Strokes of Genius (2018) - full transcript

The film intertwines Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's lives with their famed 2008 Wimbledon championship - an epic match so close and so reflective of their competitive balance that, in the end, the true winner was the sport itself.

no risk of rain today.

Just a glorious English
summer's afternoon.

Welcome to the start
of Wimbledon 2008.

As is tradition, of course,

the defending men's champion
will play the first match
on the center court.

Roger Federer beginning
his campaign for a six
successive Wimbledon title.

I fell in love
with Wimbledon because
of its tradition, its history

that you just feel
very honored and privileged

to be playing on such
a perfectly laid grass court.

You know that somebody has been
going around with the scissors

and making sure that every
blade of the grass is perfect.

A super
performance from
the defending champion.

Rafael Nadal, clearly,
he is a better player

than he was even a year ago
when he pushed Roger
Federer in the final.

Well played,
Roger Federer.

I knew I had played a good tournament

and was close to winning.

But it was tough at the time,

because I didn't know if I would ever have
another chance to win Wimbledon.

First point
for the man from Mallorca.

- Just two
breaks in the match.
- 6-4.

But it's a three sets
win for Rafael Nadal.

He is on his way
for Wimbledon 2008.

Roger's the greatest balletic
mover that tennis has ever seen.

One of the
greatest ball strikers,

you know, phenomenal,
you know, beyond belief.

Game Federer.

The defending champion,
yet, to drop a set.

And Federer.

simply in a different
world at the moment.

And it's not a world with
too many players inhabit.

Give him a chance, Roger!

He's been in the
zone for the last five years
here at the all-in club.


A rampant Rafael
Nadal in superb form.

Rafa has got that intensity
and energy that's so
debilitating to opponents.

So intimidating that it
tires you out mentally.

Rafael Nadal
through to the quarter finals.

Unbelievable shot.

Too strong.

Absolutely relentless.

No doubt that there's been
some surprises, you know,

especially Andy and Novak losing
and when you see this draw
sort of being narrowed down

and you see that Rafael
is the big favorite, you know,
on the other section,

and I'm a big
favorite in my section,

obviously, you start thinking
more about the, you
know, a possible final.

Game set...

It will be
six finals in a row
for Roger Federer.

It will
be the dream final.

-Federer against Nadal.
- Three
sets to love.

I've seen a lot
of tennis matches

and I've commentated
a lot and watched a
lot and played a lot.

If you add everything together,

there's no question
into my mind overall

the 2008 match
between Rafa and Roger

was the greatest
tennis match ever.

I'm well prepared.

I've had a good championship
so far, you know,

and I always think Rafa
as the-- as the test, sort
of what I was hoping for.

I mean Rafa is a
great competitor.

And every time I'm going
to play him, I want to try
to beat him, you know.

Federer says
I know how to play Rafa,
I know what I have to do.

Do you know what you have
to do to beat Roger
Federer on grass?

No. No.

I'll only try my best,
you know, go on court,
try to play my best tennis,

try to put my rhythm,
the intensity and

later if he plays better
than me and he beats me,

just congratulate him
like-- like every year.

Wimbledon is that distant
magical place that you--

across the ocean that had this
aura about it and this beauty.

There's a magic to
Wimbledon that players feel.

It is a combination
of where you're playing,

who you're playing

and the quality of tennis.

You know, the tension

and the excitement,

everything is just so close to
the forefront of your emotions.

The match I played with
Borg in '80 was often talked
about as one of the greatest,

if not the best match
that people had seen.

And once
that great tension
in the men's final.

A tie break in the fourth set.

I think we brought out the
best from each other.

We gave always
a hundred percent.

I had this
tailor-made like super start.

I like to think I made him a
better player but he certainly
made me a better player.


I knew that I had to bring out
my A-game every time I stepped
on the court with Martina.


When I played Chris,
you know, it's this mind games
you play against each other

when you know
each other that well.

Especially when you do
have contrasting styles.

And Nadal and Federer
embody that.

The key to a great rivalry is
contrast, and you couldn't
have more polar opposites.

Roger, when he's
walking on the Centre Court at
Wimbledon looks, so relaxed,

just embraces the environment
and does it in a way that
doesn't use extra energy.

Rafa is someone with high
energy, high intensity.

Look, we've seen what he does
with the bottles on the court,
likes things in a certain order,

wants a lot of stuff
done certain ways.

I remember seeing Nadal
in his sleeveless shirt,

bulging biceps.

And then right next to him he'd
got what looked like a prince.

Not a hair out of place.

I like that lefty-righty,
the way they dress,

the way they act,
their temperaments,
their personalities.

Rafa, you know,
he's the swashbuckler.

But, you know, he's more
emotional and he wears his
emotions more on sleeves.

You can sort of see
what he's feeling more.

And Roger's, you know,
sort of the ever the classy,

you know, almost perfect
guy like Borg was.

So, Federer,
maestro from Switzerland.

Number one in the world
since February 2004.

He's going for title
number six.

It was something not even
the great Swede Bjorn
Borg could achieve.

It's hard enough
to feel the pressure of having
to win a tournament.

But when you're going
for six in a row,

I did the six in a row,
you know you'll never ever
have the chance again, never.

So the pressure
is exponentially greater.

Everybody talked about this
match and I was the umpire,
the spectator of this beauty.

Here comes Roger.

The tennis I was able to watch,
the-- the players we had,
tournament it was.

I believe as well, you know,
I'm sorry I don't want
to feel like a big head,

but I believe that
officiating was great as well.

Roger Federer...


It's just
fantastic, isn't it?
Straight out of the blocks.

