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Has the sun set on Federer-Nadal rivalry?

Mark Hodgkinson
July 2, 2014
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal produced an epic final in 2008 © PA Photos
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Will Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal ever play each other again at Wimbledon? They had been projected to meet in the semi-finals, but after Nadal's fourth-round defeat to Australia's Nick Kyrgios, you have to wonder whether they will ever have another meeting on Centre Court. Still, perhaps that wouldn't be such a bad thing, for they are never going to come close to producing the theatre of their last encounter at Wimbledon; that was the 2008 final, widely seen as one of the greatest matches of all time.

Pascal Maria, who was in the umpire's chair for that final, told ESPN that he felt privileged to have officiated that match. No one had a better seat for that final than Maria. Perhaps that's why he has never watched the five-setter on video; he can always just replay the images in his head.

Bouchard denied a fairytale journey

Such was her calm and poise, Chris Evert was known as the Ice Queen with a racket. And now Evert, who won 18 grand slams, including three titles at the All England Club, has told the Wimbledon Diary of her admiration for the fearlessness of Eugenie Bouchard.

"Bouchard's tough - she doesn't look scared on court. She has such shown fearlessness, that's what's really impressed me," Evert, one of ESPN's commentary team, said of the 20-year-old Canadian. "There's no doubt she's capable of going all the way through the tournament and winning her first grand slam. I would have loved to have seen Bouchard play Serena Williams in the fourth round, but then Serena lost, and then I would have loved to have seen her play Sharapova in the quarter finals, but then Sharapova lost. Those would have been fairytale matches. But you can't fault the way Bouchard has played."

Men becoming almost inseperable

Wimbledon has never seen so many shoot-outs. This is the first time that there have been a hundred or more tiebreaks in the men's tournament.

Mark Hodgkinson is the author of Lendl: The Man Who Made Andy Murray. Hodgkinson is writing daily pieces for ESPN during Wimbledon.

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