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4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 7-9

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By Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon

2128: As the darkness fast encloses Centre Court, I can just see two figures dressed in white, carrying vastly different silverware. Rafael Nadal has just ended Roger Federer's Wimbledon reign, and has he also replaced the Swiss master as the world's best player? A question for another day when we've all had a lie-down. If you missed this final, watch it on iPlayer, get the DVD, whatever. You must see it. It was possibly the best match we will see in our lifetimes. I feel like crying, so I'll stop twittering on and say bye bye from Wimbledon 2008.

2125: "It's impossible to explain how I feel. It's a dream. I never imagined I would win this tournament. It's very tough to play Roger - especially here - he is excellent when he wins and when he loses. He's still the number one and he's still the best. He's won five and I've only won one."
Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal

2122: "I tried everything. Look, Rafa's a deserving champion. It's been a joy to play here. It's shame I couldn't win it but I'll be back next year."
Runner-up Roger Federer

2121: Another huge ovation as Rafa lifts the trophy, becoming the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back.

2120: In near darkness, Roger Federer goes up to collect the runners-up plate - a new experience for him at Wimbledon - and he receives a massive ovation from the crowd. He looks close to tears. This is the first Grand Slam final he has lost away from Roland Garros.

2118: Rafa climbs up to the Royal Box to collect a Spanish flag before celebrating with his support camp as camera flashes go off all around. Roger quietly sits and puts his cardie on. The five-time champion is finally dethroned.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 7-9 Nadal
Nervous start from Nadal as he belts a forehand long. He decides to serve-volley for the first time in the match on the next point - and wins it. After forcing Fed wide, he puts away another volley to move to within two points. Fed still won't lie down, a barrage of groundstrokes forcing Nadal to put a volley long. Federer shanks a backhand into the trams and Nadal has a third Championship point. You just have to laugh. Nadal gets the first serve in but Fed simply stretches and returns a backhand cross-court which Nadal can only just get a racquet. An ace gives Nadal a fourth chance and this time there is no miracle. Fed slaps a forehand into the net and Nadal collapses on the turf.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 7-8 Nadal
Brilliant from Nadal, punching an acutely angled backhand cross-court, giving Fed no chance. Two break points for Nadal. An ace saves the first, a brutal forehand the second. But Nadal's back at him, another wicked backhand making Fed mis-time the forehand. Almost inevitably, Fed bangs down ace number 25th ace. A forehand error gives Nadal a fourth break point and this time, Fed succumbs - pummelling a string of forehands before putting one millimetres beyond the baseline. Nadal will serve for the title.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 7-7 Nadal
A forehand winner gets Rog off to the best possible start but Nadal surges into a 40-15 lead. An impudent drive volley pass keeps Fed in the game and he then looks to have pulled off a miracle by getting a ferocious smash back - and onto the baseline. A forehand winner from Rafa ends the point though - and it's fist pumps all round from the Nadal camp. It's starting to get pretty gloomy out there, but play should continue until about 2130 BST.

2059: "We are sat on a hotel terrace in Sardinia. Goodness knows what my phone bill is going to be! Come on Roger! There's a generation of cardigan wearers behind you."
Lee and Sarah via text on 81111

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 Nadal
Some ferocious hitting from Rafa forces Rog to go long and it's 0-30. Panic stations for Federer fans - but not the man himself. Fed's 24th ace and a perfectly-placed volley draw him level and another big serve gets him to 40-30. Fed is in complete control of the point but decides to go for an attempted pass which looks to be going long - and puts his volley into the net. Rafa can't take advantage though and his return off a second serve goes long. Another deuce comes and goes but Fed hangs on.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 6-6 Nadal
Rafa whips a forehand just into the trams but it's Fed's only glimmer of hope in an otherwise perfect service game from the indomitable Spaniard. No tie-break in the decider but you knew that, right?

2048: "I know I'm not old enough to remember McEnroe v Borg etc (I'm 28) but this is the best tennis match I have ever watched, WOW!"
misselland on 606

2049: "It's my birthday dinner and we are at a top restaurant but I am more concerned about updating the score on my phone than talking to my guests! Go Nadal!!!"
Anon via text on 81111

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 6-5 Nadal
Nadal delivers a testing cross-court forehand from a near impossible position and Fed puts the volley into the net. That's 15-30 and a forehand curler from Nadal gives him two break points. Rog coolly sends down an ace before flicking away a big forehand. We may still be here tomorrow, but who cares?

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 5-5 Nadal
If Rafa's feeling the pressure, he's not showing it - bringing out a wicked second-serve ace on the first point. Fed gets back to 15-15 but then puts a return just long. Fed's forehand once again has Nadal in trouble and that's 30-30. Big roar from the crowd, but Nadal forces the error from Fed and then puts away a routine forehand to level it up again.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 5-4 Nadal
One, big serve, two, massive forehand. How many times is that for Federer? An ace takes him to 40-15. But wait a minute. One, big serve, two, massive forehand miles beyond the baseline. Poor from Fed. Wins the next point. All of a sudden, he's a game away from title number six. "Roger, Roger..." shout the crowd, but I think there were quite a few "Rafa"s in there too.

2034: "We're sitting in the rain in Warwick Castle watching the English National Orchestra playing the songs from We Will Rock You - and we're checking the score on an iPhone, and cheering for Federer!"
Allie, Tom and Matt! via text on 81111

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 4-4 Nadal
Bit of pressure for Nadal as he drops the first point, but he gets back on track at 30-15 with some brutal serving. Federer recovers to 30-30 and then swipes a dazzling forehand down the line to earn his first break point of the set. But Rafa puts Fed on the back foot with a raking forehand and demolishes the short ball. I have long since run out of adjectives to describe how astonishing this match is.