Both players look like they
are timing the ball well,
constructing the rallies well.

In tennis, you have
to put your opponent away.

We have to always win
the last point to get
over the finish line.

Each point I play and every ball I hit has the intention,

of harassing the opponent.

Finding a way for that shot to win me the point.

break-up serve, it is.

First bluff to the Spaniard
in his attempt to win
Wimbledon for the first time.

Nadal leads
two game to one.

I do believe that as a tennis
player it's-- it's constant
problem solving

and trying for solutions
and trying out things.

On the surface, if you're just
watching as a spectator,

you might just look, oh,
these guys' play so good.

But all the little decisions
we have to take in every
point, in every game,

in every match and every
tournament, there are so
many of them.

The biggest
difference between any
other sport and tennis

is that you have nobody
else to talk to.

You have a coach but
he can't talk to them.

You have to problem-solve
by yourself.

fundamentally, Federer
is a sporting aristocrat.

He embodies virtues such
as effortlessness, pure
skill, talent, artistry.

These are reflected both
in his person, in the way
he carries himself

and more fundamentally
in the way he plays tennis.

Nadal stands for effort and
its associated qualities--

endurance, muscle power,
fortitude, stamina.

And those fundamental
differences which are
there all the time

when they play each other,
they really come to a head.

I think that's probably
the biggest difference how
they both feel the game.

Roger with a lot more
flexibility on-- on what he does
because of his God-given talent.

And Rafa with his tenacity
and his will to win.

The opponent serves and then you need to return.

So you have to go from something
that is very explosive, very athletic,

to something calm, with a lot of feeling,

with anticipation and harmony.

And to combine these two opposites

results in a good game.

A loss at set point.

This is top tennis now.

Tennis is
a very cerebral game.

You have to be able to deal
with the ups and downs.

An advantage for Federer.

We are back to this game.

The point is
you have to know yourself.


That's a real body blow.

Advantage Nadal.

Game for a set.


Sixth game to four.

I believe doubts are good

because they keep you alert at all times,
regardless of your opponent.

Never considering myself good enough
and always having that doubt

Constantly pushes me to improve.

I think he played way better than me.

I wasn't able to do anything.

I didn't play as well as the other days,
like I wanted to play,

but, whatever.

I'm a big believer
that behind every champion
there is a force,

there is a father, there is a
mother, there is a grandmother,
there is a coach,

there is somebody
that actually is a force
behind this individual.

Rafael began to train as a kid, every day.

Every day, every single day of his life,

as if it was a tennis tournament.

As if he was playing a final.

I always thought that to make it to the top...

would be hard,

and that we would have to face many kinds of problems.

That's why I always tried to foster in Rafael a tough personality,

to be able to withstand such difficulties.

My ambition would be to get to the highest level.

But for the moment, I'm here, I'm 112 in the world,

and there's still a long way.
You have to keep trying, improving, everything.

It's not easy at all.

Well in that time he wasn't the Nadal that we all know now.

I was practicing with him very frequently in Mallorca,

so we knew each other very well.

During that time I won a Grand Slam,

I was number one in the world.

I remember that in practice I almost always beat him,

but once you began to play with him on the court,
he turned into a machine.

The first time we played an official tournament was in Hamburg.

I started playing professionally when I was very young, 16,

so I was not as strong as the other players.

Because the ball came to him a bit faster,
he hit it a bit late...

and he began to lift his arm more than he was supposed to.

And he realized that was also helping him win.

He's able to play a type of tennis
that hadn't been seen before.

Making it so quickly to the professional circuit,

made me find solutions to be competitive

and that's the truth.

A sixteen-year-old
has just put up one
of the world's best players.

But it's clear that he had a killer instinct inside the court,

an ambition that I could only wish I had half of.

The tournament you'd most like to win?


This was Federer's house.

This is where
he was unbeatable.

Nobody beat this guy.

And Nadal was trying to bring
his clay-court game,

his baseline game, to bear
on the grass at Wimbledon.


We talk about
the intensity of Rafael Nadal

and we don't talk about
that with-- with Roger.

He's so relaxed, so this
and that, yeah, yeah.

But when the ball is hit,
the intensity level
is exactly the same.

definitely looking like
he's finding that rhythm,

that groove on his serve, which
we've seen, which has been ever
present this tournament.

Okay, boys,
good luck to you both.

There's a difference
between a brilliant tennis
player and a champion.

And many brilliant tennis
players don't become champions.

And until you taste victory
at the very highest level,
you don't know how to do it.

set match, Federer.

You always dream about it.

You go and play with
your friends when you're ten
years old and you-- you go on--

on the lawn in the backyard
and you play Wimbledon there.

And finally, after
years of underachievement,
Federer wins Wimbledon.

Now I'm--
I'm much more relaxed
going into Grand Slams

just because I don't have
to prove it like I used to.

Game, set
match, Federer.

And Roger Federer
has confirmed his ranking as the
number one player in the world

in emphatic fashion.

I think when Roger
arrived on tour, he put the
tennis to another level.

To him, Wimbledon is
the most important tournament,

it's always the tournament
he wants to win.

Federer just kept on
beating everybody.

I think he really has
a passion for the game.

Otherwise he would
never have gone this far.

Federer's game is very
much dialogue with tennis' past.

You see some of Borg's
smoothness around the court,

you see the explosive
side of Sampras,

you see a bit of Laver.

He took elements
of the old style.

And on top of that, he
superimposed a very powerful
topspin baseline game.

When something looks easy, it does not mean that it's easy.

It means that Roger is able to do something very difficult.


