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Grand Nadal reigns supreme

marciadottin, [email protected]

Grand Nadal reigns supreme

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WIMBLEDON – Rafael Nadal swept Tomas Berdych in straight sets yesterday to win his second Wimbledon title and eighth Grand Slam championship.The top-ranked Spaniard beat the 12th-seeded Czech 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in just two hours, 13 minutes to reinforce his current status as the No. 1 player in the game.He broke Berdych four times and never lost serve in 15 service games, extending his record to 5-0 in his last five Grand Slam finals.It’s the second time Nadal has won the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back, making the tough transition from clay to grass.With eight Grand Slam titles, he joins a list of greats that includes Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry, and Ken Rosewall. He also has five French Open championships and one Australian Open title.After ripping a cross-court forehand passing shot on match point, Nadal collapsed on his back on the turf at the baseline and covered his face with his hands. He congratulated Berdych, then leapt out of his chair and did a front somersault on the grass, rising to his feet with both fists clenched.The Spaniard won his first Wimbledon title in 2008, beating Roger Federer in an epic five-set final after losing to the Swiss star in the previous two finals.But Nadal was unable to defend his crown last year because of tendinitis in his knees, watching on television at home as Federer took advantage of the Spaniard’s absence to win his sixth Wimbledon.“It was probably one of the toughest moments in my career,” Nadal said after accepting the winner’s trophy from the Duke of Kent. “A win here was always my dream. I did it two years ago.”Nadal has now won 14 straight matches at the All England Club and “defended” the title he won in his last appearance here two years ago.Nadal is the first Spanish man to win Wimbledon twice. Manolo Santana took the title in 1966.Nadal beat Berdych for the seventh straight time, a span covering 17 consecutive sets.Berdych was playing in his first Grand Slam final and was the first Czech to reach the Wimbledon final since Ivan Lendl in 1987. He had beaten top-seeded Federer and No. 3 Novak Djokovic en route to the final, but couldn’t find a way to take out the second-seeded Nadal as well.“It was a great two weeks for me,” Berdych said. “He was really strong today. He’s showing in the last few months that he’s really the champion and he just deserves to win today.” (AP)