2031: "346 points played and it's 174-172 to Federer."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 4-3 Nadal
The clock ticks to four hours as Federer comes out to serve with the new balls. I have now hit 10,000 on the word count. Rog eases to a love service game with his 21st ace.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 3-3 Nadal
Nadal flings a magnificent forehand down the line and both players have started as they finished before the rain break. Rafa races to 40-0 and though he's pegged back to 40-15, he comes through.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 3-2 Nadal
Two aces and it's done and dusted. Nerves of steel.

2023: The warm-up is over and Roger Federer will serve at deuce and 2-2.

2021: "I'm at an Elton John concert in Perth and hundreds of people are trying to follow the tennis on their phones!! Elton clearly isn't a tennis lover!"
Mag and Dot, via text on 81111
(He is though. Isn't he?)

2017: Thudding outside the door of this commentary box as people dash back to their seats. The players are back too. We might finish this after all.

2016: "I've been keeping up with the tennis on the mobile, while trying to watch my daughter's ballet show. I still have the second half to go and appear to missing one of the greatest Wimbledon finals ever. Still, the ballet show is also great!!"
Dad, Harlow, via text on 81111

2014: "Was watching at the pub in Soho, when they turned it off to screen a short film! What a crime. Thank god for the radio."
Anon via text on 81111

2012: Boy, even the Voice of Wimbledon is feeling the tension. Short but sweet, here's the news: "It is planned to uncover Centre Court with a view to resuming play very shortly."

2010: "This is so stressful - still can't decide after four hours who to support. I want Rog cos of his cardies, I want Rafa cos of the guns. This is so difficult. I'm getting Operation out again (see 1740) although I don't think my already shaky hand would be able to stand it. What a game!!!!"
BBC Sport mole

2009: Just made a dash for the ladies' and I confirm the rain is still falling - albeit very lightly. The tent comes up on Centre for all of a minute before it comes down again. We may be back on very soon.

Boris Becker
2001: "At this very moment Nadal must be thinking he should be at the Champions Dinner. He was 5-2 up in the fourth-set tie-break and it's the first time I've seen him play with a little bit of nerves. It's just an incredible match. All the drama was in the fourth set. If anybody ever doubted Federer's fighting spirit he proved everyone wrong - but I take my hat off to both players."
Boris Becker on BBC1

It's bad news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1950: The drama on Centre Court meant thankfully I hardly noticed Jeremy Bates's glorious run in the Gentlemen's Senior Invitational Doubles (with Anders Jarryd) come to a heartbreaking end. They lost 10-7 on a Champions tie-break to Ken Flach and Robert Seguso. The mixed doubles final - which was due to follow the men's final on Centre - has now been moved to Court One.

It's raining at Wimbledon
1955: "This shower has just arrived and it is turning pretty heavy. Hopefully it will be moving through in 15 or 20 minutes or half an hour at a push so I am still reasonably hopeful that we will get some more play."
BBC weatherforecaster Alex Deakin at the All England Club

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 2-2 Nadal
Federer challenges and is wrong. Nadal challenges and is right. A small victory there for the Spaniard and Fed must serve again at 30-30. He smashes down an ace but then a poor volley allows Nadal back to deuce. As the rain falls though, Fed decides enough is enough and almost beckons on the court coverers himself. They oblige and with this match delicately poised, they're off again. The match time ticks towards four hours and the clock towards 2000 BST, and with the rain getting heavier, will we see any more play today?

Tim Henman
1947: "It is just an unbelievable effort from Federer to keep himself in this match. I can only imagine it must be so difficult for Nadal not to think about those opportunities that he had - 5-2 with two serves to come and then two match points but not be able to cross the line."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 2-2 Nadal
Chances for Federer but he can't take them, slapping a simple return into the net at 30-15 down. Another return goes into the net and Nadal levels again.

1946: "I'm sitting on an aeroplane at Heathrow that hasn't taken off yet following on the mobile. Bet the pilots are watching hence the delay. Amazing!"
Guy via text on 81111

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 2-1 Nadal
Federer puts a wild volley over the baseline to let in Nadal at 30-30. He nails his serve to get to 40-30 but then his second double fault of the match makes it deuce. Nadal goes just long with a forehand, shaking his head in disgust, but the Spaniard gets back to deuce with a drop shot. Federer comes through, but there is no sign of Nadal even thinking about those two missed Championship points.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 1-1 Nadal
Not exactly plain sailing for Rafa but he holds to 30 and, much as I hate to the bearer of bad news, the court coverers are poised for action again.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) 1-0 Nadal
A bit of trouble for Federer at 30-30 but a big serve and then a winning volley save him.

1936: "I would love to know how Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani know Federer? Gavin is getting quite animated!"
Jenni via text on 81111
(Apparently Rossdale is a regular on the tennis circuit at home in California so we presume Gav's love of tennis could be the common denominator. Gav, Gwen, Roger and Mirka are all friends and even went to London Zoo together during Wimbledon.)

Tim Henman
1933: "That was absoultely incredible. Before this match we were talking about the scars from Roland Garros for Federer but now I am asking myself are there any wounds for Nadal?"
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box


Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) Nadal
Unbelievable start. Rafa's at net but Fed puts up the lob which the Spaniard stretches to flick back off his backhand side. Fed's onto it though and rifles the forehand winner down the line. It gives him the mini-break but he loses his next two points on serve, putting Rafa in the driving seat at 2-1. A stunning ace out wide makes it 3-1, and another serve which skips off the line puts Nadal 4-1 up. Federer recovers to 4-2 with his 62nd winner of the match but after a punishing rally, he puts a backhand into the trams and Rafa is now two points away at 5-2. Rafa has two serves to win it, but his first is a double fault. That's 5-3. Federer then forces Nadal to put a backhand into the net and it's now 5-4. The crowd goes wild as yet another brilliant forehand draws us level at 5-5 and an unreturnable serve gives Fed set point at 6-5. A long, tense rally ends with a shorter ball for Fed which sits up to be hit - but he belts it into the trams and it's 6-6. Gasps all round. A new paragraph is called for...

