French Open-Wimbledon double in three years for Nadal, came after two hours and 13 minutes when his 20th forehand winner left Berdych stranded at the net on the first championship point.

"More than a dream for me, always a dream to play in this final," said Nadal, who celebrated his triumph by performing an impromptu jig.

"To have this trophy in my hands, amazing. You're (Berdych) doing an amazing season, sorry for today but I wish you luck for the rest of the season."

Prize-fighter

From the moment Nadal bounced, weaved and stretched his way down the corridors of the All England Club to Centre Court like a fired-up prize fighter, there was a sense nothing could derail the 24-year-old.

Both players held their opening service games to love on a bright and breezy day, and neither was under early pressure - even a male fan bellowing "I love you Rafa" could not throw the Spaniard's focus.

Game seven turned the tone of the match though, as Nadal stepped up a gear and Berdych's first serve deserted him.

After bringing up three break points, a cutting backhand return had the Czech stretching and the Majorcan clenched his fist with stern-faced determination when Berdych's forehand skewed out.

The pre-match build-up had focused on the Berdych forehand, which had dismantled six-times champion Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the last two rounds, but Nadal reminded everyone that his forehand is the most potent weapon in the game.

Bullet forehand

He held to love for 5-3 and took the second of two break points in game nine to take the opening set 6-3 in 34 minutes, another bullet forehand return forcing the Czech to net.

Berdych's first serve percentage was hovering around 50, as the vicious hitting that marked his progress through the draw was countered by Nadal's chilling pace and the Spaniard quickly snuffed out any half-chances carved out by the 12th seed.

Nadal saved three break points in a 12-minute opening game of the second set, as the swirling wind started to create timing issues for both players.

Hard as he tried, Berdych could not put the Nadal serve under pressure, forehands that had been winners against Federer and Djokovic were gobbled up by the Spaniard, and there was a growing sense of frustration in the 24-year-old's game.

Fate sealed

It came bubbling horribly to the surface in game 12 of the second set when out of the blue a slew of unforced errors gave Nadal three break points, and another errant forehand from the Berdych racket sealed the set and effectively his fate.

Berdych, watched from the Royal Box by Jan Kodes, the only Czech man to win the title here in 1973, mixed things up with a few net forays which showed promising signs of unsettling Nadal but the Mallorcan just kept slamming the door.

Nadal saved a break point in the opening game of the third, and the pair held until Berdych, in his first slam final, served to stay in the match at 4-5.

Sensing he was only four points away from the title, Nadal went for the jugular with a trademark side-spin forehand pass to go 0-30.

Berdych battled back to deuce but the dye was cast and on his first championship point another crosscourt forehand winner settled the contest for Nadal.

"It was a great two weeks for me but he was really strong today, he's showed in the last two months he's the champion and he deserved to win today," Berdych said after collecting his runners-up trophy.

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