Some highlights (all real quotes):
- “In the semi-finals, I faced Federer, and it is true that I felt plethoric on clay… as true as the match seemed intimidating, I felt respect. I am not saying fear. Never. My start was explosive. I knew that Rogerio (as I friendly call him) was not used to hitting so high and would take a few games to get used to my lifting.” – RG 05
- “Another final against Federer. I correct. It is never ‘another’, it is never ‘one more’. Every meeting is the first and the last, and this would be no exception: a victory of sweat and courage, with flashes of great tennis.” – Monte Carlo 06
- “I jumped on to court in front of more than 15,000 people. I looked at my parents and then at Federer. I was ready, or that is what I thought. Roger gave me a real thrashing in the first set. He soon got 5-0 up, and showed tremendous solvency and serenity: drives along the line, a concluding, resolving backhand at the net.” “Federer is not only a champion, but also a gentleman and an elegant rival. He did not try to humiliate me, he did not draw blood. I don’t think he wanted to win like that against a frightened opponent who hardly put up any resistance. He wanted to win against Rafa Nadal.” – RG 06
- “I know Federer beat me in the final, although as far as I am concerned, I played the best tennis of my career. Wimbledon was Rogerio’s garden, his private domain. He strolled around the court sweeping away any opponent who dared to tread on his grass with overwhelming superiority.” “The game that Fed-Ex develops on grass is… well, you know what I am talking about. I am not going to write an ode (he has got his own web for that, hasn’t he? ;-D) though sometimes I felt the impulse to stay there watching his technique.” “Roger, an extraordinary fellow with or without his racquet, spared me no praise in his declarations, congratulating me for a great match and addressing me a few words that consoled any twinge of disappointment, ‘you also deserved it.’” – Wimbledon 07
- “I am not capable of putting into words what this victory meant to me. Maybe I need perspective, maybe I still haven’t taken it in. Since I came on to the professional circuit, even before his, I related the word ‘Wimbledon’ with ‘Roger Federer’. It is something subconscious and automatic: the All England’s Club court is something like his garden.” “Nothing around me was important, time stopped, the voices faded and the stands were no more than mist. Roger and I were alone.” “I was aware that Roger and I had just played the best tennis match of all time; that I had just won the most prestigious tournament on the circuit; that… I had made my dream come true.” – Wimbledon 08
How Rafa fell in love with Roger.