Federer challenges a call on a forehand but it's long and that's match point - but a big first serve saves it. Nadal produces the most astonishing forehand pass - sprinting across the baseline and smacking it down the line. What a way to bring up a second match point, and this time on his own serve. But Federer responds in kind, sprinting along the baseline and rifling a backhand pass down the line. Incredible. A winning forehand makes it set point for Federer on his serve - and Nadal puts a backhand return long. That is the most remarkable spell of play I have ever witnessed on Centre Court. Borg-McEnroe all over again (which I didn't witness by the way).

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-6 Nadal
Nadal gets the first point again when Federer pounds a forehand wide - but Rafa responds in kind. A rare error from the Spaniard. A big first serve and a forehand winner take Federer to 40-15 before he plants a difficult half-volley into the net - but Rafa's next return goes long. Into a tie-break we go. I don't need to tell you, this is huge.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 5-6 Nadal
Does Rafa crumble? Does he heck. His serve firing, he races into a 30-0 lead and though Federer gets back into the game with a punishing return, he then plants a forehand just wide and Nadal is again a game away. The tension is almost unbearable - but the players seem to be the calmest people on Centre Court.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 5-5 Nadal
Fed's drop shot isn't good enough and Nadal drop-shots him right back again, with Fed a bit slow on the uptake. Next he sees a forehand fly past him and it's 0-30. The crowd sense the importance of the moment and urge the champion on. He responds with a big first serve and then the familiar serve-forehand combination. Nadal goes long to give Fed a game point and the champion delivers yet another forehand sizzler to seal it. That is astonishing from Fed - and the crowd respond with a chant of "Roger, Roger" etc etc.

Tim Henman
1905: "Nadal has been serving first and has known the importance of holding on to his own service games and Federer is going to have to serve to stay in the tournament."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 4-5 Nadal
The wind picks up, first playing havoc with Fed's timing and then pushing Nadal's backhand into the trams. A bit of pressure for Nadal? Forget it. He spanks a rasping backhand onto the opposite line off a testing Federer approach and is quickly back on track. The Spaniard is one game away...

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 4-4 Nadal
Federer puts a backhand volley into the net to give Nadal hope at 30-30 - but the champion angles a forehand away after a big serve and the door closes. This is so, so tense.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 3-4 Nadal
Nadal is immovable. A love service game and the pressure's right back on Federer as they sit down at the changeover. Any let-up from Fed and Nadal will be in.

1856: "Am working at the Cancer Research UK Race for Life Exeter where it's tipping it down, checking live text on my phone, just squealed out 'I love Roger!'"
Anon via text on 81111

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 3-3 Nadal
Federer brings out some huge first serves to get to 40-15, but Nadal puts the champion under pressure by powering a forehand winner down the line. Fed sticks a lame forehand into the net and faces deuce. But he pounces on a short-ish ball to get out of trouble. "Come on," roars the champion.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 2-3 Nadal
Nadal takes his time before zipping a backhand past a stranded Federer. Hold to 15. The world number one knows he has to keep an incredibly high standard just to stay with Nadal - which he's doing at the moment.

It's bad news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1843: Misery for Britain's Jeremy Bates as he (and Anders Jarryd) lose the first set of the final of the Gentlemen's Senior Invitation Doubles 7-1 on the tie-break to Ken Flach and Robert Seguso. Boo.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 2-2 Nadal
Serve-volley from Fed off a second serve. Confidence must be high. That gets him to 15-0 before an ace makes it 40-0. Nadal gets on the scoreboard with a backhand pass but he belts one long to give Federer the game.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 1-2 Nadal
Federer's got that point wrapped up surely, smacking forehands into one corner then the other before approaching the net for the put-away... but Nadal just flicks a backhand cross-court and onto the line. Astonishing. Fed hits back, earning a 15-30 lead but a backhand pass levels it up before Nadal comes through. This is dazzling stuff from both players now. You can't take your eyes off it.

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 1-1 Nadal
Federer is strutting his stuff now, pounding a stunning forehand into the corner to make it 40-0. He take his eye off the ball by sending a routine volley into the trams, but another dazzling forehand wraps it up.

1835: "Federer showing champion qualities - three aces at least in the tiebreak - great stuff. I predicted Nadal in four here before the start. Sticking with it, but not underestimating Federer because Nadal has looked tighter since the rain break."
hawick on 606

Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 0-1 Nadal
Nadal shrugs off that setback magnificently, holding to 15.

Tim Henman
1832: "Unbelievable response from Federer - there were the big forehands and the second serve returns and the big inside-out forehand winner and a big ace to finish it off. He certainly hasn't given up this match."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box


Federer 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) Nadal
Federer bangs down an ace to kick off, but Rafa wraps up both his service points to lead 2-1. Fed looks to have gone down a mini-break when his forehand is called long - but the challenge is successful and two straight aces make it 3-2 to the champion. A seering forehand return which almost knocks Nadal off his feet gives Fed the first mini-break and a 4-2 lead. A forehand winner makes it 5-2 and the crowd absolutely love that. Federer goes just wide on the next point but makes it 6-3 with an unreturnable serve. Nadal puts away an easy volley to save the first set point and the next with a massive serve. One set point left and Fed brings out the big gun - a glorious ace out wide. Federer is not letting this title go without a battle. The crowd erupts, some of them are even on their feet. Clutch serving from the champion.

Federer 4-6 4-6 6-6 Nadal
Nothing there for Fed. Nadal solid as a rock on serve, finishing a love game with his fourth ace of the match. Tie-break time. Neither player has lost one at this tournament.

Federer 4-6 4-6 6-5 Nadal
A huge first serve out wide takes Fed to 30-15. Rafa looks like he's back in the game when Fed's second serve is called out - but the world number one challenges and is proved right. Federer wins the point with a brilliant low volley and he comes through with an ace.

Federer 4-6 4-6 5-5 Nadal
Nadal jogs to the baseline, produces a huge first serve, an ace and an unreturnable serve to move to 40-0. It looks like the perfect game. But then he pushes a backhand long, is forced into an error by a brilliant return from Federer and double-faults. He gets the first serve into Fed's backhand, but another game point slips away when Federer whacks a sizzling forehand into the corner. Nadal survives though when Fed nets a backhand.

