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The Championships - Day Fourteen Diary

Wimbledon, England

Rafael Nadal© Getty ImagesIs it fair to say Rafael Nadal could be the best player ever? takes a look at the news and talking points at The Championships on the second Sunday.

What The Papers Are Saying

Before Rafael Nadal had even stepped on court for his Wimbledon final date with Tomas Berdych, talk had already begun that he is ready to assume the unofficial mantle of ‘best player ever’. “When they pack away the strawberries, calm the parched grass and close up this marvellous old institution for another year, Rafael Nadal's name should be written all over the 133rd edition of Wimbledon. If he beats Tomas Berdych in the final this afternoon the amazing Spaniard will be closing in on Roger Federer for the unofficial and hotly contested title of best player in the history of the game,” says The Guardian. “Nadal said after winning his fifth title in Roland Garros that it was ridiculous to suggest he could ever match Federer's records. Such humility stems, most probably, from his own doubts about his tendinitis, which he manages but will never be rid of. One player here who is in little doubt about who is the best player in the world at the moment is Andy Murray. ‘He's the best player in the world,’ Murray said. ‘He hasn't lost here [at Wimbledon 2010]. I've said it for a few years, I love watching him play.’”

In its reflection on the Wimbledon final, the New York Times wrote that the blustery conditions on the All England Club played into Nadal’s hands against the flat-hitting Berdych. “Minutes before the match started, in the ESPN booth high above Centre Court, the commentators Dick Enberg and Patrick McEnroe said they believed the conditions favored Nadal against the big-serving, risk-taking Berdych, the challenger from the Czech Republic. Not only had it rarely rained during this tournament, making the grass harder and allowing for higher bounces, but wind shot through the All England Club early Sunday morning. That, too, worked better for Nadal, whose furious, spin-heavy groundstrokes leave a higher margin for error.”

BBC pundits John Lloyd and Greg Rusedski both gave their analysis on Nadal’s strong display in his 10th major final. “You felt Tomas Berdych had to win the first set but he was a bit nervous when he came out and Rafa Nadal's standard was so high from the beginning. Rafa just didn't let him in, Berdych's weapons were neutralized,” assessed Lloyd, Great Britain’s former Davis Cup captain. Added 1997 US Open finalist, Rusedski: “Once Rafa Nadal got the initiative it was one-way traffic - Berdych created a few break points but couldn't convert them. And Rafa can win the French Open and Wimbledon one after the other because he can adjust and has the strongest mind - when people were writing him off because of injuries, he came back better. Unfortunately for all you Federer fans out there, this guy's going to be number one for a long time.”

Spanish Sports paper, Marca is hoping history will repeat itself by Spain going on to win the World Cup following Nadal’s success at Wimbledon and Roland Garros. “Success for Rafael Nadal and the Spanish national football team has gone hand in hand. Both Nadal and La Roja (“The Reds”) have done their bit for Spain to go through a golden age in sport and now in 2010, we could have a repeat of what happened two years ago. Rafa Nadal has won the same Grand Slams this year that he won in 2008 and Spain is performing strongly in South Africa as it looks to win the World Cup for the first time. On 6 July 2008, Nadal made history by winning Wimbledon and becoming the first Spaniard to do so since Manuel Santana in 1966. Seven days earlier, Iker Casillas had lifted the second European Championships trophy in Spain’s history. Now, in 2010 is seems the same sequence could be happening. On 4 July, Nadal won his second Wimbledon title and in seven days time (11 July) La Roja could be competing in the World Cup final. Nadal has done his job, now it’s the turn of Vicente del Bosque’s team.”

Statistic Of The Day

It is the first time since 1995 that Wimbledon has been rain-free, causing BBC pundits Andrew Castle and Tim Henman to render the Centre Court roof simply an expensive parasol for those sat in the Royal Box!

Tweet Of The Day

Following Nadal’s Wimbledon success, World No. 2 doubles pairing Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan were quick to send their congratulations to the Spaniard, and also give props to US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe for correctly predicting the score.

“Happy 4th of July. Congrats to Rafa on his 2nd Wimby. Impressed that @patrickmcenroe predicted Rafa 3,5,&4. He nailed it.”

To which McEnroe responded: “Got a little lucky Bros-not like u boys on the dubs court! Time for 62”

Don’t Miss Nadal At The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

World No. 1 Nadal has already secured his place in the elite eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and you can be at The O2 in London as the Spaniard looks to win the year-end championships for the first time and reclaim the title of ATP World Tour Champion. The prestigious event takes place 21-28 November, buy your tickets here.

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