He's a lot more complex than the majority of players,

much more creative.

when I was young,

I never thought I
could play tennis the way
I'm playing it right now.

I always knew there was
some hidden talent in me

with my strokes and
with my style of play,

but that I could actually
explore it as much as I did now.

It's for me also a big surprise.

Roger Federer
is the greatest all-around
talent I've ever seen.

So he's up among, you know,
the greatest of all time.

Let's be honest, Borg won five
in a row, okay, five in a row,

and that's along
with six French's.

So that's why you have to put
him up there in the highest
echelons of the sport.

If he stays up at this level,
he's going to have at least
a couple more Wimbledon,

he's going to win at least
another Open or so,
an Australian,

and he's going to challenge
for the French.

I mean without a doubt
this guy's got by far and
away the best chance to--

to win the French Open.

Then Nadal came along

and put a pressure on him
that he's just-- he's
never had before.

Roger Federer coming
out for what is undoubtedly

the most significant match
in his entire career to date.

For the first time he is
playing in the final of the
French Open at Roland Garros.

At the moment Roger
Federer is in a long list
of great champions

who've never won
at Roland Garros.

McEnroe, Connors, Sampras,
of course, Edberg, Becker.

They could never
master the red clay.

Rafael Nadal, 2005,

who came here and became the
first man since Mats Wilander

to win the title on his
first appearance.

He's looking today
for his sixtieth successive
victory on clay courts.

Rafa is born
to compete against Roger.

First, Rafa is lefty.

He's right in life but he's
lefty on the tennis court.

You don't have many lefty
in the top hundred, so you--

you don't practice much with
lefty and you don't play much
against lefties on the tour.

So it's something
you have to adapt.

And with Rafa playing
the huge topspin in which
the ball bounce very high,

it's very tough on
the one hand backhand
to play over the shoulder.

So it was always
a challenge for Roger.

I think Nadal was
probably the first one
to ask him questions

that he was unable to answer.

Nadal owns
this place and he's such
a tough competitor.

Roger, for a few years he didn't
have anyone really contesting
him and he won so easily.

For like three years, I mean,
he was just no-- no disrespect
to Philippoussis and Roddick

but they weren't,
you know, Nadal.

And so I felt like he's--
he's been challenged here.

I think Nadal
was necessary.

People saying Federer
is unbeatable, he's got
no weaknesses.

And then Nadal came along
with this very particular game.

In-- in some larger sense
you can only say that the
gods of tennis sat around

and thought the game
is becoming unbalanced

and, in a sense, he was
put on earth purely for the
purpose of defeating Federer.

He's a fighter and

he's a grinder and he
deserves it to win here I think.

- Well, you
deserve to win too, Roger.
-Thank you.

We'll see at Wimbledon.

New ball, three.

These two, it's a
fantastic rivalry and-- and we
sit here watching today's match

and-- and I don't think
anyone really knows
which way it's going to go.

We are living our match,
you know,

obviously the-- the
players making history,
not the officials.

We-- we're part of the--
of the game, we're part
of the match, but we are,

there is two plus one.

atmosphere bubbling up in here.

Game Nadal.

Game Nadal.

Yeah, it's pepped enough.

And Nadal is very
much back in this set.

I think I'm the kind of person that

always gives it my all.

Competition is about winning.

What have
you got to do to win a point
against Rafael Nadal?

Rafa is the greatest
fighter I've ever seen
on the tennis court.

And I played
Connors thirty times.

I know what it's like to play
guys that seem like every point

is the last point they're ever
going to play and that's--

it's inspiring but it's--
it's-- it's also intimidating.

for the Federer camp.

Advantage Nadal.

from the crowd.

Ladies and gentlemen,
as a courtesy to the players,

remind to be quiet
during the balls.

Game Nadal.

He has forced his way
back into this set

and will serve
for a two-set lead.

Nadal leads
five game to four.

Second set.

Is the great
man running out of ideas?

He's certainly
got to make something
happen pretty soon.

certainly running out
of time, it would appear.

And it's set point for a two
set lead to the Spaniard.

Two sets it is to Rafael
Nadal, the five-time
defending champion.

Well, he's got
a mountain to climb now.

Nadal leads
by two sets to oh.

The first two sets when I look
back at that finals, you know,

it's like I played them
but maybe I was a bit--

how do you--
how do you say it?

I'm not sure if I really
believed that I was
going to win the match.

My problem was that
I had lost in the French
Open finals a month earlier

against Rafa in a terrible way.

Rafael, I think he had a great year in clay courts

so we went to Roland Garros,

and I believe Rafael played his best tournament.

Rafael Nadal had
been trying to reel in
Roger Federer for years.

This guy just
plays so hard every point.

And then finally he
absolutely thrashed Federer in a
way that he'd never done before.

A rare vision.

Roger Federer without that
confidence, without the
champion's body language.

That was
destructive tennis.

Federer looked like
an old man that day.

Right now he's
embarrassed to be out there.

He just doesn't know what to do.

Game, set and match, Nadal.

6-1, 6-3, 6-0

I think he was affected
by this loss in-- in Paris.

You maybe try to forget
or you try to put it in the--

in the background that
you lost that badly.

I wish it was
a different outcome.
I wish I could have--

Look, it doesn't matter to--
now what happened, you know,

I mean the match is over,
clay court season is over.

If you see
Nadal the way he plays,

it was like I remember
first seeing him, I'm like

this guy's going to be
one of the greatest clay
court players at--

of all time, that's a given.
But I don't know if that's
going to translate on grass.

2006 and then 2007
Rafa was knocking on the door.

And it was a time where
he was the king of clay,
I was the king of grass.