1811: Away we go then. Nadal will serve to stay in the set.

Tim Henman
1805: "It can be advantageous for Federer. It's not the easiest time for Nadal to come out and serve to stay in the third set - although you'd rather be in Nadal's shoes at the moment."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box

1804: Here they are, Rafa marching on purposefully before wafting his racquet in the air to acknowledge the applause. Federer looks a bit happier than when we last saw him. He has a brief chat with the ump before heading out for the warm-up - but he's gone to the wrong end. Rafa, after taking a very deliberate sip from each of his water bottles, briefly joins Fed at the same end before the world number one realises his error.

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
1800: Hello sun, welcome back. Ball boys/girls and officials are all back in position. Just missing a Fedal now.

1759: "Can you tell them to hold on bit longer? I'm praying it's a five-set bonanza. Damn you Silverstone and your traffic. Can't there be an agreement not to have our two biggest summer British events not on the same day?"
James, Sevenoaks, via text on 81111

1757: Whoah. That was quick. The Voice of Wimbledon gives the crowd a two-minute warning to get back to their seats in time for the start of play. Cups of teas and buns abandoned all around the grounds as the rush begins.

1755: A smattering of applause as the covers do indeed come off and the last of the umbrellas come down. I'm loathe to put the sun graphic in though - largely because it's not sunny.

1749: "It doesn't look too bad in the long-term although it has just started to spot so it doesn't look too pretty in the short-term. I think we are going to get another shower in the next 15 minutes or so but looking further afield I can see a little bit of sunshine."
BBC weather forecaster Alex Deakin at the All England Club

1748: This is odd. While the BBC's weatherman tell us it's raining, they're deflating the tent on Centre Court. Hold your horses fellas.

1746: "If Fed gets back to win from here, I will rock up to work every day next week wearing the one item in my old man's wardrobe that most looks like Federer's shocking woolly cardigan. In case you're wondering, it's my dad's shocking woolly cardigan (Yep - the grey one)."
BBC Sport's Mark Ashenden
(Not sure if Ash wanted me to publish that but at least now we can hold him to it. Come on Fed.)

1742: The Voice of Wimbledon gets a half-hearted cheer for this. I think it deserves more. "The rain has eased and we are now about to take the tents down and remove the covers and inspect courts with a view to resuming play shortly after that, weather permitting."

1740: "Everyone's packing up around my ears here. Hold on, we've got a final to finish people. Bizarrely just played the board game Operation (other nostalgic childhood board games are available). I lost. God knows what happened to the steady hand I could rely on as a child. Swear they've made it more difficult. Why is BBC Sport's Sarah Holt here!?! This is making a bad day even worse."
BBC Sport mole

1734: Will Federer get back into this match? In their 17 meetings so far, Federer did once come back from two sets down to beat Nadal. That was in Miami in 2005, only their second match. This is a totally different scenario. Federer has had 12 break points and won one, and saw a 4-1 lead slip away in the second set. A massive psychological blow. But at least he's still alive in the match. If he hadn't come back from 0-40 down at 3-3, Nadal might already be the champion by now.

1726: As instructed by the Voice of Wimbledon (see 1710), I am actually enjoying a cup of tea and a bun. Lovely.

1723: "Federer has a majestic record in tie-breaks, and we know he can serve well when he wants to. That'll be the key. I'm a Nadal fan but there's no way this match is finishing in straight sets."
JT_BlueForever on 606
Join the debate on 606

1719: "Some of the rallies are just mind-boggling. Sometimes the players aren't even in the picture because they're being pushed so wide with the angles. It's great tennis but in general Federer's level is not what we're used to."

Former champion Boris Becker on BBC1

1710: "My advice for Laura Robson would be to love what she does, keep her head and eye on the ball and really believe in herself and it shows that she already does."
Women's singles champion Venus Williams on BBC1

1710: It's the last day of the Championships so the Voice of Wimbledon has taken the opportunity to build his part a bit. "We've been told to expect this rain to last for the next 20 minutes or so although it could be a little longer. There's a very good chance of a prolonged dry spell following on so I would suggest a cup of tea and a bun and we should be able to resume play after that." Cup of tea and a bun? How very English.

1707: Still raining. Thank goodness for BBC Sport's Sarah Holt... a sentence I never thought I'd write. She's made it back from a trip to the Jorvic Centre to play tea lady for the afternoon. I'm gasping for a cuppa too.

1659: Oof, it is a deluge. People running for cover everywhere I look. That rain break came at the worst possible time for our hero Jeremy Bates, who is at game point on his serve as he single-handedly (with Anders Jarryd) takes on Ken Flach and Robert Seguso in the Gentleman Senior Invitational Doubles. The dastardly Americans lead 4-3 but it's on serve.

It's raining at Wimbledon
1654: "I am pretty hopeful we will get the players back on at some point although it has been pretty active in the sky. There is a risk this donwpour will turn into a thunderstorm but I am hopeful it will only last for 20 minutes or worst case scenario an hour and then it will move through. This rain could turn pretty heavy any minute now though."
BBC weather forecaster Alex Deakin at the All England Club

Boris Becker
1654: "This is a big surpise for a lot of people out there. Federer gets to break point and then seems to get nervous. Federer looks a bit apprehensive, he's not playing with his instinct. He's too far behind the baseline in my opinion. He seemed confused in the first set, looked like he was going to win the second and then Nadal rattled off five straight games."
Former champion Boris Becker on BBC1

It's raining at Wimbledon
1651: Ah. The court coverers sprint on in double-quick time and the rain falls on Rafa's parade. I sense a deluge - hopefully a brief one.

Federer 4-6 4-6 5-4 Nadal
An ace then a double fault - Fed's first - and it's 30-15. A backhand over the baseline makes it 30-30 and the champion's in trouble again. His first serve saves him though.

