One stop article for Wimbledon 2008.
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Here it is again, Federer vs. Nadal. It is the 6th time that these two players meet in a Grand Slam final, an Open Era record. Nadal is looking to become the first player to complete the Roland Garros/Wimbledon double since 1980. Federer is trying to become the first player to win 6 consecutive Wimbledon titles in te Open Era.
Both players have been in incredible form on grass and enter the final with an 11-0 record on it. Federer, the Halle champion, comes in without the loss of a set and was broken twice on his way to the final. Nadal, the Queen's Club champion, has dropped one set and was broken 4 times.
|R128||def. Hrbaty 6-3 6-2 6-2||def. [Q] Beck 6-4 6-4 7-6|
|R64||def. Soderling 6-3 6-4 7-6||def. Gulbis 5-7 6-2 7-6 6-3|
|R32||def. Gicquel 6-3 6-3 6-1||def.  Kiefer 7-6 6-2 6-3|
|R16||def.  Hewitt 7-6 6-2 6-4||def.  Youzhny 6-3 6-3 6-1|
|QF||def. Ancic 6-1 7-5 6-4||def.  Murray 6-3 6-2 6-4|
|SF||def. Safin 6-3 7-6 6-4||def. Schuettler 6-1 7-6 6-4|
The matchup is well-known. Nadal is the best defender on the tour and is able to withstand even Federer's best attacking shots. This enables him to get a lot of balls back and eventually leads to Federer making an error.
On top of that, Nadal's (lefty) topspin forehand bounces up shoulder high to Federer's weaker backhand wing. Nadal relentlessly attacks the Federer backhand, opening up the court for a winner on the forehand side or forcing an error from Federer's backhand.
On other surfaces than clay, Federer has the ability to steer the rally to his forehand wing, shorten the points and attack the net. This takes Nadal out of his comfort zone and forces him to make mistakes.
The matchup issues have led to Nadal leading the H2H 11-6 but Federer leads the H2H 5-2 on other surfaces than clay and 2-0 on grass.
Both Federer and Nadal have been serving extremely well this tournament and a lot will be decided by the return of serve, which will be used to set up the point in a more or less neutral position.
Both players have an equal chance of taking the title, but I think Nadal's time to win Wimbledon has come and that he will do this in 4 sets.