All of the tennis world
would be watching.

Wimbledon is a very special tournament,

Personally, I always dreamt of playing on grass,

because it's pretty much the only tournament
where that can be done.

Federer has
never been challenged like
this in a Wimbledon final.

He's never gone the distance,
he's never gone to five sets,

he's never been two
sets to one down.

That-- that point you say,
okay, no, no, Rafa can
maybe win Wimbledon

and he's going to be
in-- in Rogers' head.

championship point.

It's five in a row.


It was 2007.

I felt bad in the sense that...

I wasn't able to overcome the adversities
in such an important moment.

That hurt.

Is there
a way back in for Federer?

There's no
doubt. He has the ability,
but right now down two sets.

Does even he have the belief,
and that's what we're going
to have to find out.

It's going to be very hard for
him to turn it around right now.

What if Nadal
beats him on grass?

Well, if he beats him on grass
everything changes.


The-- the landscape
would shift completely.


I think Roger
was feeling that Rafa was
getting better on the grass.

Every year
he got a little closer.

It was before that
I think Roger was feeling

that he can play just average
tennis and he'll still win.

But as Rafa was getting better
and better he knew he had
to raise his level and he--

I think he was feeling
the pressure that way.

Oh, he's got him again.

I remember
the clouds started to darken,
the wind picked up

and it was like Federer's mood
was actually changing
as the weather changed.

His mood was
probably darkening.

So disgusted with
himself Nadal still resists.

It's amazing
as well when you sort of see the
way how this match has unfolded

and you just sort of feel like--

Today's the day for Nadal.

Today'sthe day.

As the match evolved,

you sort of sensed something
special was happening
because Nadal was winning.

Federer was the favorite.

He'd been the king of Wimbledon
and won plenty of times already.

But Nadal hadn't.

And it looked like this was
going to be his opportunity. So

that created an enormous
amount of excitement.

But you just felt it was
never going to be plain
sailing, you knew that

Federer was going to
have an opportunity
at some stage.

The players are going off.

Line judges off, everybody off.

The umpire will stay up
there probably and
be pushed off the court.

There he goes, bye-bye.

You always think
when a break is taken that it
favors the man who's losing.

Federer certainly
is losing at the moment.

This championship, well,
it's hanging by a thread.

I try to go back to the locker
room as quick as I could

because you don't know
how long the rain delay
is actually going to take.

People sometimes cannot
believe that all the players
are in the same locker room.

It's a very important
moment because
there you can resettle again,

you can talk to your team,
you can calm down again a
little bit if you're panicking.

We saw Mirka quickly outside
of the locker room, which
is very important, you know.

She's also very positive,
always believes
that Roger can win

and-- and that
helps him a lot.

I think the emotional
part about me about playing

really could be because
I seeked perfection maybe
way too early in my life.

I thought I could play these
perfect tennis shots backhand,

forehands, drop shots,
you name it, smashes.

And I think I probably thought
I could hit shots I saw on TV.

The players I used to admire,

Boris Becker,

Stefan Edberg,

Pete Sampras.

They were the Wimbledon
champions at the time.

They were maybe
the number one in the world.

So I think that inspired me
to play the way I played then.

Very often I would come in
and go like, okay, confident,
happy and everything

and then and I'd be like, bang,
hitting a wall and realizing,
well, it's not possible yet,

you're not strong enough,
you're not big enough yet.

I don't know,
you don't get it yet.

Roger always
had a certain expectation of the
standard he wanted to play.

When it didn't go his way,
that's-- that's actually the
point when he got so annoyed.

So you can imagine
my parents didn't enjoy it

when I was behaving like a brat
on the court, throwing rackets
and shouting and screaming

and crying and playing
again and fighting.
And it was just too emotional.

It was just too crazy for them.
So they would be very
disappointed in my behavior.

We sometimes, we felt really
ashamed and we really took him
many times aside and said,

Roger, I mean, I'm not going
along with you anymore,

I'm not playing the fool
next to the court while
you perform like this.

I used to tell him, you know,
your bad behavior is like
sending an invitation

to your opponent and saying,
here I am, beat me,
I'm really to beat today.

So, go ahead.

And I liked to also
get rid of my frustration.

And I thought also it might
have helped that John McEnroe
or Goran Ivanisevic

to play better in the process.

Coaches told me it's not good
for me that in the process
I won't be playing better,

I will be-- usually be playing
worse because it's a negative
energy that comes through.

You could see he had
talent but the coaches had
to push him quite a bit

a lot of time and he was--
he was testing the limits.

Yes, so he was very young.
He was the youngest of all the players we had at the time.

There were still a lot of moments
where he had difficulties concentrating.

He had so much in him already,
but he could not express everything yet.

He quickly realized that working on his physical fitness,

would help him to do what he enjoys most, playing.

And to express even better what he can do so well,

which is being creative.

It made me
understand my overall game,

I have to come to the net,
I have to try to finish, I have
to try to take chances.

And then as we evolve
and you become stronger,

I would get to balls
I didn't know I could get to

and then with my talent
and my hand-eye coordination
and my technique,

I was able to pull off shots
I never thought I could.

And I feel like that
connected everything.

And I think this is when it got
really a lot of fun for me.

When Roger
Federer was sixteen,

people were already
talking about him.

Game, set
and match, Federer.

Two sets for love, 6-4, 6-4.

He won Wimbledon poise

and then turned pro the
next day in Switzerland.

In Switzerland
we don't expect people
to win big tournaments.

So, at the time, especially not.

We like to be precise,

I generalize here, to the max,

and you're
supposed to be humble.