Federer 4-6 4-6 4-4 Nadal
Federer shanks a forehand and Nadal pumps his fist as he holds to 15. The Spaniard is very close now - but can he beat the rain as well?

Tim Henman
1645: "If Nadal had gone on to break there it would be very difficult to see Federer coming back. You have to take your hat off to him - that was the sign of a champion, five straight points from 0-40 to hold his serve."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box

Federer 4-6 4-6 4-3 Nadal
Nadal's absolute will to win is draining the life out of Federer. Nadal forces the champion to play one more ball and forges a 0-40 lead. Federer saves all three and gets a massive roar from the crowd. "Come on Rog, let's go, big stuff," says Bush lead singer and husband of Gwen Stefani Gavin Rossdale from the Fed support camp. Fed was teetering on the brink there but five straight points save him. It's still gloomy out there and coats are going on around the stands but it's not actually raining.

Federer 4-6 4-6 3-3 Nadal
Fed earns two more break points, roaring himself on with a "c'mon". He makes an absolute hash of a backhand return off a second serve, looking up to his support camp in desperation. But it's the same old story on the second - woeful return. He earns a third break point with a raking forehand but again Nadal hangs on and on a fourth, Nadal pushes Fed back with a sensational backhand onto the baseline. Nadal survives. Heartbreak for Federer. He is now one in 12 on break points. The court coverers are looming now as darkness descends...

1617: "If Federer wins, it'll have to have been because Nadal bottles it. And in all honesty, that is looking highly unlikely."
oligold11 on 606

Federer 4-6 4-6 3-2 Nadal
Ed on text wants to know Federer's unforced errors stats. He's made 20, and 35 winners. Nadal is 11 and 21. Love service game for Federer as ominous black clouds loom.

Federer 4-6 4-6 2-2 Nadal
Nadal throws his arms up as his backhand is taken by a huge gust of wind and lands wide. Two straight volley winners earn Federer two break points, prompting a huge roar from the crowd, now right behind the underdog. Underdog? Federer? The five-time champion? Anyway, Nadal saves the first and then the second when he stops the point mid-rally to challenge a call. He's right - by about a millimetre. None of this will help Federer's mood.

First Aid
Federer 4-6 4-6 2-1 Nadal
Drama as Federer sends Nadal scampering around the baseline and the Spaniard slips awkwardly - hurting his right knee. He limps to the chair and immediately calls for the trainer. Nadal looks very tentative when he returns to the court and allows the game to slip away. Trainer is on now. Nadal gets a bit of a massage but opts against taking the three-minute time-out - which must be a good sign.

Federer 4-6 4-6 1-1 Nadal
A glimmer for Federer at 40-30 but he dances around the ball and smacks the return just wide.

Federer 4-6 4-6 1-0 Nadal
If he's going to come back, that's a good enough way to start. Love service game. The crowd seem a bit stunned by all this. As well as Nadal is playing, we're just not used to seeing Federer rattled. It feels a bit uncomfortable.

Tim Henman
1610: "Nadal really is the only guy that can stay in these rallies with Federer and then turn defence into attack."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box


Federer 4-6 4-6 Nadal
Federer braves the net and is rewarded when he dinks a volley into the open court but he nets the next return to make it 15-15. Federer hauls himself back into it at 30-30 with another delicious volley. Nadal takes his time - and is rewarded with a code violation - but it's worth his while. He produces the most stunning sliced backhand cross-court pass off a decent Federer approach to earn set point. Fed saves it though, forcing his opponent to net. But what's that? Nadal attempts an extremely low-percentage drop shot and not surprisingly, it hits the net. Break point but though he throws everything into the point, Federer is forced onto the back foot and can't recover, putting a difficult forehand into the net. The five-time champion nets a backhand and he's going to have to go to five sets to hang onto his precious trophy.

1558: "If Fed loses this set can't see him coming back. At the moment Rafa seems in control."
supersmude on 606

Federer 4-6 4-5 Nadal
You saw it coming right? After the frustrations of the last game, Nadal sees his chance and presses from the back of the court. Federer saves one break point but another brutal rally ends with Nadal battering a forehand away. The champion looks devastated.

Federer 4-6 4-4 Nadal
Federer smacks a forehand down the line - but Nadal gets to it and is massively disappointed to see his response go narrowly wide. Most players would have been pleased to have got there at all. That's 30-30 but an ace down the 'T' gives him game point. But strange times. Nadal makes two errors in a row and Fed suddenly has a break point. Another big serve down the middle - unusually to Fed's forehand - gets him out of trouble. Federer should have another break point. He is in the process of putting away a floated response from Nadal when someone in the crowd shouts 'out'. Fed puts the volley long and turns and shouts what sounds like "shut up" to the naughty crowd member. Nadal survives.

1550: "Am I right in thinking that in previous Wimbledon finals between these two Federer has won the first set each time?"
yummycrazyrussian on 606
(Federer won the first set in both 2006 and 2007. In the first final he lost the third set and last year Nadal won the second and fourth.)

Federer 4-6 4-3 Nadal
Nadal scampers onto Federer's forehand approach shot and arrows a pass down the line. That makes it 15-30 and though Federer gets back to 30-30, he then goes narrowly wide with a forehand. Break point and the world number one throws himself onto Nadal's passing shot but the ball flies well long. The Spaniard pumps his fist and he's right back in the set.

Federer 4-6 4-2 Nadal
Federer has to work twice as hard to win points against Nadal than against any other player. At 30-15, Nadal scrambles back a brutal forehand and then chases down a drop shot before burying the smash. Fed nets a backhand and the advantage is still only one break.

Federer 4-6 4-1 Nadal
Fabulous serving from Fed. Nadal is virtually a bystander as the world number one rockets to a 40-0 lead before Nadal nets an attempted pass.

Federer 4-6 3-1 Nadal
Nadal looks to the skies as his forehand drifts into the tramlines. No bother though, it's the only point he loses in an otherwise routine game.

