A lot of people maintain that Nadal should have won this match in straights and it only went to the 5th because Nadal choked in the TBs of the 3rd and 4th. But didn't Federer choke in the first couple of sets? The FO mauling was fresh in his mind and Nadal's brilliantly consistent level made Federer quiver with fear and miss all the opportunities he was presented with in those first 2 sets.
For example, in the first set, Nadal had broken first and was serving for the set. Federer got a chance to break back and stay alive in the set. I think he had 2 BPs in that game but he missed converting both. In the past, Federer would have taken his chances in such a big match..but it wasn't to be.
Then in the 2nd set, Federer broke first and was up 4-1. Surely the 5 time champion would make it 1-1. But no..the Monte Carlo and Hamburg finals came back to haunt him as he failed to win another game in the set. At 5-4 with Nadal serving, again Federer got to BP to level the set. But again..no luck for him as Nadal fended off
any signs of danger.
Throwing away a 4-1 lead was a big choke, I mean with his serve on grass, and the confidence of a five time winner, he should have held two more service games to level the match..but he didn't. I could hardly believe Federer lost that second set the way he did. That was his chance to get back in the match and maybe even win it in 4. I dont know what happened, maybe the nerves got to him, maybe Nadal was not to be denied, but after the second set the match was all but over. Federer looked shaken and Nadal looked too strong for him on the day.
The fact that Federer came back from that 2-0 deficit to within two points of completing the greatest comeback of recent times means nothing. All that effort he put in the last three sets was too little too late. That second set should have never slipped away from his grasp.
Nadal deserved the win for his superior tennis that day. He didn't choke in the first two sets..and that was critical, as once Federer takes the lead it's hard to come back. And he deserved the win for his excellent serving..Federer tried and tried but could not break after the 2nd set. It was Nadal's serve in the end that proved to be the decisive factor. He held on in the 5th where Federer could not.