Rafael Nadal made his Wimbledon debut in 2003 as just a 17-year-old teenager, becoming the youngest player in the third round since Boris Becker in 1985 in the process.
Five years later in 2008, Nadal defeated grass-court immortal Roger Federer, in what many consider the greatest match in the history of tennis.
At 4 hours and 48 minutes, the match is the longest singles final in Wimbledon history, and with the victory, Rafa achieved the rare French Open-Wimbledon double, which he later repeated in 2010.
Ten years have now passed since the epic final at SW19, and Rafa recently spoke to Tennisworld.com regarding the contest.
“It is one of the most emotional matches I ever played, I was coming from two consecutive (Wimbledon) finals and it was a very important step forward for me, it opened me a new way.
"Winning and losing is part of the sport, but that was a key moment,” said Nadal.
When asked about the opportunity to face his arch-nemesis again at the All England Club, Nadal stated: “I can’t think about it now. Me and Federer have not been playing each other at a Wimbledon final since 2008.
“I have to prepare well and live day by day.”
Nadal also spoke about the back-and-forth battle with Federer for the no.1 ranking in the world.
“I won’t risk and I won’t seek the No. 1 spot.
"If I am, perfect, but at this stage of my career the goal is to be healthy as many weeks as possible, be happy in what I do, and have the option to compete every week.”
Nadal was in supreme form at Roland Garros, losing just one set on his way to his 11th French Open title.
As he did last year, Federer did not participate in the clay court season, but has returned after a three-month lay-off in spectacular fashion after beating Denis Kudla of the United States to reach his 12th final in Halle, his 149th ATP final, and the 27th final of the ATP 500 series, passing Nadal who stayed on 26.
Tennis fans around the world can only dream that this year’s Wimbledon final plays out as it did back in 2008.
Both Nadal and Federer are firm favourites going into the historic tournament as the Swiss legend looks to lift the trophy for the ninth time and the Spanish phenom will look for his third Wimbledon title.
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