Federer 4-6 3-0 Nadal
After the last couple of weeks, it's very odd seeing either of these two players struggling. It's Rafa on the back foot for the moment and when he shanks a return long, Fed is again giving it the "c'mon".

1534: "I hope this huge blanket of rain just to the west of London is going to miss the Centre Court. If it doesn't the players are going to be playing suduko for a while!"
avfc_beaconsfield on 606

Federer 4-6 2-0 Nadal
Federer thwacks a dreamy forehand down the line, which Nadal isn't even close to, to make it 0-30. A poor return and a Nadal pass get the Spaniard back into the game but he can't repeat the trick and his forehand passing shot goes wide to give Federer a break point - his fourth. A stunning cross-court forehand wins it for Fed, who displays a rare show of emotion. Game on.

Federer 4-6 1-0 Nadal
Federer starts the set in style with a love game - his third, by my reckoning.

Tim Henman
1526: "I think I would favour Nadal, He has looked so comfortable from the start. We know the nature of Roland Garros - we are questioning if there is this scar tissue for Federer and losing the first set it won't be easy for him. A couple of shots in that last game, he had the break points, it was almost as if he didn't have a plan and he played them cautiously."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box


Federer 4-6 Nadal
Drama, what drama. Rafa is again peppering the Federer backhand with his serve, but Fed seems to be getting to grips with it. A backhand volley gives Fed a glimmer of hope at 15-30 and he then saves a set point with a raking backhand down the line. The world number one punches away a volley to give him a second break point of the match. He slices a backhand low to Rafa's forehand and approaches the net - but he can't control the volley off a ferocious response from Nadal. Rafa's first ace earns him a second set point but he's forced into a forehand error. A gorgeous forehand right into the corner makes Nadal net and it's another break point - but there are sighs all round as he dumps a routine backhand into the net. Two backhand errors give Nadal the set - but there were signs of hope for Fed.

Federer 4-5 Nadal
Another love service game for Fed. Can he break though?

Federer 3-5 Nadal
New balls, which means a new racquet for Fed. Same result though. At 40-0, Fed entices Rafa to the net before putting a lob right back over his head but then the top seed slaps a forehand long and it's as you were.

Federer 3-4 Nadal
Fed serve-volleys for the first time in the match, bending low to plant the volley into the open court. That's 40-15. Rafa threatens when he gets back to 40-30 but makes a rare error to give Fed the game. A man in the crowd stands up and lifts his arms above his head in what looks like a slow-motion one-man Mexican wave. Weird.

Federer 2-4 Nadal
Fed makes the mistake of not putting his approach shot on the line and Rafa rifles a forehand right past him. Inevitable. A hold to 15 for Nadal. Gwen Stefani, sitting with Fed's support camp, looks on nervously.

Tim Henman
1500: "Nadal has made his intentions clear and has been so aggressive from the baseline. If Nadal can get his nose in front and win this set that will put even more doubts in Federer's mind."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box

Federer 2-3 Nadal
Blink and you miss it. A love service game for Fed - which is one service game too late you feel. The sun is trying its best to join the party.

Federer 1-3 Nadal
Interesting. Nadal sends Fed from side to side before completely wrong-footing the world number one before two more devastating forehands make it 40-0. But Fed fights back. He strokes a delicious backhand onto the line to claw his way back to 40-30 and then attacks the net to make it deuce. Nadal sends a forehand long and it's break point Fed - but the world number one overcooks a forehand. Couple of deuces but Rafa hangs on to his break. Tim Henman points out that Nadal put 14 serves in a row onto Fed's backhand.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon

1445: Meanwhile a good day for British sports fans as Lewis Hamilton wins the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Hamilton wins British Grand Prix

Federer 1-2 Nadal
A searching return from Nadal finds Fed on the back foot and he's in a spot of bother at 15-30. He brings out a huge second serve to make it 30-30 but a backhand into the net gives Nadal the first break point of the match. Fed drops serve for only the third time in the whole tournament when Nadal's return skips off the line and Fed's racquet fails to make contact. Massive early blow for the champion.

Tim Henman
1443: "Federer has responded in the best way possible to criticism. Faultless in Halle and now he has been breathtaking in the way he has got to the final here without dropping a set."
Tim Henman in the BBC commentary box

Federer 1-1 Nadal
If Federer's going to have any chance, he'll probably need to try to finish these points quickly. He does exactly that, pouncing on a short ball before effortlessly putting away the volley. Nadal, though, is much improved on serve and that gets him to 40-15 before a first double fault holds him up - only briefly though.

Federer 1-0 Nadal
If the first point is anything to go by, we are in for an absolute treat. The players exchange some gorgeous groundstrokes, Fed looking to take the initiative with his forehand before seeing Nadal belt one of his own down the line. Fed wins the next four though, finishing with a booming first serve. This crowd is ready to explode.

1435: 'Fedal' is under way...

1434: The crowd have got their act together and Centre Court is now pretty much full, as is the Royal Box. This is the most hotly-anticipated match in recent tennis history. I don't know about you but I am beside myself with excitement.

1429: This is the sixth time these two have met in a Grand Slam final - an Open era record. Federer is aiming to beat Bjorn Borg's record of five Wimbledon titles in a row. When Borg got to his sixth final, he was thrashed by second seed John McEnroe... an omen?

1427: Blair Manns, a 13-year-old representing the British Lung Fundation, performs the coin toss. Fed gets the first blow in by winning it, and not surprisingly he'll serve first. Rafa does his familiar sprint back to the baseline and we're into the warm-up.

1423: Manuel Santana - the last Spaniard to win the men's title here in 1966 - shakes Rafa's hand as the two players come through the green door and out onto Centre Court. Unusually, Rafa's wearing a tracksuit top - which tells you all you need to know about the conditions today.

1421: The pre-match interviews are revealing as always. "I have to play my best tennis against the best player in the world," says Rafa. Roger says: "It might be a tough day with the rain and a tough opponent so it should be interesting."

