Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lawn Tennis: Nadal Chases Place among the Legends; Wimbledon 2008

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lawn Tennis: Nadal Chases Place among the Legends; Wimbledon 2008

Article excerpt

RAFAEL Nadal warmed up with one Wimbledon legend and must now beat another to secure his place in tennis history.

Nadal prepared for his semi-final with Rainer Schuettler by practising with three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe at the All England Club.

And after beating Schuettler in straight sets he will face five-time champion Roger Federer in tomorrow's final hoping to become only the third man in the Open era - after Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg - to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.

"I'm very happy to be in the final another time, Wimbledon is a very good tournament for me," Nadal said after his 6-1 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 victory on Centre Court.

"I will try to play my best tennis on Sunday. Today maybe wasn't my best match here this year but I won in three sets which is very important for me. I'm in the final with very good confidence.

"I know the best player in the world is on the other side of the net in Roger. I feel I have to play very well to have a chance to win. Anything can happen, I know he is playing well but I am playing well too.

Every year and every match is different, it depends how you get to the final, how you are feeling in that moment.

"If I win here it's probably going to be one of the most important wins in my career but I have to play my best tennis if I want chances to win this title."

Schuettler won the toss and it looked like he should have quit while he was ahead after the first set flew by in only 23 minutes.

Nadal made just one unforced error while Schuettler looked to be feeling the effects of his epic quarter-final win over Arnaud Clement on Thursday - at five hours and 12 minutes the joint secondlongest match in Wimbledon history.

"I was a little disappointed about the start of the match," admitted the unseeded Schuettler.

"He started so well and I was not on court for the first 10-15 minutes."

Saving a break point early in the second set seemed to get Schuettler into the match and he broke for a 2-1 lead and served for the set at 5-4. …

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