So it's kind of interesting
also when he came along

and he basically said,
you know, I want to win--
win big tournaments.

And he wasn't really
humble about it.

And one of the first big
matches he played was in Basel

against Andre Agassi.

And, you know,
he went out there to win,

which was almost
like what is he trying to do,

you're playing against Andre
Agassi and you are a junior,

you know, you're
supposed to lose here.

But he wasn't acting that way.

But then
the losing hurt, you know,
it just really did.

I didn't like losing.

The number of times
we would go to tournaments

and he would throw in
a substandard performance

or he'd mentally break down
and he'd get emotional,
he'd throw his rackets.

He was losing matches
he should have won.

I was too
far ahead of myself.

I don't want to say cocky
but I think I probably
thought I was better

than I maybe was sometimes, that
I could hit shots I saw on TV.

He was all flourishes and
beautiful trick shots but there
was no identity to his game.

Roger was getting very
angry on the tennis court,

he was breaking racket or
whatever when he was young.

But he was always
respecting the opponent.

It was always against himself.
He was never being provocative.

He was never being unfair.
He was never cheating.

He went through times when he was very,
very hard on himself.

He is very, very self-critical.

It's difficult for an artist
when he has a desire to express himself,

and he knows how to express himself,

but he can't actually express himself the way he wants to.

And that's why at the beginning of his career,

it may have taken a while,

because there were so many things
to put together in the puzzle.

I'm telling you,
people were rolling their eyes

when I kept bringing
him up in conversation.

When I reached the stage
of my career where I'm
touring professional

and I just thought,
well, honestly, I feel
uncomfortable doing this

in front of ten thousand people,
I don't like to do it when
there's live TV watching,

and I don't know
how many thousands
or millions are watching,

you know, in their
living room, me playing,
throwing rackets and shouting

and what is the
commentary saying about
me, I didn't like that.

And I said, "I'll change
from here on."

I think each
generation has their guy.

Borg certainly was the player
of his generation. Lendl.

I was probably the player
of my generation in the '90s.

I felt like I was going
to win that match.

I just felt pretty confident.

He was pretty young at the time

but Roger was very tough.

that's a great shot.

I was
caught off guard.

He was serving huge, he was
moving great, he was returning
my serve with ease

and just felt a little
bit overpowered.

Thank you .

He's done it!
The champion is out!

It's tough out there.
He definitely is...
He's got a great future.

I mean, he's already proven
that he's a great player

and that he's got a good
chance to maybe go all the way.

A new
bat in tennis' past
to a new generation.

Federer can hardly believe it,
the emotion at the moment

of having beaten the greatest
grass court player of all time
is too much for him.

Nineteen years of age
and his first ever appearance on
the Centre Court of Wimbledon.

He has played a magnificent
match to defeat the seven
times champion

in five extraordinary sets.

You have to find your
own identity and do it your way.

Only I believe when
Wimbledon rolled around in 2003,

I felt like I grew into my own.

I felt comfortable with
the fighting spirit, the
positive and negative energy,

how to absorb and how to utilize
it in the best possible way.

Everything comes into play.

So, there's just a lot
of decision-making,

a lot of mistakes you
can do along the way,

but one thing you
can't is you can't do it
perfect every single time.

So you have to learn to play
with problems and you have
to learn how to play with pain.

One therefore has to find this harmony.

That's why it's crucial for Roger,

that the man he is, embodies the player he is.

That those two are one and the same thing.

Everyone knew that
Nadal was a great fighter.

But with Federer, you know,
he's naturally a front-runner.

On grass especially he'd
always for the last few years
had completely dominated.

He'd never had to come back
from behind in that way.

And so everyone knew that
Nadal would fight to the end.

But one wasn't quite sure
how Federer would
react to adversity.


This has turned around.

He loves to win.

He's Mr. Nice Guy
but he wants to beat you
when he's on the court.

He wants to find the
solution to how to win.

Game Federer.

I believe that the rain delay
probably woke me up and I said,

well, if we're going
to go out of this match,

well, at least you're going
to go down swinging
and really start to wake up.

You know if it
does go to a tie break, it will
be the last roll of the dice

for Federer to see whether
he can stay in the match.

Game Nadal.

Six, game two, six. Tie break.

Neither player
has lost a tie breaker in this
championship so far.

Federer's 103, he's played
Nadal's 104, he's played.

Something has to give.

You have to find a certain
intensity, I believe, that helps
you through these moments.

That's part of showing
your opponent that you're
really interested to win.

Well, there's no
mistaking what the crowd wants
and it's no disrespect to Nadal.

But I think they quite
fancy some more tennis.

Thank you.

Federer certainly
wanted to play more tennis

and he still believed that
he could turn it around.

And it was amazing how he was
able to-- to hang in there and--

and maintain the belief against
the guy that we all know has
caused him a lot of problems.

This was someone trying
to take away his crown
in his own backyard.

So, two sets to love down,
you know, the way Federer
dug in was-- was impressive.

Federer's serve is much better than mine.

He has won many games with his serve,

in under a minute and a few seconds.

That doesn't happen to me...

so I need other virtues that he doesn't have.

6-5, Federer.


Federer game 2-6.

that wasn't so much
of a cheer as an eruption.

We reached the tie break of the third set,

Rafael lost.

Always, when we started,

I used to say to Rafael...

"Good face."

When he started to train
I always used to say, “Good face."


Because it's impossible to learn,

to improve or do anything right
when you don't have a good attitude.

When he has had situations against other tennis players,

that have overwhelmed him,

well he has almost always been able to turn things to his side.

And I think doubt or the uncertainty of not being the best...

makes you try to do it better in some way.