1420: "Bjorn Borg has just caused a stampede in the Broadcast Centre after leaving his interview with Sue Barker. Pens were flying everywhere and photographs being taken willy nilly. What a dude though. Are old tennis players the coolest of old sportsmen? See, Mac, Becker, Bjorg, Rusedski, Bates..."
BBC Sport mole

1416: The speed with which the rain went and the sun appeared seems to have caught everyone on the hop. Centre Court is barely half full. Not me though. Tuna baguette consumed, I am ready to go.

By Piers Newbery at Wimbledon

1415: OK, we're going to take him at his word and I will hand you over to Caroline for detailed, incisive and baguette-free match coverage.

1412: The Voice of Wimbledon: "Play will start within the next 10 minutes."

1410: "Shouldn't the man doing the engraving on the board take advantage of this delay and get the '2008 R....' bit done now to save time?"
From wishingandhoping on 606

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
1407: The Voice of Wimbledon: "We are beginning the process of uncovering all courts with a view to starting play very shortly, weather permitting." I could kiss him. If he was female and pretty.

1402: Things are brightening up a bit and there are no umbrellas to be seen on Centre Court at the moment, so fingers crossed.

Bjorn Borg
1359: "Roger's handling the pressure unbelievably well. He's the king of these courts, it's his home ground. I think it's very difficult to pick a winner today. Federer needs to serve well and if he does I think he's going to win. If he doesn't, I think he's going to have a lot of problems."
Bjorn Borg on BBC One

John McEnroe
1354: "Federer's trying to catch Sampras at seven Wimbledon titles and he's two from Sampras's overall Grand Slam record of 14. That seemed like a foregone conclusion but I bet he's starting to think..... Most great players' records are top heavy with titles from aged 20 to 26ish. It then gets a whole lot harder."
John McEnroe on BBC One

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1348: All this waiting around cannot be doing much for the finalists' nerves as the world awaits one of the most titanic clashes in tennis history. Fortunately, Jeremy Bates is an experienced campaigner and should be primed to take out Ken Flach and Robert Seguso in the senior invitation doubles final. With Anders Jarryd. They are due second on Court One, but who knows?

1343: "Cen, I'll take that challenge! 1520 for the final to start."
From Jenni via text on 81111

It's raining at Wimbledon
1340: "What is the latest on the weather, still inconclusive?! Do we expect something to happen on court 1400 UK time? Thanks."
From Pimbo on 606 (Officially no play at 1400 BST, hopeful for 1430-1500)

1335: "Piers, i'm following the live text in Hong Kong, awaiting the start of the final and if it's any consolation it's chucking it down here as well."
From whistlerst on 606 (Strangely, it is)

1333: "Shall we have a spot of 'Guess the Start of the Final'? I'll go for 1532 (twas the exact same time when the firemen removed my head from between the railings all those years ago)."
From Cen via text on 81111

1330: "I agree with Aliah (see 1303), grand prix very exciting so far, lewis showing amazing moves to now be in the lead, so rain, rain stay at wimbledon until after it's finished!"
From Vicky, Letchworth, via text on 81111

1325: Well, I've managed to sprint to and from the Broadcast Centre restaurant in the pouring rain and have returned with two slightly damp tuna baguettes for myself and BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese. And another pudding. For me. With the rain pouring down, the restaurant is packed and it's standing room only as the soggy hordes watch the Grand Prix. Watching intently from a prime spot is Andrew Castle. You have to get up really early to get ahead of him.

1318: "After two weeks of having to sit with the likes of Jeremy Kyle sapping my resolve on the TV in front of me while we wait for tennis to start, a bored flick through the TV channels this morning found two rogue music channels! Huzzah. Flagging morale was boosted immeasurably by those saucy pop sirens Girls Aloud, before Mika, the Scissor Sisters and a look out of the window brought the party atmosphere crashing back down. Grrrrr. Bring on the roof!"
BBC Sport Mole

1310: "Any sign of sir Cliff at the courts? Rain delays and a stirring singalong rendition of Living Doll will brighten up my Sunday no end!"
From fsjm33 on 606 (I'm sure the Mole would oblige)

1305: "I'm praying for rain then dry after 3pm so that we get a great British GP and hold off the mother of all tennis finals at Wimbledon to follow it! Asking too much?"
From Aliah, addicted to BBC live updates, via text on 81111 (We can be contacted, gratis, via 606 remember)

A celeb has been spotted at Wimbledon
1300: Should we ever get any play, some famous faces will be venturing out into the Royal Box. Bjorn Borg is back to see if Federer can break his five-in-a-row mark, while Manuel Santana will be hoping Rafa can become the first Spaniard to win the men's title since he managed it in 1966. But both men will surely be giddy as school girls to be in the presence of London Mayor Boris Johnson, while Dame Maggie Smith and former champions Stan Smith and Billie Jean King are also in attendance. And a Thomas Hitzlsperger, although presumably not the 'Hammer' of Aston Villa, Stuttgart and Germany fame.

It's raining at Wimbledon
1250: Here he is again, the kindly Voice of Wimbledon: "These light sh>owers are due to continue until around 1400-1430 BST this afternoon and then it is expected to remain cloudy but with some sunny spells, but with the possibility of one or two heavy showers, so we remain optimistic that the situation will improve later on."

1246: "If Nadal's going to do it, it has to be this year - he has to take advantage of any possible effect the French Open may have had on Federer."
From yummycrazyrussian on 606

1240: Well, I have so far demolished a chocolate bar masquearding as a cereal bar, and a pudding posing as a healthy rice-based snack. If they don't start playing tennis soon I'll be on to the brandy and cigars. However, the rain is still falling and the lucky ticket holders are having to make do with taking photographs of each other under umbrellas at the moment. Grim.

