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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Sunday, 4 July 2010 16:29 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Rafael Nadal beats Berdych in final

Rafael Nadal celebrates his win

Nadal regains Wimbledon title (UK only)

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

World number one Rafael Nadal blew away 12th seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets to regain the Wimbledon crown and claim his eighth Grand Slam title.

Nadal was too strong for the Czech as he won 6-3 7-5 6-4 in two hours 13 minutes on a blustery Centre Court.

Having been unable to defend his title last year due to injury, Nadal has now won 14 straight matches at Wimbledon.

And he adds a second title at the All England Club to five French Opens and one victory at the Australian Open.

"It's more than a dream for me," Nadal told BBC Sport. "After a difficult year for me, missing the tournament last year, this year I came back and to have this trophy in my hands is more than a dream."

Rafael Nadal

Wimbledon win more than a dream - Nadal

After winning at Roland Garros for the fifth time last month, without dropping a set, Nadal has proved beyond doubt that he is currently the world's best player and, at 24, he has plenty of time to close on Roger Federer's record 16 Grand Slam titles.

Berdych had beaten six-time champion and world number two Federer in the quarter-finals, and third seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, but in his first Grand Slam final the Czech came up against a simply unstoppable force.

Nerves and the testing conditions did not help the 12th seed, but nothing was going to stop Nadal reclaiming the title he first won in five dramatic sets against Federer two years ago.

Nadal had been in blistering form in his semi-final win over Andy Murray on Friday and had won seven of his 10 matches against Berdych, making him a heavy favourite going into Sunday's final.

And after the opening six games passed without incident, the 2008 champion pounced on his first chance in game seven.

Errors on the forehand and backhand side saw Berdych fall 0-30 down and the Spaniard came up with a stunning forehand pass down the line to reach 0-40, converting his second break point with a winning return.

Berdych appeared rattled and was struggling to keep pace, his first-serve percentage slipping to 50%, and a rampant Nadal was able to tee off on the return as he broke again to seal the first set in 34 minutes.

It's been a great two weeks for me, but he was really strong, he's showing in the last few months he's really the champion

Tomas Berdych

There was hope, finally, for the Czech at the start of the second when Nadal played a loose game and offered up three break points, but a stinging forehand, a heavy second serve and a Berdych error ensured the world number one remained in charge.

Both men were making unforced errors as the blustery conditions knocked them out of any rhythm and, with little sign of a Berdych comeback, the atmosphere was unusually flat as the second set progressed.

Neither man got close to another break point until game 11 but, after looking comfortable on serve, the nerves took hold of Berdych as a tie-break loomed.

Two successive forehand errors from 0-30 handed Nadal a two-set lead without the Spaniard having to raise his game as he would have expected, and Berdych was now faced with an almost impossible task.

Something had to change for the Czech and he attempted to increase the pressure on Nadal by attacking the net early in the third.

However, Berdych now needed to seize every opportunity that came his way and when a backhand found the net on break point in game three, Nadal was let off the hook once again.

606: DEBATE

The world number one had not needed to hit the heights of his semi-final win over Murray but a huge forehand winner into the corner helped him to 4-3 and reminded everyone that the Spaniard still had several gears in reserve if required.

Once again, Nadal made his move as the set - and potentially the match - neared its conclusion, with a couple of vicious forehands getting him to within two points of victory at 5-4.

Berdych blazed a forehand over the baseline at deuce to give Nadal championship point and the man from Majorca took it in typical style with a flashing cross-court forehand winner, before collapsing in triumph and adding a celebratory forward roll on the hallowed turf.

"I want to say thank you to the crowd because I was playing the local player on Friday, and the respect on the court was amazing, and that doesn't happen on every court in the world so thank you very much," added Nadal.

And Berdych admitted: "It's been a great two weeks for me, but he was really strong, he's showing in the last few months he's really the champion."

Rafael Nadal

The matador Nadal tames Berdych (UK only)



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see also
Nadal hails 'best crowd in world'
04 Jul 10 |  Tennis
BBC pundits on Nadal v Berdych
04 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon men's final as it happened
04 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon - day 13 photos
04 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Nadal ends Murray's hopes in semi
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Berdych reaches Wimbledon final
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis


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