In the end it was two double faults. Forget the 90+ winners by Fernando Verdasco, a number unheard of until now. Forget the head to head coming into this match, 6-0 in Rafael Nadal's favor. It was all about who had been in this place before, who had stared into the ugly maw of defeat and come away with victory instead.
At the end Rafael collapsed to the hard court but willing himself up he stepped over the net and hugged the man who had pushed him to the limit. Brad Gilbert said Rafael could barely stand as he came off court.
Sunday is the men's final. Roger Federer, who took a little over two hours to dispatch Andy Roddick in his semi final match will stand across the net from Rafael Nadal. They're showing the Wimbledon Final now on ESPN. I've been up since 3:30a. It's 9:40a as I type this. I'm hitting the sack.
Rafa's comments on scheduling of the men's semi finals from his PRESSER
Q. You're not only the No. 1 in the world, but you are one of the top players in the politics of the ATP. Is there nothing you can do to avoid this problem of scheduling, that you have one day of rest and Roger has two? Apart from Wimbledon, every tournament is screwed up. The US Open, they do what they want. Roland Garros, they do what they want. Here the same. Don't you think the players should do something?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think Roland Garros is not like this, no?
Q. They play sometimes one day before the other.
RAFAEL NADAL: No. The last four years not (smiling).
Well, the US Open was for both player the semifinal the same day. Here is the only tournament is not like this. But, you know, you still have one day off. So that's the sport. For sure is a little bit more fair if you play the same day.
But is like this. Last year was for me, and this year was for Roger in this case, no? Last year I played on Thursday. I lost. I didn't play the final. But, anyway, I play on Thursday, and Roger play on Friday.
Well, this little bit unlucky play one match like today, too hard. So for sure Roger gonna be in much better performance physically than me for the final.
But at the same time I gonna try to be recovered for the final and play my best. I don't know if we can do something because we are involved of the council. But the true, right now I not ready for speak about politic.
Fernando was a little more forthcoming in how he felt about the scheduling of the men's semi finals.
About Nadal having one day less to rest, don't you think that players should do something to avoid these problems all the time? At the US Open they play Saturday the semifinal before the final. Here they play one day, then the next. Don't you think you, as players, should start to do something?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: I will speak with them in next tournament (smiling).
No, but I think, for sure, the semifinals supposed to be the same day, both semifinals, because I think, you know, is the most fair for everybody, no? Because like right now, yesterday Federer play three sets, and today Rafa play five sets, five hours, and he will have one day less, and with a semifinal much longer.
I think that for sure they supposed to play the two semifinals like the womans, the same day. And I think also with two weeks, you have enough days to make the schedule right and have it like this.
But I don't know why they did it, no? I promise, I didn't know that Federer was playing yesterday. I thought that yesterday was playing only girls, and today two semifinals. When I saw that he was playing yesterday, I was a little bit in shock. I was like, Why he's playing one day before us? He will have much recover, and in the final he will have a little bit more of advantage because he had one day more.
So I don't know why they did it. And I think that, for sure, they need to change it.