1232: "How can anyone suggest that Nadal is the unquestionable number one? He is the king of clay, plays much better on grass, but the guy has yet to reach the final at the Australian Open, not to mention the US Open where he only got to the quarter-finals once."
From csaba via text on 81111

1228: Apparently, there is a Grand Prix on today, and it's in Britain! Rain does not stop motor racing, so while waiting for the real sport to begin you could follow my colleague Sam Lyon as he charts the progress of some space rockets with wheels around a field in Northamptonshire. Maybe Lewis Hamilton could become the new Laura Robson. Hurry back though....
Live - British Grand Prix

1220: "Watching Wimbledon takes me back to when we were students working as waiters. Phil Butler took a bowl of strawberries up to Billie Jean King who was commentating at court 18. Her face was a picture when he asked her if it was her first time at the Championships. Great memories."
From Paddy via text on 81111

1218: "Piers, don't you think the Voice of Wimbledon deserves a graphic?"
From anon via text on 81111 (I fear that would ruin the magic)

The view from the fans
1213: Right, here's the deal. Should the final be held over until Monday becuse of rain, tickets for Sunday will not be vaild - the normal refund policy simply takes effect. That means we will have an empty Centre Court for a Monday final, no? No. At the risk of causing gridlock in south west London, tickets for Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal will be available on a first come, first served basis to those who queue. Wait for it, wait for it.... before you start grabbing tents out of the shed and legging it to the car, there is every chance that the match will be completed today, although probably after several interruptions. Here are the details on the Wimbledon rain policy...Wet weather policy (official website).

1206: "I managed to get hold of tickets last night, I just want it to stop raining!! What's the likelihood of play? If there is none, is it a free for all tomorrow?"
From SA via text on 81111 (Er, you're not going to like this but explanation to follow....)

It's raining at Wimbledon
1201: Just to confirm, play is officially meant to get under way now with the girls' doubles final on Court Two, and the wheelchair doubles final on Court Three. But it's raining.

1200: "Nadal has just had to leg it for cover and end his practice session on court 19 due to a torrential downpour. Anyone see the pictures of Nadal's entourage carrying a load of Kit Kat chunkys (other chunky chocolate based confectionary are available) for him? What sort of a diet is that? I might eat one in his honour now. Mind you they probably cost about £2.50 at Wimbledon's prices. Crisps cost £3.50! £3.50! We're in the middle of a credit crunch for heaven's sake."
BBC Sport Mole

Tracy Austin
1153: As the rain falls gently onto Centre Court, we are already misty-eyed about Laura Robson's glorious victory in the girls' singles yesterday. For Britain. She's only 14, you know. Here's what 1978 junior champion Tracy Austin says about our girl. "In Britain you guys tend to build someone up so quickly because you have so many expectations, so what's most important now is for her mum, her dad, her agent to try to keep her life as normal as possible, not do too many interviews. Give her time for her game to gel and come together. She's only 14 and her parents have to help her out. I went through it and agents were all over me. I hope she does well because she's a great personality."

1149: Even the soothing Voice of Wimbledon cannot disguise the facts as he welcomes us to a "rather damp start to the day". He adds: "The foreacast is not without hope, with showers predicted between now and 2pm, followed by sunshine and the risk of showers, coupled with a fresh south-westerly breeze."

1141: "Nothing against Federer but I want Nadal to win today. I love watching Federer and I was wishing he would win French to win all 4 majors, and for the same reason I want Nadal to win today because he's been in 2 losing finals and came so close last year, but my heart says Nadal my head says Federer. Let's hope this is sublime."
From lionrustbucket on 606

It's raining at Wimbledon
1136: Rog and Rafa are now out on the practice courts, the Swiss facing serves from a left-hander on Court 17 and the Spaniard, fresh from nearly two hours of practice yesterday, steaming around Court 19 as if he's playing the final itself. And with the rain just starting to fall, it may be the closest he gets today. But enough of that negativity...

The view from the fans
1130: "I've just had a chat with a steward and he tells me you can get a ground pass into the All England Club for £8 today and there is virtually no queue. And after 5pm, you can get in for £5."
BBC Sport's Ian Westbrook

Tim Henman
1122: "It's not easy to forget a defeat like the one Federer had at Roland Garros in a hurry, but the best way to do it is to get out on the court and get some wins under your belt and that's exactly what he has done. I don't really think he can feel any better about his game than he does right now. He has been flawless."
Henman on Federer v Nadal

Boris Becker
1116: "I think if Nadal wins the French and Wimbledon, then in everybody's mind he's the number one in the world," says former champion and BBC analyst Boris Becker.

1108: "Extremely excited about today's final as long as the rain doesn't spoil it. Nervous looking groundstaff are bowling tennis balls to each other and one young whippersnapper is demonstrating how to bowl a Doosra. Impressive. Still no sign of the 99p cricket bat I brought in the other day though, fuming about that. Anyhow, the brass band have set up, packed up, then set up again and have now disappeared. Might be one of those days. High hopes for some A-grade celebs showing up today…"
BBC Sport Mole
It's raining at Wimbledon

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
1102: Had the All England Club heeded my advice and played the men's final in Peckham at 7am this morning, we would already be looking back on a classic encounter and hailing our new/old men's champion. But they did not. As a result, we could be in for a frustrating afternoon. The covers are across on Centre Court and the skies look threatening. The weather forecast from BBC Breakfast News says: "It does look like we'll see a rain delay at Wimbledon first thing, then it's a mixture of sunshine and showers, so we could see intermittent play after a delayed start."

1100: This is it, people. The final day of a fantastic fortnight and the best is still to come. Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal for the heavyweight championship of the (tennis) world. Kick-off is at 1400 BST, but we'll be knee deep in analysis and inane chat between now and then.

- We'll be here throughout the day to bring you the latest news from around the All England Club, both on the courts and off, so whether you're settling down at home, stuck in the office or queuing on Church Road, send us your thoughts.

see also
Wimbledon photos
06 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day 12 as it happened
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day 11 as it happened
04 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day 10 as it happened
03 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 08 |  Tennis

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