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Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Sunday, 4 July 2010 18:57 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Rafael Nadal hails 'world's best crowd'

Rafael Nadal

Wimbledon win more than a dream - Nadal

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal described the Wimbledon crowd as the best in the world after regaining the title he had to give up last year because of injury.

The Spaniard beat Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5 6-4 to capture his second title at the All England Club, having beaten Roger Federer in an epic final two years ago.

And Nadal had to upset the home crowd by beating Andy Murray in the semis.

"It's probably the best crowd in the world, they have a lot of respect for every player," said Nadal.

"They were always amazing with me, especially on Friday when I played against Andy Murray, a British player. For sure they were supporting him, but sometimes they were supporting me as well and that's unbelievable."

I think the biggest difference between us was that when he got a chance, he just took it

Tomas Berdych

Asked to compare his two Wimbledon victories, the 24-year-old added: "Every one is really special. The other one was more dramatic in the way I won and the first title is always very, very special.

"After a year that was not easy, for me to be back here at my favourite tournament in the world and play well and finish with the trophy is amazing for me."

Nadal, who missed last year with a knee injury, has now won 14 straight matches at the All England Club and the days when he was considered a clay-court specialist are long gone.

"For me, to play well on grass was always my dream and to play well here was a big goal for me," he said. "I move well on this court and that's very important, later my serve improved a little bit."

Having played Federer in his first three Wimbledon finals, Nadal went into Sunday's match against Berdych as a strong favourite, but he said: "If you are not nervous in the final of Wimbledon, you are not human."

In the event, the Spaniard won in a little over two hours, although he insisted he was not surprised by the relatively straightforward manner of his victory.

"I don't expect anything before the match," he said. "I expect to play my best in every point and try to fight every point like the last, but I don't think about if I'm going to have a difficult match or if I'm going to lose or win. I just try to go on court and fight every point."

Nadal will get the chance to complete the set of Grand Slam titles at the US Open next month but for now his thoughts are on returning home to enjoy his "emotional" victory.

606: DEBATE

"The US Open is going to be one of the goals for the rest of my career," he said, "but right now my goal is to enjoy the beach, fishing, golf, friends, party in Majorca....."

Berdych failed to capitalise on break points at the start of the second and third sets, and admitted that had been the key to his defeat.

"He was really good, he was strong," said the Czech. "I think the biggest difference between us was that when he got a chance, he just took it.

"He gave me a chance in the second set and the third set but I couldn't make the break. That just shows how strong he is. I think it was just really about the small differences.

Asked if the pressure of playing in his first Grand Slam final had affected him, Berdych insisted: "Definitely not."

He added: "I'm disappointed, it was my first final and it could have gone better, but it was a lot of experience for me."



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see also
Nadal wins second Wimbledon title
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
Champion Nadal out of Wimbledon
19 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Nadal wins epic Wimbledon final
06 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis


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