I've never considered myself good enough to
just go and train, and just train.

I've always gone training with the desire of improving.

I believe he has no reason not to be humble...

he has no reason to feel special.

He's special when he plays tennis
in New York or in Wimbledon,

where there are 20,000 people in the finals.

I don't think it is possible to stop being humble
because you perfectly hit a tennis ball.

I don't see the world as Rafa Nadal,
the tennis player or tennis star.

I see the world as a normal person.

My life here is completely normal, like any of my friends.

The feeling of belonging to Mallorca, an island,

a place where you always feel comfortable

and where you always want to go back
because you think it is the place...

that gives you the energy
to continue with your professional career.

I think for Rafael this is the place where he feels the tranquility

that he can't feel in any other place.

When he comes here, he feels supported by his friends,

he feels the way he did as a kid.

So Rafa, even though he's been traveling since he was young,

he has always wanted to come back.

I believe he has never imagined himself
living anywhere but Mallorca.

Here I can see my friends and my family every day

and that makes my relationship with my family
one of the most important things in my life.

He finds his own way to
feel comfortable at Wimbledon or
Australian Open or French Open,

whatever it is, he creates
a home, you know,
where it's not his own.

He doesn't try to recreate
what he's got in Mallorca,

that's impossible, but he
creates his own environment.

You know, he rents a place
and he's got his family
there with him.

You can spend some time with your family

if they come over and you can have a positive
and peaceful atmosphere.

Sometimes I cook, sometimes someone else does.

I like cooking, I have no issues with that.

Everything is programmed
in order to try to be
as relaxed as possible

and try to be as focused
and concentrated as possible.

I can imagine that Nadal, who is a great tennis fighter,

has always looked for the challenge of solving problems.

And I think that with Roger, it's the same thing.

Maybe they each have their philosophy
about how to solve the problem.

Roger always needs to feel something positive,

he always needs to feel the opening up
of a possibility, a path, a solution.

Pierre is definitely
part of my mental game

even though I don't feel
like I do any mental
work to-- for tennis.

But our-- let's say if
we catch up together and
we-- we're working out,

probably thirty percent
of it is talking, you know,
about possibilities,

what could we change, what could
we do, what else can we improve.

"How's life at home, Roger?"
And I'm like, I'll talk to him
about it, you know.

So I'm very open and honest.

I think Pierre knows
a lot about me more than
most people in my life.

He's always been himself and I think

that this has been his great mental labor his entire life.

I noticed that already when he was young,

He always tried to find a balance between
what he does and who he is.

His attention to detail
into his training, his-- his
practice, his injury prevention,

his schedule and--
and his matches is incredible.

And I think sometimes
he doesn't get the almost
the credit he deserves

because he makes
it look so easy.

He's a good phy-- physique
that doesn't put too
much stress on his joints.

He's a great mover.
He's well balanced.

So people think, well,
that's it's just natural,
it's a God-given talent

and he does have enormous
talent but he works just
as hard as anyone else

at-- at improving
all those attributes.

If family and wife's not happy,
then my tennis is going to
wobble, you know.

And then if this doesn't work
out, the fitness is not right,
then everything--

it's like a Jenga block
building, you know,

and everything
needs to fall into place.

My wife, who I met back
in 2000 at the Olympics,

I mean she-- she's been a rock,
you know, in my life, you know.

She's been there,
gave me consistency.

Is the guy-- is the guy you
are with, is he very nice?

Yeah, he's very nice.

I think most important
is that you're authentic
that you're yourself

and that's what Roger is.

Off the court I think it's very
important but also on the
court, you know.

If you try to show things that
are not really inside of you,

then it-- it doesn't work, the
whole puzzle doesn't work.

Roger looks for the perfect game.
He seeks harmony. He seeks creativity.

But we must not forget that Roger is also ready to fight.

Roger is an artist who knows how to fight,

whereas Nadal is a fighter
who knows how to be an artist as well.

It's similar to ballet.

We don't see the effort, but we know
that these people work very hard...

to express grace, to express harmony.

I think that controlling time is what leads you to success.

The greatest sportsmen of history,

have the mental capacity to think faster, see faster

and make important decisions faster than others.

Fantastic point.

Game Federer.

Six against oh,
fourth set, tie break.

He didn't really think
that he was going to give
this championship away

after five years as the boss.

Both players
will receive one
additional challenge.

Rafa! Roger!

Thank you.

Thank you. Quiet, please.

2-1, Nadal.

takes back the advantage.

As confident
as we are, and we need
to have that confidence,

we also need to know the other
side that it's always dangerous.

is closing in on this
Wimbledon men's singles title.

You learn
so much from the sport
from winning, from losing,

trying to figure out
and just being uncomfortable

and trying to fight through
those-- those difficult moments.

That's wide.

That could be
the crucial blow.

Uncle Toni can't even
watch anymore.

Five-two, Nadal.

He's coached
this young man, his nephew,
since he was four years old.

I remember that...

Rafael was up 5 to 2 with two serves,

the match was almost won.

And he
is two points away
from the championship

and he will serve
the next two points.

At that moment I started to feel nervous.

When he missed his first serve,

I told Carlos Costa who was sitting next to me, I said,
"Double fault."

I didn't want to look.

Once I missed my first serve,

I had a feeling I might double fault.


Five-three, Nadal.

Federer is a champion.

He has that mentality in him

and started to see Nadal
at the other end just shaken
a little and a little scared.

And Federer jumped on that.

Set point
or match point from here on in.

6-5, Federer.

Oh, he waited for it!

8-7, Nadal.

And that
means championship point.

