HE CLAIMED he was nervous on the big shots, but if that was Rafael Nadal performing with his nerves jangling then it's little wonder the rest of the tour are beginning to view head-to-heads with the World No 1 as an appointment with impending despondency. His second Wimbledon title was won in emphatic style, without the Spaniard having to dig out his peak performance, and it now takes his glory haul to eight grand slam titles.
SOURCES close to Andy Murray have denied a report that the world No 4 is about to part company with coach Miles Maclagan.
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ANDY Murray can rest easy. Britain has home-grown champions at Wimbledon after all.
TOMAS Berdych was second best by some way against Rafael Nadal, but after losing his first Wimbledon final the 24-year-old Czech was understandably far from despondent.
WE HAVE been spoiled for classics lately. The 2008 Wimbledon final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer was widely hailed as the greatest ever, and the one a year earlier between the same two opponents was also of the highest standard. A little before that, Goran Ivanisevic's 2001 victory, if not quite of the same technical quality, was a moving and memorable drama.
UNTIL we get round to inventing time travel, arguments about who was the greatest individual in any sport will remain subjective. In women's tennis, for instance, the differences in dress and equipment between eras render a true comparison impossible.
THE most notable aspect of Serena Williams' 6-3, 6-2 win over Vera Zvonareva on Saturday was not the ease with which the American retained her Wimbledon singles crown. It was how hard the Russian had to fight merely to win that handful of games.
Rafael Nadal cemented his status as the best player in the world with a 6-3 7-5 6-4 demolition of surprise Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych on Centre Court this afternoon.
A YEAR ago, Rafael Nadal sat on his sofa in Mallorca watching Andy Roddick slug it out with Roger Federer, playing for a trophy he wanted. It had been his to defend, having ended the then five-time champion's reign the previous summer, but injury had ruled out the opportunity of back-to-back triumphs. The gold Challenge Cup went to Federer, again, but Nadal felt little anguish. In his mind, it was simply a loan. He would be back.
WHEN the new world rankings are published tomorrow, there will appear to be a typographical error on page one. Roger Federer, No.3? Surely that cannot be right. The Roger and Rafa Show has closed? No, it cannot be.
TEN minutes had elapsed since Andy Murray had hailed the Centre Court crowd and departed the lawns of SW19 for another year. He knew as he left the arena that he had played well, he was also ready to admit that his opponent had played even better. Sitting in a packed press room he spoke of his disappointment at losing at this nearly-but-not-quite stage of a tournament he deeply wants to win one day.
AND so it goes on. The 74 years of hurt will become 75 after Andy Murray Wimbledon dreams ended and Britain's long sporting nightmare continued.
VERA ZVONAREVA believes the tortuous route she has taken to reach her first grand slam final will stand her in good stead when she faces Serena Williams on Centre Court today.
NOVAK Djokovic admitted he was beaten by the better man after slumping out of Wimbledon.
ANDY MURRAY was disappointed but upbeat after his Wimbledon semi-final defeat to Rafael Nadal.
SERENA Williams heads into her sixth Wimbledon final this afternoon as one of the hottest favourites on record but insists she would much rather be facing the imposing figure of her sister Venus on the other side of the net.
"THOSE of a nervous disposition might want to find a convenient sofa to hide behind," warned Sue Barker at the start of what was being hyped-up as the final-before-the-final. The Grande Dame of SW19 was not joking.
SOMETIMES there is no occult meaning to a result; no complex explanation. Sometimes what you see unfolding in front of you is what it appears to be. Sometimes one player is better than another and wins the match.
AS LAUDABLE as their domination is, there is something monotonous about the Williams sisters and Wimbledon. This is the tenth time in 11 years that at least one of the siblings has contested the final and the ninth time in 11 years that one of them walked off Centre Court carrying the sparkling Venus Rosewater Bowl.
In PUBLIC, Roger Federer is still in denial; in private, it seems, he knows the score. His quarter-final defeat at the hand of Tomas Berdych on Wednesday, coming hard on the heels of his quarter-final loss to Robin Soderling at the French Open, signalled the end of the Federer era. He would not admit it openly, but deep down he knows that his time at the top is over.