When I was serving to win Wimbledon,

I thought...

“I'm gonna win Wimbledon”.

I remember to be on the
chair and do like phew!

Oh my goodness!

For Roger to hit a shot
at that moment

with that incredible pace off
the backhand was jaw-dropping.

That was the worst feeling I’ve had on a tennis court.

I never think “I'm going to win.”
Instead, I just focus on the next point.

But that match was so important, I felt
that the ball was there and I'd win.

The two best
passing shots of the tournament

without doubt have just taken
place on the last two points.

It's eight all.

What's next?

Two championship
points gone for Nadal.

quality from both players.

Roger pulled out the fourth
set tie breaker and had
saved a few match points

because that seemed like it took
it to this whole new level.

Haven't seen
a tie break like that since
Borg-McEnroe 1980.

It was up there.

We really do have
the classic confrontation here,

the best server McEnroe
against the best returner,

and the most volatile player in
the world against the calmest.

On the court
it was something special
to see John's face.

You knew that this is going
to be a hell of a fight, this is
going to be a hell of a match.

And you have
to hand it to both men.

There hasn't been an inch
given by either of them.

They've both looked
down the gun barrel
and they're both still alive.

I always get a hundred,
and I wanted to win.

That's it!

That was the most
memorable match in my career.

And to win for the fifth time
in a row, to beat John in the
final, was something special.

Borg and McEnroe
is something that people
are still talking about

nearly forty years on.
And-- and that will continue.

So the
number two player in the word
just watching and seeing,

waiting for the day
when perhaps he'll
have this chance to do that.

I've spent the last twenty-five
years of my life trying to
figure out a way

to remember the wins instead
of dwelling on my losses.

It goes
for both Chris and I.

We would have both won
a whole bunch more if the
other one wasn't around

but we wouldn't have been
as good a tennis player.

At the end of the tournament
we were the only ones in the
locker room on Sunday.

One of us was a winner
and one of us was a loser.

One of us would always be
comforting the other one.

I saw her in her most
vulnerable moments.

I think that Martina
and I got to a point where
it was like, you know,

okay, the match is over,
this is all about human
compassion now.

You embrace the fact that maybe
this rivalry is bigger than you

and you're a part
of something wonderful.

They share
something, these players,
I see it's when they retire,

having spent time on the
Champions Tour you see that

that they're-- they're
often happiest in
each other's company.

Certainly Borg and McEnroe Are.

Game set match!

He's won it! He's won it!

When I did win it,
I felt like I could fly for that
couple of seconds or a minute

when it happened because
I felt like I finally earned it.

But, at the same time,
soon afterwards

my greatest rival quit.

'81 was my last year.

I just lost my
motivation for tennis.

And then the worst thing
came that I didn't care
if I was winning or losing.

And that's not me.

He was retiring.

He told us a few months
after the Open when I
played him in the '81 Open,

he said I'm retire-- we thought
he was kidding, we laughed.

It felt like tennis was bigger
than ever and we were on
the cover of Sports Illustrated

and people were talking
about it and we were--

it was happening,
you know, and I was like,
"What are you doing?"

I mean this is crazy.

I couldn't believe that he
was even thinking about it.

I think it's too bad for the
game and it's too bad for me

because my best tennis
has been against him but--

I did over the course of the
next couple of years tried to
talk him into coming back,

or I wanted him to come back
or when are you coming back.

I would have been happy
for him to come back and lose
my number one ranking

because I think he was
that important to the game.

And he was that
important to me.

And now,
for the second year in a row,

a five-set final between the
two best players in the world.

The way
that mach unfolded,

I remember the producer saying
to me, "What can you see?

What can you tell us
from the statistics as
we head into this fifth set

that will determine
the Wimbledon champion?"

And I remember thinking
stats right now just
feel utterly irrelevant.


These guys were
doing their thing at a level
we hadn't seen before.

I think I felt like I owe it to
the players, not to sort of be
a loud-mouth and sort of say,

"Oh, this is what they
should do now in the fifth."
That's a bunch of baloney.

That's it. This is emotional,
this is like heart and will.

Game Federer.

Now for
the first time in three hours
and thirty-seven minutes

Roger is in the lead.

It's something
where you have to say,

let's just watch this and enjoy
something because this doesn't
come along very often.

Game Federer.

That's the first
time we've seen Rafa Nadal shake
his head this entire tournament

and why not, two match points
and the fourth set tie breaker.

Ah, it's brilliantly played!

Two spots
of rain here on Centre
Court, I'm afraid.

Getting a little heavier.

The play is stopping
and that is too bad.

Three hours and fifty-six
minutes, a first-class
drama on Centre Court.

The match was stopped at 2-2 in the fifth set,

I thought the match was lost.

That Federer had a better chance of victory.

Rafa had lost twice before to Federer.

He had had a chance to win,

and it had vanished in front of him.

I went to the locker room,

because I thought I was
going to find Rafael with very...

very low hopes.

I thought, "What can I tell Rafael to motivate him,

to raise his spirits?"

I don't know what Toni meant to tell me at the moment,


I was prepared to take on the challenge
and deal with adversity at every moment.

And that's what I told Toni,
that I wouldn't fail.

Federer could win,

but I wasn't going to lose.

If he wins, so be it,

but I won't lose.

And those
clouds are clearing off,
those ones on the right.

We are so
very different in how
we approach things.

Yet, if you scratch only the
surface, you realize that
we're probably quite similar.

Constantly thinking, thinking,
thinking what could be my next
play, it's like a chess game,

you know, like there's
always a next move.

Wondrous forehand!

Game Federer.

Federer leads six games to five.

Final set.

I do admire Federer's style

and those who don't

either they don't know about tennis...

even if you're someone else's fan,

you need to be able to recognize excellence

and Federer is excellent in every sense.

Game Nadal.

Six games all. Final set.

There is no tie
break in the fifth, a deciding
set at Wimbledon.

So we go on.

It has to be two-game

Game Federer.

And Nadal will
come out to serve again
to stay in the match.

Seven games all. Final set.

Imagine being two
sets to love up against
a guy you've never beaten

in the Wimbledon final
before and then he starts
to come back at you

and he's starting to show
everybody how he's won all
of these Wimbledon titles.

How Nadal held it together
after that, I don't think
I'll ever know.

Advantage Nadal.

is another breakpoint,
the fourth of the game.

Game Nadal.

Nadal leads by eight
games to seven, final set.

The tennis was--
was incredibly good.

The only concern
is maybe the darkness.

The court
was almost being lit
by flashbulbs at the end.

It was painfully dark.

Stopping a match for darkness
is up to the referee.

But because they
are not reacting to it,

okay let's keep playing
until a point where it's--
it's getting too dark.

There's been occasions where
major events such as Wimbledon
have gone on to the next day.

This had just
been too good to say,

"Wait a second, we're going
to stop and come back and play,
perhaps, one game the next day."

Let's try to finish it.

Let's-- let's try to have
a winner tonight.

The five-time
defending champion is at the
mercy of Rafael Nadal here.

Ah! Well, no wonder
people stand.

Three match points Nadal
has had, three times
he's been on the break

and three times
Federer has said no.

Advantage Nadal.

There is a new
man at the head of men's tennis,

Rafael Nadal.



Roger Federer!

And the Wimbledon
gentlemen's singles
champion for 2008,

Rafael Nadal!

And the fact that you
beat Roger here on Centre Court

in arguably one of the greatest
finals we have ever seen,

does that make this
even more special?


For sure.

You know, when Roger,
he after five years--

I lost the last two finals,
close finals, but he is
still the number one.

He's still the best.

He's still five-time
champions here.

And right now I have one.

So, for me it's very,
very, very important.

And now having
shared this contest together,

they now share the
limelight and rightly so.

There's two champions there.

No six in a row
for Roger Federer,

but the first French Open,
Wimbledon Doubles
since Bjorn Borg.

We'll be talking
about that match for decades.

I think I'm going to say
another fifty years of matches.

And I'd be surprised
if it's better.

First of all, can I just say
thank you as a tennis player

that you allowed us to be part
of this amazing spectacle.

I mean is that--
is that any consolation?

A little bit.

Thanks, John. It's tough,
it's tough, it hurts.

In the moment itself,

you know, I was like,
"Oh my God, this is the
worst day of my life."

It was really-- was like a
maybe three, four, five, six,
seven weeks after the match

that I really started to feel
the magnitude of the match.

These two
haven't played each
other since Wimbledon,

so this is a treat for us
and I'm loving it.

Compared to the way things were for years,
history was now being rewritten.

Nadal has done it!

I had to embrace
the idea of a rival.

In the beginning
I didn't want to have one.

Maybe I'll try later again,
I don't know.

God, it's killing me.

And then, eventually, I realized
there's something good
to take out of these situations.

So I maybe have to adjust
my game a little bit.

I don't like to do that per se,
but why not? Let's go.

This one title
that he has not yet won,

he's the guy who's
got to prove himself.

As much as you just
only want to win,

you also want to become
the best player you can
be in-- in your lifetime.

I can't help
but think that from the island
of Mallorca right now,

Rafael Nadal
feels good for Roger.

Rafael Nadal!

The circuit evolves, the players evolve,

If you want to keep the same position,

you have to improve and evolve
from the player you were 8 or 10 years ago.

fifteenth Grand Slam

That breaks the tie
with Pete Sampras.

I don't know if
Roger would still be around
if Rafael hadn't been born.

It's hard to stay motivated,
and they kind of
pulled each other.

They are always forced to reach their limit, to go a bit further,

but it's not about becoming better just to win,

but becoming better as a matter of life.

What makes it stand out
from any other rivalry,

they're both
exceptional people.

They both have such
a respect for each other.

They both are very humble.

One can win...

or one can lose.

This year's runner-up,
Roger Federer.

Nadal is the king
of Rolad Garros.

That's part of our lives.

We need to know how to live with both,
defeat and victory.

These two
guys at their age with all
that they've accomplished,

with a chance to play
each other again.

as you get older,

you start to feel like how
many more opportunities am I
going to have to do this.

Ladies and gentlemen,

the 2017 champion
of the Australian Open,
Roger Federer.

Thank you, guys.

You stand there
on the podium, there's
a standing ovation going on,

everybody's listening,
you could hear a pin drop.

I don't think we both either
one of us believed that
we're going to be in the finals

of Australia when
we saw each other.

And here we stand
in the finals.

I remember also how I felt
in 2008 and he must have
felt the same in 2017.

What-- what can
you say? You know.

Tennis is a-- tennis
is a tough sport.
There's no-- no draws.

But if there was going to be
one, I would be very happy
to accept the draw tonight

and share it with Rafa really.

I learned a lot from those
matches and you-- you feel
like almost you-- you grow up,

you know, and you have
more experience in life
because of these matches.

You start respecting
each other more and more

because in those moments it's
so personal, it's so intense.

I mean, there's no
question that these two guys
made each other better players.

The quality is better
than it's ever been.

What a treat.

What a treat to have two
of the greatest of all time
playing at the same time,

you know, it's just--

we're so lucky.